Ottoneu Hot Right Now: April 24, 2024

The 2024 version of Hot Right Now will typically include three sections:

  1. Current Auctions: A closer look at players being auctioned at a high rate.
  2. Roster Adds: Analysis of players with high add% changes.
  3. Hot Performers: Players with a high P/G or P/IP in recent weeks.

The FanGraphs Ottoneu team plans to run this feature weekly, updating fantasy managers on the biggest movers in Ottoneu leagues with an analysis of how these players could or could not help your roster.

As we have done in previous posts, I am also going to rate each player on the following scale:

  • Don’t Bother – This means that even as auctions are started, other teams are adding this player, or he is on a hot streak, I am just not interested in adding this player. I don’t see them being worth a roster spot.
  • Don’t Stress – I can see why you would add this player. I can totally understand placing a bid, but I am not super worried about winning this player. I would bid $1 for sure, maybe a bit more, as long as it doesn’t impact my roster at all.
  • Don’t Go Crazy – I would like to add this player, but I am not willing to hamper my team to do it. I’ll look for cuts, and if I can clear money to make a big bid without losing players I’ll regret cutting, I will do it.
  • Don’t Lose – These players rarely come up but they do, from time-to-time. These are guys that I am willing to make a difficult cut to add. Don’t expect to see this designation used often.

Current Auctions

Mitchell Parker – 103 auctions

I did not expect I would be writing about Mitchell Parker this week. Or this year, to be honest. He is 24, which isn’t old, but he also has no real track record of minor-league success. He was rated as a 35+ prospect by the FanGraphs prospect team, which basically means they thought he might develop into a bench guy.  And it is hard to blame them, given his history has been pretty unimpressive numbers at almost every level, highlighted by about a billion walks.

But 12 innings into his MLB career, Parker has 12 strikeouts and zero walks. Yes, that’s right, 0. Consecutive appearances without a walk is pretty good, but it is shocking for Parker who last went two straight appearances without a walk in June of 2021 in A-ball.

Parker’s primary pitch is a 92 mph four-seamer, which he gets in the zone a bit more than average and which gets hitters to chase a bit more than average, but which gets very few whiffs (7.7% vs. league average of 20.3% on four-seamers). His other two pitches – a curve and a splitter – are more intriguing. In his small sample so far, he has been among the very best at throwing his curve in the zone for called strikes and throwing the splitter out of the zone to get chases and whiffs.

And it is not like his results are purely about the competition. He shut down the Astros and the Dodgers. That’s pretty fancy. He also has he massive advantage of being, you know, healthy. Not so many pitchers have that these days.

Mitchell should get the Marlins this weekend before facing Texas or Toronto in his subsequent start. He could have the Orioles after that. I would likely be cautious with him, at least against the O’s, but he should be universally rostered, at least until he gives us reason to doubt.

Just watch that walk rate, given his history. Right now, he is getting by with 90 stuff+ thanks to a 105 loc+ and loc+ can be inconsistent.

Verdict: Don’t go crazy.

Reed Garrett – 77 auctions

I could just rehash what Ben Clemens wrote yesterday, but you should just click that link and go read it yourself.

From an Ottoneu perspective, he looks like a very good but likely non-elite RP. Non-elite RP are worth grabbing, but not worth bidding too much. If you need a reliever, though, go get him.

Verdict: Don’t stress.

Roster Adds

José Buttó – Leagues with an Add (7 days): 60.32%

Lucas Kelly covered Butto in his Hot Right Now last week and I don’t have much to add. Well, I can add one thing: across 256 pitchers with 10+ innings so far this year, his Pitching+ score (88) is 254th. At some point we’ll have enough data to say that stuff+ and pitching+ are wrong on him. But I don’t want to be holding him for now.

Verdict: Don’t Bother.

Jesse Winker – Leagues with an Add (7 days): 55.63%

We’re so early that just a week and a half ago we talked about Winker on Keep or Kut and I was worried about a few things:

  1. His 62.5% ground ball rate. Well, as of Tuesday, his ground ball rate was down to 46.2%.
  2. His .419 BABIP despite a “not great” line drive rate. His BABIP is still .400 but his LD rate is 28.8%.
  3. His 86.6 mph EV. That is up to 88.6.
  4. His barrel rate that was down from 2022. It is now higher than 2022.
  5. His hard-hit rate that was down from 2022. It is now higher than 2022.

Does this mean Winker has fixed everything I was concerned about and I am fully bought in? No. Well, maybe a little. But it is mostly just a reminder that April 24 is still very early and things can still change very quickly.

But, generally, Winker does look like he is back. Not all the way to peak-Winker, but certainly a serious bounceback from where he was last year or even in 2022. And that is worth buying in on.

Verdict: Don’t go crazy.

Hot Performers

Stats reflect the last 14 days for both hitters and pitchers.

Jordan Westburg – 11.2 P/G

Westburg is absolutely scorching the ball and seems to be another big find for the Baltimore Orioles. He was not great in his debut last year, but he is doing some really good things this year to drive improvement. Specifically, he has doubled his barrel rate and greatly increased his hard-hit rate. After posting a .309 wOBA with a .315 xwOBA in 2023, this year he has a .433 wOBA with a .415 xwOBA.

He has also improved his K-rate, but there are some concerns underneath that. His chase-rate is basically the same as 2023, but his contact rate, both in and out of the zone, is way down, leading to a big jump in swinging strikes. His CSW% against hasn’t increased because pitchers are not challenging him as often – his first-strike% is way down and his zone rate is down, as well. But this doesn’t really feel like a recipe for sustained improvements in K-rate. I’ll be watching that moving forward. But for now, just enjoy the ride. He looks like a stud.

Amed Rosario – 8.8 P/G

Rosario is rostered in just 83% of leagues. Given this performance, you would expect that number to increase. Especially since, at least as of now, he is playing basically everyday for the Rays. Unlike Westburg, the plate discipline data looks great for Rosario. He is chasing less, attacking pitches in the zone more, and making more contact. But, at least as of now, this looks less like a new Rosario and more like another example of Rosario at his best:

Rosario started 2022 with even better contact and chase rates. His K-rate is already trending back up. Nothing here is out of line with his career so far.

His hard-hit and barrel rates are up despite a decrease in EV and a lower LA. And he has maintained this kind of hard-hit rate over the short-term other times in his career, as well.

At the end of the day, I don’t think we are seeing a new Rosario. I think Rosario has always gone through hot stretches and this is just another hot stretch and it will, like the others, come to an end. Enjoy the hot streak and expect his typical .305-.320 wOBA the rest of the way.

Nick Lodolo – 7.6 P/IP

He is 100% rostered and you aren’t going to be able to trade for him, so this is just a chance to say, “Welcome back, Nick Lodolo.”



A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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