Ottoneu Hot Right Now: May 22, 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.

We will 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

Luis Matos – 48 current auctions

I learned before the season that Matos had some big fans when a friend managed a draft on my behalf and paid $6 for Matos. It’s not just that he paid $6, but someone else made him do it! Matos was an early (and easy) April cut when we needed cap and a roster spot. He wasn’t part of the Giants plans and that was that.

Well he seems to be part of their plans now. That tends to happen when Jorge Soler, Michael Conforto, and Austin Slater all hit the IL. You need to find OF and DH PA somewhere! And Matos, given the shot, has delivered. Let’s be careful getting excited about how much he has delivered: he has 35 PA after Tuesday night’s game, and four of those came in a one-game stint back in March. The MLB results are great! They are also basically meaningless.

What we do have is an OF who doesn’t strike out (9.1% in Triple-A this year after being below 10% in the minors last year), can draw a walk (7.0% in Triple-A after being over 7% in the minors last year), and might have just enough power to matter. The power isn’t elite and likely won’t be – he has never hit more than 15 in a season – but he could push 20 HR with a full, 600-PA season (another thing he has never done).

What does a 10% K-rate, 7% BB-rate and 15 HR power look like? Looking for comps from 2023, you get Nico Hoerner with more power but 25% as many steals. Keibert Ruiz but not at C. Jeff McNeil plus five HR. There could be upside beyond that, so I wouldn’t quite call that his ceiling, but it is probably a “good outcome” result for him, if things go well.

That is useful, but it isn’t a star.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Alek Manoah – 44 current auctions

Pitching is always hard to come by so there’s a part of me that thinks you should go out and pay for Manoah no matter what is going on under the hood. But we should probably at least take a look.

After getting lit up by the Nats in his first start of 2024, Manoah has bounced back with two good starts and for the first time in a long time looks like the guy who burst onto the scene in Toronto a couple of years ago.

Through three starts, he has 19 strikeouts in 18 IP with a 3.00 ERA and 4.37 P/IP. He has also allowed 6 walks and 3 HR, contributing to a 4.71 FIP. If you want to write off the first start as rust, the walks look much better, the K’s look a little worse, and the overall line is much brighter.

Manoah, even at his best, was a guy some Ottoneu points players were fading, as he had low strikeout number and low ground ball rates, relying on a low HR/FB% to continue to put up points. But he also went 308.1 IP over 5.0 P/IP over his first two seasons. He was a legitimately good Ottoneu pitcher for two years.

So is he back? Kind of. The walks in that first start are hard to just ignore and he’s giving up more hard contact than he did in his great years – on that front he looks more like his bad year. But coming off two great starts and with a pretty soft schedule coming up, I think he is worth taking adding to your roster and worth putting in your lineups.

If he keeps up the resurgent performance, he could very quickly be a $20 SP. I am not sure I believe he can keep this up, but it’s worth a shot. With that upside, he is worth a pretty sizable bid if you can make it without hampering your team.

Verdict: Don’t Go Crazy.

Robert Stephenson – 41 current auctions

These are just auctions to reduce cap penalties. He’s done for the year and there is no reason to roster him while he recovers.

Verdict: Don’t Bother.

Alec Burleson – 39 current auctions

Don’t let the 4.26 P/G confuse you – Burleson has 170 points over 130 PA and at 4 PA per game that would be over 5.2 P/G. He just isn’t quite in a full-time role and PH opportunities are driving down his P/G. You won’t use him those days so you can safely ignore them and focus on how productive he is when he does start.

It’s also easy to write off Burleson as lucky. His plate discipline has always been good and his Statcast data doesn’t show that he has broken out to a new level of power production, but his HR/FB rate has jumped from 8.3% over his pre-2024 MLB career to 1e.2% this year.

And sure enough, his xwOBA is lower than his wOBA. But his xwOBA is still .342. And if this year looks a bit like last year, maybe that isn’t so bad – his 2023 xwOBA was .337. If he can produce around that level, he is a really useful OF. Maybe not a guy you count on everyday, but certainly a guy you can plug in as needed. If you need OF help, I would go get him.

Verdict: Don’t Go Crazy.

Roster Adds

Abraham Toro– Leagues with an Add (7 Days) – 35.3%

Lucas Kelley covered Toro in last week’s Hot Right Now and pre-season and both times came to the conclusion that he is worth a buck. Who am I to argue?

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Luke Weaver – Leagues with an Add (7 Days) – 33.1%

Weaver was also covered last week so I won’t go into too much detail. But I will knock down my verdict a step vs. Lucas’s. I just can’t see bidding much on a reliever with his history, a lack of closer role, in a bad power park for pitchers.

Verdict: Don’t Stress.

Hot Performers

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

Aaron Judge – 14.1 P/G

When Judge was mired in his rough start, were you worried? No, of course you weren’t. And this is why. Judge is good.

Kerry Carpenter – 9.2 P/G

I’ll admit, however, that I was at least a little worried about Kerry Carpenter. I am a big Carpenter fan but he isn’t Aaron Judge and there is more reason to be nervous about a Kerry slump than a Judge-slump. But Carpenter is breaking out. His average exit velocity is up, as are his HH% and barrel rate. He was already hitting the ball hard before, but there has definitely been an uptick in his quality of contact. On top of that, pitchers are challenging him in the zone more and he is taking advantage. It looks to me like Carpenter will be just fine. Hope you bought low, if that window was open.

Garrett Crochet – 7.8 P/IP

After his brilliant start to the year, Crochet put up a couple of stinkers in a row in late April. And calling one of those a “stinker” is a huge understatement of how bad it was. But now he has gone three straight great starts, again. He’s a must-start moving forward.

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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23 days ago

If you have the likes of Corbin Carroll, Julio Rodriguez and Luis Robert, then Alec Burleson is indeed a useful outfielder.