Logan Forsythe (2B) LAD - Forsythe has caught fire, going 13-30 with 12 R and 7 BB while reaching base in each of the past 9 games. There hasn't been any power to speak of (although he does have 4 doubles in this 9-game stretch), but a closer look reveals a well above-average LD rate, exit velocity and batted ball distance and a career-best chase rate by a substantial margin (15.4%!). I believe much better things are in store for Forsythe in the second half if he can stay healthy, and I'd be actively trying to acquire him in all formats...hitting in front of Seager, Turner, and Bellinger is getting him a ton of fastballs to hit and a lot of opportunities to score runs.
Jameson Taillon (SP) PIT - Taillon had a scoreless outing for the 3rd time in 5 starts since coming off of the DL, striking out 9 over 5 innings in a 3-0 win over the Phillies. He's now fanned 29 in 27 1/3 innings since his return, allowing just 6 runs while maintaining the velocity bump from his pre-surgery outings. For me, Taillon is moving from a streaming option to a solid #3-4 SP. The control is a bit spotty and the K's aren't always there, but the GB rate is solid and the home park is pitcher-friendly. I like the upside here, and the floor seems to be fairly high for a young pitcher as well.
Sean Newcomb (SP) ATL - After starting his MLB career with 4 straight quality starts, Newcomb was knocked around by the Astros on Tuesday, allowing 10 hits and 7 runs in just 3 1/3 innings with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. He did get 11 swinging strikes in just 80 pitches, but for a guy that many were treating as a reliable option already this was a painful outing. Newcomb's mechanics are still inconsistent, which is perhaps to be expected from a 24 year old lefty that is 6'5". The control issues likely didn't just magically disappear, but the swing-and-miss stuff is legitimate. I like the upside here, but the floor is (obviously) much, much lower than it seemed through the first few weeks. I view him as a streaming option in most formats right now, and clearly those in dynasty leagues should maintain ownership. His schedule is pretty difficult through the end of the month though, so in shallow formats I probably wouldn't have a problem putting him back on the wire unless the reserve roster size is generous.
Austin Slater (OF) SF - I have to say, I'm a little intrigued about this Slater kid. An 8th round pick in 2014, Slater has done nothing but hit on his way up the ladder, posting no AVG below a .292 at any stop and adding 18 homers in 109 games with above-average exit velocity at two levels in 2016. In 26 games with the Giants, Slater is hitting 308/357/462 with 3 HRs, one of which was a 456-foot bomb. This kid is just 24, yet he gets very little respect from the scouting community despite the performances ranging from solid to excellent over the past three-plus seasons....at some point, don't the numbers (and opportunity) mean something? He's obviously worth a claim in deeper leagues right now, and as long as Nunez is out I think he's a viable starter in just about all formats. One of Hwang or Slater will probably have to give way when Nunez returns, so his continued roster viability will be dependent on that decision in most formats, which will most likely come during the break.
Andrew McCutchen (OF) PIT - Cutch has stayed hot as the calendar has moved to July, bashing two more homers Tuesday to extend his on-base streak to 14 straight. His hard contact rate has been 37.5% since April, and he has cut his K's in half since May......he's playing about as well as he ever has over the past six weeks or so. Reports of his demise may have been greatly exaggerated, but reports of his decline were not.....there were two years of data prior to April that suggested he was no longer an elite player. The past month or two notwithstanding, I still believe that to be the case, and I would put his value outside of the top-20 in the OF (he's currently ranked #17). If you can get more than that for him I have no problem selling a bit high here, but I do think that he can remain productive enough to be a high-end OF3.
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