Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
There's no two ways about it at this point; Correa has been downright awful since returning from the DL in early August. In 29 games since his return, Correa has hit just .163 with 3 XBH's in 121 PA's. He was having a down year even before his injury, both in terms of his K% and Hard%, but things have gotten even worse recently as he has a 26.9% Hard% and 17.2% IFFB% since the break. Correa admitted that his back is still bothering him and it's fair to say that it's affecting his production. It would take some guts to bench or drop a guy who may have been your first round selection during the fantasy playoffs, but if you have a valid replacement, I wouldn't say you're crazy for doing so.
Whit Merrifield, 2B, KC
Merrifield stole 2 bases against the White Sox on Wednesday, giving him an AL-leading 35 for the season. After a relatively slow first half in which Merrifield hit 5 HR's with 17 SB's in 91 games, he has already surpassed both of those numbers in 50 2nd half games with 7 HR's and 18 SB's. Add in the fact that he is hitting around .300 and Merrifield was literally a steal where he was drafted around the 9th or 10th round. He will likely be a top-5 2B in 2019 drafts.
Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA
Seager homered against the Padres on Wednesday, marking his first longball since Aug. 19, a span of 19 games in which he hit a dreadful .141. Seager has really been dreadful since the All-star break, hitting .176 with 5 HR's in 44 games. Taking it back a step further, his whole season has been bad, as he currently has a slash line of .216/.268/.397 across 574 PA's. We could try using the BABIP excuse again, as his .239 BABIP is ridiculously low, but we tried that excuse last year and it hasn't worked. We would have expected some positive regression to his .260 BABIP from last year, but instead it's just gone down further. The fact is that he pulls almost all of his ground balls, and with more and more shifts, it's become more difficult for any of those grounders to find a hole, resulting in a career-worst .147 BA on GB's. It looks like we just have to accept that Seager will be a BA liability, and not much more than a slow Todd Frazier.
Luis Severino, SP, NYY
Severino was solid against the Twins on Wednesday, allowing 1 ER on 4 hits in 5.2 IP. He had struggled to the tune of a 6.95 ERA over his previous 9 starts, but his xFIP during that span was actually 3.01, nearly 4 runs lower! Severino suffered from a .411 BABIP and 58.0% LOB% during that stretch, and while he did allow 9 HR's in those 9 starts, his 58:10 K:BB across 45.1 IP indicated that he would be just fine. Don't let this slump scare you; Severino should drafted like an ace in 2019.
Blake Snell, SP, TB
Snell dominated once again on Wednesday, allowing 1 ER on 1 hit and 2 BB's in 7 IP, while striking out 9 in a win against the Indians. Few have seen their stock rise this season as much as Snell, who is now 19-5 with a 2.03 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 195 K's in 164 IP this season. His main flaw coming into the season was his high walk rate, as he had posted a career 4.53 BB/9 entering the 2018 campaign, but this year that number is down to a respectable 3.07, and it's down to 1.80 in the season's second half. While Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer have missed significant chunks of time recently and Luis Severino, and to a lesser extent Justin Verlander, have tailed off in the second half, Snell has picked his game up a notch, going 7-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 12.2 K/9 since the All-star break, firmly entrenching himself near the forefront of the AL Cy Young race. With a 3.25 xFIP this season, Snell doesn't seem like a flash in the pan and should be viewed as a legitimate ace heading into 2019.
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