Travis Shaw (2B/3B) MIL - Shaw hit his 31st HR on Sunday to tie his career-best from 2017, but with the emergence of Jesus Aguilar and the brilliance of Christian Yelich, Shaw has flown under the radar to an extent. I think it's a mistake to undervalue him....a very unfortunate BABIP of .241 this year has masked some significant improvement. The hard contact rate is up for the 3rd straight year to just under 40%, while even more importantly the chase rate and swinging strike% dropped significantly for the 2nd straight season. He had been very consistent prior to this season in terms of BABIP relative to his LD rate as well, so this year's definitely looks about 50 points light, and the increased pull% doesn't explain much of it away. The combination of an expected return to the mean of his AVG via BABIP along with the addition of eligibility at 2B should make Shaw very valuable come spring, but I'm not sure he'll be viewed that way by most. He will certainly be a target of mine.
Amed Rosario (SS) NYM - Since bottoming out at 230/274/346 on August 8th, Rosario has caught fire, hitting .324 over 176 ABs while slugging .483. His pace in runs scored is over 100, his pace in steals is between 35-40, and he's even on pace to hit over 15 HRs. In short, the 22 year old has looked like he belongs now for more than just the speed. The selectivity at the plate is still an issue, and the power isn't very likely to be greater than average, but there is a still a potential top-5 SS here. Don't be scared off by the year-long stats when looking at Rosario for 2019.
Brian Dozier (2B) LAD - Dozier is now 3-40 with 12 K's in September after another 0-3 Sunday, and he's ceding more and more playing time to the retiring Chase Utley, Kiki Hernandez, and even Max Muncy. I've been harping on Dozier's overperformance in both BABIP and HR/FB, particularly given his batted ball mix and average exit velocity, for a year and a half at least. Being too early is indistinguishable from being wrong, but it's worth noting that the only other players in his vicinity in terms of exit velocity in 2016 (for players that hit over 19 HRs or so for that season....I don't remember the exact number offhand, but it was essentially the top 110-115 HR hitters) were Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. We can play "where are they now?" if you want, but I think you know. Dozier is only 31, but things are moving in the wrong direction now...I don't believe I'd be looking at him as a top-10 2B any longer, although where he ends up in 2019 could have an impact on that call for sure. I will say that the skill set is likely to be overvalued, and that I believe his ceiling to be more of the 2013-14 years (.235-245/20) than the 2016-17 ones, and with a bit less speed as he ages to boot.
Kyle Freeland (SP) COL - Freeland shut out the D-Backs for 7 innings Sunday en route to his 10th straight QS and 23rd of the season. An interesting note on this recent streak: in his last 9 outings, he's allowed more GB than FB in every home start, while allowing more FB than GB in every road start. His GB rate is only 2.5% higher at home this season, but Freeland also seems to be getting better as the season moves along, so perhaps there have been some adjustments made along the way. The K rate has increased to almost a batter per inning in the second half as well, and I'm becoming more and more of a fan every time I see him pitch. Yes, I think a .276 BABIP and 9% HR/FB rate are pretty crazy for a Rockie pitcher, and I'll reiterate my stance that I find his ERA to be perhaps 0.5-0.75 lower than you'd expect, but he's still a solid arm and might be improving while we debate the subject. For a guy with impeccable control (if you don't believe me, look at both his minor league BB totals and his pitch mapping), you might be surprised to see the walk totals, but I think that's how (in part) he's gotten the advantageous BABIP and HR/FB rates. He's just not throwing anything down the middle regardless, and he's good enough to hit the corners most of the time when he needs to. Like I said, I'm a fan.
Victor Robles (OF) WAS - Robles is giving everybody a taste of his tools, hitting in 7 straight starts with a double, a triple, and 2 homers in the past 5. Power is the only tool for Robles that doesn't project well above average, and even there he could become a 20-HR threat in his prime. The best thing (for this week, anyway) about Robles is that he's essentially playing every day now that the Nats are out of it, so for those of you trying to scratch out just a little bit more during the last week of the season, Robles is a reasonable add. For next year, assuming that he does begin the season as a starter, he should be a draftable asset in all formats with top-50 OF potential near-term, and top-20 OF potential within a few years.