Alex Bregman (SS/3B-HOU)
Bregman went 1-2 with a walk and his 35th home run of the season. Bregman only got 3 plate appearances in this on as the Astros had a huge lead early, so he was given the rest of the day off. Bregman has been on a tear to start September going 13-29 (.448) with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 RBIs and a 4:2 BB:K ratio. These number have helped raise his season OPS to 1.002, trailing only Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz - and putting him squarely in the AL MVP discussion. He has blossomed into one of the leagues most complete hitters, posting his second straight 100 RBI/Run scored season and is on pace for his second straight season of drawing more walks than times struck out while sporting an elite 1.32 BB/K rate. Look for him to continue putting up big numbers in 2020 and beyond.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP-BOS)
Rodriguez had a fine outing allowing just 1 ER on a solo HR over 6 innings, while striking out 9. In what has generally been a disappointing season for the Red Sox, Rodriguez has turned in another consistent season, and while his numbers aren't considered elite (3.73 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 8.8 K/9) he has collected 17 wins on the season thanks to good run support. His strikeout rate is a bit lower then last season but to balance that out he is posting a career high 48% groundball rate. Rodriguez may not bloom into the elite starter many believed he would become, but he has become reliable as his career 4.04 ERA and 4.03 FIP pretty much indicate exactly what you are going to get year in and year out. If he can get good run supports over the next few weeks, he has an outside shot at 20-win season, which with advanced metrics is not what it once was - but still may be valuable to fantasy owners looking to win a fantasy championship.
Gleyber Torres (2B/SS-NYY)
Torres went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Torres posted a nice .820 OPS as a Rookie, which lead to a 3rd place finish in the ROY voting - but its safe to say he has outperformed that in 2019, when the Yankees have needed him most. Torres has upped his OPS nearly 80 points sporting an impressive .288/.348/.547 line while clubbing 59 extra base hits, including 35 home runs while driving in 83. Torres is sporting many of the same underlying numbers but has increased his ISO nearly 60 points to .260 while cutting his K rate 5%. This seems to be a product of him getting more comfortable, as all his plate discipline metrics are on the rise - including a 5% increase in contact and 2% decrease in his swinging strike rate. Even more impressive, he has done this hitting in the heart of the Yankees order, as opposed to near the bottom where he hit last year. A 40-home run season is easily within reach but its scary to think he only scratching the surface at 22.
Jose Altuve (2B-HOU)
Altuve went 3 for 3 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. Despite missing a month due to injury earlier in the season and limping to a .243 avg on May 10th before the injury, he has managed to set a career high in home runs (26) while raising his average all the way back to a more Altuve-like .307. His flyball rate is about the same as last year, but Altuve has a career high 39% hard hit rate and has increased his pull rate 7% to 48% as he has hit most of his HRs to left field. While the power surge is great to see Altuve has only stolen 5 bases in 9 attempts, and only has 22 over the past 2 seasons - compared to the 30+ bags he stole each of the previous 6 seasons. As he ages its possible, he will trade the speed game for power, so one thing to keep an eye on in 2020 if Altuve has been a prime source of stolen bases for you in seasons past.
Kyle Lewis (OF-SEA)
Lewis got the call by the Mariners on Monday and figures to see good playing time the remainder of the season. The 24-year old was a former top-100 prospect but has underperformed in the minor leagues and his 2019 "repeat" of AA hasn't inspired the most confidence, but his .263/.342/.398 line is considerably better then the .680 OPS he posted at the same level in 2018. The .263 average is a bit troubling considering he posted a .367 babip and while he draws some walks (10%) his K rate (29%) is still relatively high for AA. With nothing to play for in 2019, the Mariners have decided to allow Lewis to bypass AAA and see if he can claim a 2020 roster spot; which could happen if he has a good showing in September.
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