Cavan Biggio (2B - TOR) - Biggio is 8-21 with 7 R, 7 BB, 2 SB, 1 2B, 1 3B, and 1 HR over the past 6 games. 221/356/399 through 375 PAs doesn't look like much, but there are a lot of positives here beneath the surface. First of all, he's 11/11 stealing bases, which already makes him top-50 in that category. Second, the 15% chase rate and 8.3% swinging strike rate are both excellent, and very solid indicators for a better AVG going forward. Finally, the 41.6% hard contact rate combined with a LD rate of over 27%, particularly when added to the plate discipline I just mentioned, should be the profile of an above average contact hitter, not below. I think there is a TON of upside here, and because the raw numbers haven't been all that great I expect him to be undervalued next spring, something I plan to exploit where I can.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP - BOS) - ERod fanned 12 in 6 2/3 innings in the Philly bandbox on Saturday to continue his hot streak; he has been the 3rd best pitcher in baseball by WAR over the past 30 days with 5 ER over 39 IP with 12 BB and 44 K. I know his season-long numbers are merely decent, especially when you throw out the W category, but I love the GB and chase rate increases this season, and I think he could push his way into the top-30 SP next season. Small solace in a disappointing season for the Sox, but ERod could be a huge part of their next playoff contender.
Marcus Semien (SS - OAK) - Semien added onto a year that has seen him currently ranked 7th in WAR among positional players with a single and his 31st HR on Monday, and while I think this is definitely "power ceiling" sort of performance, the contact and chase rate gains that he's made are very impressive. If anything his BABIP is a little low with the 9% bump in hard contact as well...I wouldn't be surprised to see him drop back down to the 20 HR range with that home park in 2020, but I see no reason he can't keep this sort of batting average or even a bit more.
Victor Reyes (OF - DET) - Reyes doubled and tripled on Monday, and he's now hit in 16 of his last 17 to bring his line up to 303/336/430 for the year. Reyes is a good contact guy despite horrible strike zone discipline (chase rate over 40%), has good speed, and is posting a hard contact rate above 40% this year in almost 250 PAs in Detroit. He hasn't hit for much power yet, but his long, lanky frame has the potential for it...it's more the swing path (avg. launch angle 8 degrees) although the exit velo is below average at this point also. Reyes is one of those guys that I feel a little optimistic about....I could easily see him providing a quality AVG with average power and 15-20 steals, and that's absolutely a guy that needs to be owned in all formats.
John Means (SP - BAL) - As much as I've liked Means for most of this season, caution is definitely appropriate here. Coming off of 4 straight quality starts in which it looked like he had righted the ship, Means allowed 5 runs to the lowly Tigers in 5 2/3 innings to move to 10-11 on the year. His flaws have been highlighted here over the last 6 weeks or so: well below-average K rate, middling SS%, massive FB rate, extremely low BABIP. The fact remains, however, that Means has allowed an incredibly low hard contact rate of 27.6% heading into Monday's start, and that combined with the high FB rate certainly has a major impact on the BABIP. His control is excellent also, and I think there's some K upside going forward with the chase rate and SS% that he has generated. Bottom line, for me anyway: sure, expecting another mid-3's ERA next season is probably a lot to ask, but could he be league average? Sure, I think so, and Baltimore should be at least a little bit better next year to help on the W side as well. I like him as a 5th SP next year despite the potential (likely) regression.
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