Eloy Jimenez (OF-CHW) has really turned it on after a sluggish start to his big-league career. He went 2-4 with a 2-run jack against the Tigers on Sunday. The 22 year-old hit just .241 with 16 homers and 38 RBI in 228 first-half plate appearances, but since the All-Star break he had batted .294 with 13 dingers and 37 RBI in 221 plate appearances entering Sunday's contest. The peripherals offer a bit of a mixed bag, however, as he has slashed his strikeout rate from 29% to 25% while having his walk rate dip from 8% to just 4%. Other positives include his hard-hit rate jumping from just 35% to 41% while his line drive clip rising from 15% to 21%. Overall, Jimenez has shown some growth and he could come at a reasonable price in 2020 drafts, as his .269 average, 30 homers, and 77 RBI likely won't pop off the screen on draft day in a day and age where everybody is hitting for power.
Kyle Lewis (OF-SEA) has sustained his hot start to his MLB career, as he's now batting .333 with 6 longballs, 12 RBI, and 10 runs scored through his first 49 big-league plate appearances. Entering Sunday's contest with the Orioles (in which he went 1-4), he had gone 9-28 (.321) with 5 extra-base hits (3 homers) and 6 RBI over his previous 6 contests. There is plenty of reason to believe that Lewis's production will dip sooner or later, as his strikeout rate sits at 35% and his walk rate is just 6% while his hard-hit rate is a pedestrian 35% and he's hit worm-burners at a 52% clip. Add that to his unimpressive minor-league track record and there's plenty of reason to believe that Lewis likely won't be a major fantasy contributor long term. But also consider that he was a first-round pick in 2016 and stranger things have happened. He might be worth late-round consideration in 2020 if he locks up a regular role during spring training.
Oscar Mercado (OF-CLE) is a name to keep in mind when 2020 fantasy drafts begin. Through 456 plate appearance at the big-league level this season, the 24 year-old has put up a solid .281 average to go with 13 dingers, 48 RBI, 67 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Despite his pedestrian 6% walk rate, he's been a mainstay near the top of the Indians lineup and should stay there. He's a 20-20 candidate who will put up a solid average, and he especially has room to grow in the steals department, as he swiped 14 bags in just 140 plate appearances at the Triple-A level before his promotion - 30+ steals is a very real possibility here. His 17 combined homers this season represents a career-high for a guy whose raw power grades at a 45, and his 40% hard-hit rate isn't at all woeful. Put me down for Mercado putting up .280-20-30 with a chance for more in 2020.
Matthew Boyd (SP-DET) labored through 5 innings against the White Sox on Sunday, surrendering 3 runs on 8 hits and a pair of walks while fanning 6. True to form, Boyd also allowed a longball, his 39th(!) given up this season. The 28 year-old's downward spiral since the All-Star break is concerning, as his second-half ERA sat at 5.58 (5.60 FIP) while his BB/9 more than doubled from 1.7 to 3.5 and his HR/9 jumped from an already meh 1.6 to 2.5. While his K/9 has remained relatively steady at 11.2 (11.9 during the first half), pretty much everything else has been a mess for Boyd since July. That makes him difficult to project for 2020, and given his second-half woes, it's tough to trust him as anything more than a #3 fantasy starter.
Yoan Moncada (3B-CHW) has been on a tear as of late, as he was batting .442 with 13 extra-base hits (2 homers), 13 RBI, 16 runs scored, and 3 stolen bases in 77 plate appearances in September entering Sunday's contest with the Tigers. And he stayed hot, going 2-4 with a double and a run scored in that game. This comes on the heels of an injury-abbreviated August in which he hit just .189 with 4 extra-base hits (2 homers), 5 RBI, 4 runs scored, and no steals in just 37 plate appearances. He's certainly found his groove following his slow August (which included a 42% strikeout rate and 3% walk rate), as just 21% of his plate appearances have ended in a strikeout while his walk rate is up to a healthy 9%. Overall, Moncada is batting .315 with 24 longballs, 77 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 533 plate appearances in 2019. He should be a hot commodity in 2020 drafts, but bear in mind that he will lose 2B eligibility.
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