The impact of fantasy football on the fantasy baseball landscape is undeniable. Every September, many coaches divert their attention to the gridiron, especially those who have already fallen behind in their baseball leagues. For those who only took a quick look at MLB stats for September, here are some key players who have performed well enough over the past few weeks to alter their 2023 fantasy draft value.
Sci-fi managers who watched Rodriguez hit the proverbial rookie wall in August (.701 OPS) before shifting focus to their fantasy football leagues are likely wondering why the youngster is a top-5 pick in many drafts this year . His 1,202 OPS after Sept. 1 has left managers with a lot of confidence that any rough patches in Rodriguez’s development will be only minor.
Alvarez battled a hand injury while posting a .638 OPS in August before moving up in September to post his third 1,100+ OPS (1,176) in the last four months of 2022. One of the best pure hitters in baseball, Alvarez is an excellent option towards the end of Round 1.
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Ward was a gem of the waiver wire between April and May (.347 BA, 10 HR) before being slowed by nagging injuries as he hit .222 with seven long balls over the next three months. Those who escaped fantasy football on Sept. 1 need to know that Ward is back on track from that point forward (.345 BA, 6 HR) and is now a solid option for his Yahoo ADP in the 150s.
I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Who is Bryan De La Cruz”? Well, for five months into the 2022 season, the answer was, “Someone who’s buried on your waiver thread.” But the answer at the end of the season was, “Someone who hit .388 with six homers and 22 RBI after Sept. 1.” Cruz has a path to an everyday role and deserves consideration as a late round pick in 12-team leagues.
An all-or-nothing catcher option in the first five months of 2022 (.201 BA, 19 HR), Raleigh produced a more even statistical line as he hit .254 with eight long balls after Sept. 1. he came with a reasonable .250 BABIP, which provides optimism that the slacker could be less than a batting average drain this year. With a 205 pick Yahoo ADP, Raleigh is worth the late investment.
Jansen thrived after Sept. 1 for the second straight season, this time hitting .333 with 1.007 OPS. With an ADP in the 250 and a .817 OPS in his last two campaigns, Jansen is a top catcher option in the final round, with his inability to stay healthy as the only remaining deterrent.
Managers who watched Meneses emerge from the minors and post a .959 OPS in August should know that the late bloomer remained hot after Sept. 1 as he hit .318 with seven homers and 23 RBI. The 30-year-old may fall flat this year (similar to Frank Schwindel from a year ago), but he’s currently stuck in a premium training spot for the rebuilding Nats.
Bo Bichette (SS, Toronto Blue Jays)
A top-5 pick in most drafts of 2022, Bichette was underwhelming for the first five months of the season (.260 average, 17 HR) before adjusting his approach down the stretch and hitting .406 with seven homers, 27 RBI and 24 runs scored after Sept. 1. Bichette’s current Yahoo ADP (hovering around pick 20) seems low for a young player with this skill set.
[2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP]
Escobar struggled for most of 2022 before warming up after Sept. 1 (.321 BA, 8 HR, 25 RBI). His running success has come with a .355 BABIP which is a bit high but not enough to raise alarm bells, and he has a hit track record that includes a total of 28 homers in 2021 and 35 in 2019. Escobar is also part of a talented lineup and could be more productive than many of the hip youngsters accompanying him in the final rounds of the 2023 drafts.
Through the first five months of 2022, Greene was all skill (99 mph average fastball speed) and no production (5.26 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.0 HR/9 rate). Still, the rookie was dominant during his last four starts of the campaign (0.78 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 37:3 K:BB ratio), which left fantasy managers dreaming of the stats he could produce in his sophomore season. season.
Nick Lodolo (SP, Cincinnati Reds)
Greene wasn’t the only Reds rookie starter teasing fans down the stretch, as Lodolo posted a 2.48 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 49:6 K:BB ratio in five departures after 1 September. boom-or-bust 2023 pitching staff grabbing both Greene and Lodolo around the 150 pick.
Hunter Brown (RP, Houston Astros)
The Astros’ top prospect, Brown was recalled on September 1 and posted a 0.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 22:7 K:BB ratio over 20.1 innings down the stretch. The 24-year-old currently only has relief pitcher eligibility on Yahoo, but sits sixth on the Astros SP depth chart and worth hiding until an established starter gets injured.
Floro was a fantastic afterthought going into September, having had zero wins and three saves during the first five months of the season. But the right-hander took over the Marlins’ closing gig in September and tallied seven saves, a 1.17 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in the final weeks of the campaign. Miami has done little to improve its bullpen this winter, which could lead to Floro retaining his ninth-inning roster.