It is now the second week of September, meaning that there are only 7.5 weeks left in the 2022 fantasy baseball season. You should prioritize players who can contribute right away, and there is no shortage of candidates.
To the best of my knowledge, Joey Bart (C, San Francisco Giants, 16 percent rostered)
Since the beginning of July, Bart has produced five home runs and an OPS of.840, reviving not only his season but possibly his career. Given that the Giants will be playing three games at run-happy Coors Field this weekend, this is a great weekend to give him a shot in one-catcher leagues. Mike Yastrzemski, who plays in the outfield, and Brandon Crawford, who bats shortstop, are two more Giants players worthy of your attention.
[It’s time to start or join a fantasy football league.]
First baseman for the Royals of Kansas City, Vinnie Pasquantino (52%).
It would be premature to label Pasquantino as a “post-hype sleeper” despite his rough start to his Major League career. His bat has been on fire since the beginning of August, and his plate discipline is outstanding (20:26 BB:K) (5 HR, .362 AVG, 1.105 OPS). With so much depth at first base, it’s surprising that Pasquantino isn’t on more fantasy baseball rosters. His combination of power and batting average makes him a valuable asset.
One-two punch Joey Meneses (.333, Washington Nationals)
Meneses, who will turn 30 this year, is well past the age at which he would be considered a promising rookie. The power hitter had still gone deep 20 times in 96 games for Triple-A this season prior to being called up by the Nationals, and he has hit five more home runs in 53 at-bats with the big club. If both he and Meneses were available, I would pick Pasquantino. However, in 12-team leagues, Meneses is worth a try.
Three-baseman for the New York Mets, Brett Baty (38%).
After batting.315 with 19 home runs in 95 games between the top two levels of Minor League Baseball this year, Baty homered in his Major League debut on Wednesday. The 22-year-old is a 2019 first-round pick and a highly regarded prospect, making him an intriguing addition for teams seeking future success. In fact, if he gets off to a good start while Eduardo Escobar is on the disabled list, he might end up staying there for the rest of the Mets’ playoff push.
Third baseman for the Diamondbacks who is also a top prospect is named Emmanuel Rivera (7.0%).
Rivera did not impress in limited action with the Royals in 2021 and 2022, but he has thrived in his new role with the D-backs (1.056 OPS). The 26-year-career old’s is just beginning, and Arizona has a spot for him on the active roster. Additionally, Rivera has regularly been batting second in the lineup.
INF for the Cincinnati Reds Jake Fraley (6% of Wins)
When Fraley returned from the 60-day IL on July 29, everyone expected him to be given more playing time. After trading away a few starters at the trade deadline, it’s clear the Reds are in the midst of a major overhaul. Even though the 27-year-old had not had much success in the Majors so far, it was widely acknowledged that he possessed the sort of multifaceted skillset that fantasy managers covet. A couple weeks later, Fraley is one of the hottest hitters in baseball (1.097 OPS since July 29), and he should be on your roster if you play in a 12-team league.
Tigers of Detroit)
Carpenter is an inspiring success story because he was taken in the 19th round of this year’s draft but has already played in the Major Leagues. After a career year in the Minors in which he hit.313 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs in 97 games, he was promoted to the Majors. Carpenter has gotten off to a sizzling start (1.050 OPS) for a Detroit team that should give him plenty of at-bats, so he’s worth a look in 12-team leagues.
Edward Cabrera (51%), shortstop for the Miami Marlins.
Are you a fan of pitchers who never allow a run? Perhaps Cabrera is the man for you if this is the case. Since his return from the disabled list on August 5, the 24-year-old has struck out 21 batters in 14.2 scoreless innings. Cabrera’s control issues persist (4.8 BB/9), but hitters have trouble making consistent contact against him, so he should be a ratios asset for the rest of the season.
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SP for the Seattle Mariners, Marco Gonzales (27%).
Gonzales is not a great pitcher, and I’ll be the first to admit that. His career numbers of 4.08 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 789.1 innings, however, place him squarely in the streamer category for good matchups. Today, Gonzales will face an Oakland offense that is ranked last in the league in offensive performance, with an OPS of.625.
Wick, Rowan (RP, Cubs 40%)
On Tuesday, Wick allowed two runs in a victory over the Nationals, his first blown save in the month of August. The Cubs are rebuilding, but he had converted opportunities in his previous three chances and should continue to have a firm grip on the ninth inning. Those in need of saves should go to him because he is the best choice.
R.P., Cleveland Guardians’ James Karinchak (9.0%).
Fantasy managers don’t need a long memory to recall that Karinchak opened last season as the Guardians closer after posting a ridiculous strikeout rate and great ratios in 2020. While he was absent from the fantasy scene for over a year, since his recall on July 3 the right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts in 18.1 innings of work. He is among the best waiver-wire targets for those who need ratio help more than saves.
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