The trade deadline has come and gone and with it, so too are many hometown heroes. With more and more players on the move every year, fantasy managers must take stock when evaluating guys in their new homes. When players change clubs, many are presented with a much better opportunity and should be graded as such. Likewise, many of their teammates who are left behind should probably be downgraded.
Quite a few rookies are getting their first taste of the Major Leagues as well. However, I’m holding off on adding them to this list as I want to see how they perform against the highest level of competition before I recommend them (although I really like the Dodgers’ shiny new toy).
These next 10 guys are not new but can help you in at least one of the 10 major statistical categories. They’re all rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, with many of them coming in well below that threshold. They’ll likely help you in more ways than one, but their heaviest contributions will come in the category under which they are listed.
Kolten Wong (2B – MIL): 45%
One of our old favorites is back to his old tricks racking up hits and scoring in games like it’s going out of style. Since July 23rd (12 games), the Brewers’ second baseman has scored an outstanding 12 runs. He also crushed two homers, stole a base, and recorded 17 hits.
The often injured veteran is finally playing at full strength, and his output has taken flight. With the ability to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, Wong belongs on most fantasy rosters. Add the speedy 31-year-old now while he’s still available.
Jorge Mateo (2B/SS/OF – BAL): 49%
Mateo’s been one of the best base stealers in the game this season but has been a drag in the batting average department. That may finally be changing. Over his last 10 games, Mateo has increased his quality of contact, and his numbers have followed suit. It’s a small sample size, but Mateo’s hit .299 (20 for 67) since July 10th while continuing to swipe bases.
With Mateo’s newfound stroke, 10 homers to his credit, and an AL-leading 26 steals under his belt, the Orioles shortstop has become an extremely valuable asset in all league types. How he is still available in half of fantasy leagues is perplexing.
Seth Brown (OF/1B – OAK): 23%
I’m a huge fan of Seth Brown and players like him because the majority of leagues I play in are daily leagues with 14+ teams. In leagues where you can sit your left-handed power bats against lefty starters, sluggers like Brown hold immense value.
Similar to Daniel Vogelbach, I know what I’m getting when I start him against an RHP. While I believe Volgy is a better hitter, Brown is a near lock for an .800 OPS or higher with a home run every 15 at-bats. The match-ups make a difference, and he can be streaky, but for the majority of games against righties, Brown is someone who can help you.
The slugging outfielder who regularly bats cleanup for the A’s has hit four homers over his last five starts. He missed about a week in July due to injury but has been pretty consistent since summer began. Brown’s upped his total to 16 long balls after launching five in June, five in July, and one already this month. His performance so far has mirrored his output from last year, so the homers should be consistent.
Before his call-up in 2020, Brown hit 37 dingers in just 112 games for Oakland’s Triple-A squad, further proving his worth and upside. The late-blooming grass roamer, who also qualifies at first base, is valuable in daily leagues if you need a boost in homers.
Tyler Naquin (OF – NYM): 6%
Remember the beginning of 2021 when Naquin matched the output of his teammates Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker to form an offensive juggernaut in Cincinnati? Well, he’s off to a similar start in Queens.
Naquin hit 10 home runs and drove in 35 in his first 40 starts as a Red. Now, he’s making the Mets management look like geniuses by once again punishing baseballs with runners in scoring position. As a leadoff hitter this year for Cincinnati, the former first-rounder wasn’t getting many RBI opportunities. However, now that he is batting seventh behind Daniel Vogelbach (.354 OBP) and Jeff McNeil (.360 OBP) in New York, Naquin is and should continue to see a plethora of RBI opportunities.
The corner outfielder has seven hits in his last five games, including two home runs and a double. And perhaps even more impressive is that he has only struck out once in his six starts since joining the Mets. Naquin will sit on occasion and doesn’t do a whole lot versus southpaws, but he is hot right now and is in a great situation to succeed.
Add the lefty power-bat now with four out of his next five games coming against right-handed pitching. With three of them coming against his old mates (the Reds) traveling to Citi Field on Monday.
Jose Iglesias (2B/SS – COL): 20%
Iglesias is hitting like he did in 2020 when he would have led the league in batting average had he qualified with enough at-bats. He also hit well after joining the Red Sox over the final month of last season, where he nearly hit .400.
Currently, in Colorado, Iglesias has pushed his average up to .312 while hitting second in the Rockies lineup and playing solid defense at short. He doesn’t have much power or speed to speak of but has hit .362 since the All-Star break after registering a .301 average in the first half. If your team has a ton of pop but not many batting average guys, Iglesias makes for the perfect complement.
Jose Quintana (SP/RP – STL): 33%
I featured Quintana a few weeks back as someone whose value would increase with the trade deadline approaching. Now a part of the Cardinals, Quintana’s stock rises heavily as he’ll have a strong chance at earning a win every time out.
Over his last three starts, he’s allowed just one run while continuing to limit base runners. His ERA is down to 3.39 on the year and even though his stuff isn’t unhittable, expect that number to continue to lower with arguably the best defense behind him. His strikeout numbers are a little better than average as well, as he approaches 100 K’s on the year.
He won’t be anyone’s ace, but Quintana has shown (this season) that he is someone managers can rely on. Add the veteran lefty in deeper leagues and some shallow ones too, where you lack wins.
James Kaprielian (SP – OAK): 11%
Kap was a sleeper of mine coming into the season after turning in a 2.90 ERA in the first half of last year. His spring was then delayed by injury, and he was put on the back burner. It took him a few months to regain his confidence and control, but now he’s finally performing like the player I was expecting.
Over his last six starts, Kaprielian has allowed a total of just seven runs, good for a 1.89 ERA. Dating back to June 21st, the 6-foot-3 UCLA alum has produced a 2.45 ERA, including games against some tough opponents. Not too bad for a pitcher who is available in nine out of 10 leagues.
The strikeouts aren’t as impressive as they were last year, and he does play for the lowly Athletics, so wins may be tough to come by. But as long as he’s putting up zeros, Kap should have a place on your roster in deeper leagues. Pick up the ex-Yankee now and add him to your rotation before he takes on the Trout-less Angels at home to start the week.
Kris Bubic (SP/RP – KC): 7%
Kris Bubić!? I don’t know how I feel about this one, but wow! Did anyone catch his game against the Yankees or Boston? He looked nothing like a pitcher with a 5.27 ERA. Normally I’d agree, every pitcher can get lucky now and then and possibly string a few positive games together, but Bubic, a former first-round draft pick who made the jump from Single-A straight to the Major Leagues, has looked extremely sharp.
A capable pitcher in KC over his first two seasons (4.38 ERA over 180 innings), Bubic has allowed three or fewer runs in seven consecutive starts. He’s allowed just 17 hits and six walks over his last 26 innings (0.88 WHIP) which impressively came against the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays. The young southpaw is lasting deep into games and has been one of the lone bright spots for Kansas City since just before the All-Star break.
If adding a Kansas City starter to your roster gives you pause, I don’t blame you. It’s risky. Even if Bradley Singer and a few others have had their moments. Still, there’s no denying what Bubic has accomplished, and if you’re desperate, he’s absolutely worth a pick-up.
Reid Detmers (SP – LAA): 48%
I featured Detmers as my top add two weeks ago, and he did not disappoint. After dominating in his lone start in Triple-A, Detmers has been nothing short of spectacular since his re-arrival.
The main reason I’m choosing to re-highlight him is now I can offer a strong reason as to why he has turned his season around. Not only has he nearly doubled his slider usage, which, judging by Statcast, is resulting in a lot more swings and misses, but also his velocity is up across the board.
In the four games since joining the big league club, the former 10th overall pick in 2020 has struck out 31 batters in just 24 innings. Two of those games came against the high-powered offenses of Atlanta and Toronto, where he held them to a total of two runs.
The new and improved Detmers is performing like an ace right now and could be a major difference maker over the final two months. Add him now if he’s still available.
Felix Bautista (RP – BAL): 48%
Bautista is the man in Baltimore now, with Jorge Lopez suiting up in Minnesota. Bautista’s numbers are arguably just as good as Lopez’s, and while he’ll be missed, Bautista should have no problem picking up the slack in the ninth inning. On the year, he registered a 1.77 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, 62 strikeouts over 45.2 innings, and four saves.
The young righty out of the Dominican Republic reaches 100 with ease and elicits great command for such a high velocity. He also possesses a good slider, but it’s his split-finger that’s more than 10 miles per hour slower than his heater that’s his strikeout pitch.
With a diving heater at over 100 mph and with two other plus offerings, Bautista could be a mainstay at the back of the Orioles bullpen for years to come. Add him ASAP where still available.
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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.