So you missed out on Gary Sanchez. Yeah, we all did. But don’t worry! September is right around the corner, which means expanded roles for a lot of young players as well as (hopefully) increased production out of vets on a playoff team. Finding a few key guys down the stretch can really make a difference if you’re trying to win a season-long fantasy baseball league, so here are a few guys that can help that may be flying a bit under the radar.
Alex Bregman, HOU SS/3B (Owned in 53.4% of ESPN Leagues)
Bregman is the poster child when it comes to the expended roles thing I was talking about earlier. The Astros are definitely in the Wild Card race, but Bregman has been playing well enough since his call up to earn an everyday role either way. The infielder has scored seven runs on seven hits with four RBIs and two long balls in his last six games, appearing to be heating up at the right time. He can be slotted at a few different spots depending on how your league is formatted, so definitely add him if you can.
Randal Grichuk, STL OF (Owned in 32.2% of ESPN Leagues)
Grichuk relies on sending the ball out of the yard, similar to how Khris Davis operates. His .233 batting average won’t wow you, but if you have an open spot or play in a rotisserie league in which you need long balls, give this man a look. He has three multi-hit games in his past five outing as well as three dingers, and should be looking for consistent playing time in a less-consistent St. Louis outfield.
Russell Martin, TOR C (Owned in 63.9% of ESPN Leagues)
Russell Martin is a catcher’s catcher, meaning he does all the things fantasy-wise that you hope for from a backstop. You know he’ll hover at a .250 batting average, you know he’ll be good for approximately 20 home runs, and you know that you’re looking at the 70 RBI mark on the season. Martin checks all those boxes, and has surprising found himself as the 7th ranked catcher in ESPN fantasy leagues this season. It’s honestly a bit surprising that he’s available in over 35% of leagues, but hey, I’m here to tell you about these things.
Jedd Gyorko, STL UTIL (Owned in 45.5% of ESPN Leagues)
As someone who has added and dropped Mr. Gyorko about three times this season, hear me out. The dude can play any infield position you please, which skyrockets his value. Not to mention, this Swiss-army-knife sonuvabitch has been playing some good baseball as of late. He’s gone deep in four consecutive series and looks to continue his tear this week.
Dan Straily, CIN P (Owned in 57.8% of ESPN Leagues)
Dan Straily is on the bump tonight, so go pick him up right the eff now. The career journeyman has found a home in Cincinnati, somehow leading a Reds rotation that hasn’t been as bad as people thought they would. Did I mention he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since early July? Read that again. Did I mention he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since early July?
Alex Reyes, STL P (Owned in 27.0% of ESPN Leagues)
No, I’m not a Cardinals fan. But, you can’t ignore that they aren’t having the season they had hoped for and are relying on a ton of young talent to do, well, something. Alex Reyes is a perfect example of that something. The right-hander is one of the Redbirds top pitching prospects and just made his first start of the summer after several outstanding appearances in relief. In 14 innings this year, Reyes has allowed one run. One run. One run. That’s like a 0.64 ERA. How don’t you own him yet?
Rich Hill, LAD P (Owned in 77.7% of ESPN Leagues)
Hill isn’t under the radar in the sense that he’s wildly available (it would be phenomenal if he’s still available in your league), but he would be owned in every single league if people realized just how untouchable Hill has been this year. He’s 10-3 with a 2.09 ERA and just joined his new team after sitting on the DL in Oakland for over a month. The Dodgers are locked in the tightest divison race in the National League and will rely on Hill to fill in for the injured Clayton Kershaw. He was up to the test in his last start, blanking the Giants over six frames.
BONUS: A.J. Pollock, ARI OF (Owned in 70.3% of ESPN Leagues)
Pollock is one of the best in the game that was sidelined early with a bad injury. He’s returned months earlier than anyone could have predicted and has played well in his three games since coming off of the DL. If he’s somehow still available in your league, pick him up. It’s that easy.