Who are the hottest pickups in fantasy baseball leagues? Can you trust them on your fantasy baseball teams?
Agent Smith among his pursuers
Todd Frazier, 1B/3B/OF, Cincinnati Reds
- Last 15: .444 BA, 13 R, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB in 61 PA
Though reports say this repeat listing will lose playing time to Scott Rolen when Joey Votto (knee) returns from the disabled list, it's hard not to take the bet Dusty Baker will change his mind on letting the semi-youngster play. Indeed, the 26-year-old Rookie of the Year candidate has done little to warrant riding the pine, but there's at least an acknowledgeable chance that Baker will tip the scales toward Rolen's glove as Cincy moves closer to the postseason.
Frazier's positional flexibility could keep other PT doors open, though, and Votto's timetable is unknown, though he's likely to return sometime next month. Don't let Frazier sit unclaimed because of a future decision that might not happen.
Jaime Garcia, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
- 8/19: 2 R (0 ER), 5 H, 10 K in 8 IP
Not a bad return from the DL: He didn't walk a Pittsburgh Pirate, either. Expecting that K load every time out is a pipe dream, but the southpaw seems to be over his early-season shoulder woes and stands to be an impact arm down the stretch.
Brett Anderson, SP, Oakland Athletics
- 8/21: 1 ER, 4 H, 6 K in 7 IP
Not a bad return from the DL, Part Deux: The Minnesota Twins will boost anyone's chances of domination, but one scout noted Anderson looked particularly sharp when he "carved them up" with his curveball and changeup He didn't walk a batter. Typically, returnees from Tommy John surgery regain control last, however, so expecting some stumbles the rest of the way would be wise.
But he's lost about 20 pounds since last year, which might aid his transition back into the ace-like form he's teased for so long while his health stuck out its tongue at the fantasy community. Any A's arm, especially one with his K-grounder combo, deserves your attention.
Kris Medlen, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Last 5: 4 W, 0.83 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 29 K in 32 2/3 IP
It's the second straight week he's been hotly pursued. Sure, his left-on-base percentage in his five starting rubber toes stands at 94.6 percent, but that doesn't take away from his skills. Atlanta has employed a six-man rotation for a reason, and Medlen has seized his opportunity so emphatically that the Bravos won't chop him anytime soon.
Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Last 46: .319 BA, 31 R, 11 HR, 39 RBI in 177 PA
He made the list last month and has continued that momentum. Even during an early-month power drought, he kept making contact. Jones is in a groove because he's experiencing positive in-play fortune when going the opposite way; he's been hitting flies to left most of the time.
Maybe he's learning how to do it effectively, but the ratio of in-play hit types don't back it up. Still, even if he cools soon, he'll remain a decent platoon play against right-handed pitching.
A holdover closer and a few resurgent bats await....
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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