Who are the hottest pickups in fantasy baseball leagues? Can you trust them on your fantasy baseball teams?
Norichika Aoki, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
- Last 18: .352 BA, 14 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 7 SB in 84 PA
We've touched on the merits of Aoki here and here. Many seem to have listened. Did you?
Chris Nelson, 2B/3B, Colorado Rockies
- Last 18: .348 BA, 12 R, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB in 72 PA
Some tinkering - a simple soft-toss session that focused on protecting the outside corner and bringing his feet closer together in the box - allowed Nelson to start clicking. The crack of his lumber is much louder nowadays.
He's typically much better at home, at least with his clip, and will have eight more games there. That precedes a three-game trip to Chavez Ravine next weekend and a trio of contests at Chase Field - nice schedule. Deep mixed leaguers might find him on their cheat sheets for next spring at this rate.
Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
- Last 2: 2 W, 0.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 12 K in 12 1/3 IP
For a spell, his position was "RP," which prompted many to drop him. A rough August caused him to get the boot, but his walk issues are back under control, and, as Nick pointed out, the righty has regained confidence in his fastball. Don't let someone else grab him.
Nate McLouth, OF, Baltimore Orioles
- Last 13: .357 BA, 12 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB in 69 PA
A mystery change to his approach helped McLouth rediscover the across-the-board talent that once had him as a viable fantasy resource. By the looks of things, his hacks have a smoother path to the strike zone.
His base thievery gives you more reason to hope he'll continue his raking. He's hitting atop a sometimes-awesome lineup that's making a postseason charge.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
- Last 20: .333 BA, 15 R, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB in 89 PA
In a year where Rizzo continues to figure out left-handed pitching and the rigors of an up-and-down full-season performance, he's finishing strong and hitting the ball with more punch (25.0 liner rate, compared to 13.4 in his sample last year).
Sure, the competition is thinned out a bit thanks to roster expansion. He still struggles versus southpaws, and his swing tends to get long once in a while, which increases his slump risk. But he's using Chicago's garbage time wisely and has the goods to be a mixed-league CI next year.
More repeat pickups....
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
Don't miss these great reports....