2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 25 Stock Report: The Finale

by Jonathan Chan
2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 25 Stock Report

The Fantasy baseball season is coming to an end. Most owners have checked out, leaving waiver wires filled with solid options for playoff teams to add. For owners still in the championship game, it becomes a matter of picking and choosing which players to add.

If I had to look back at this Fantasy season, the first thing that pops into my head is injury. At one point I think I had six or seven players on the DL. Of course, 2017 will also be known as the year the Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger emerged as stars. Personally, my favorite storyline this season has been J.D. Martinez in Arizona. His absolutely monstrous performance since being traded to the D'Backs has been so much fun to watch. My one hope is that he re-signs with them so I can continue seeing Just Dongs in the dry air.

As most standard leagues are playing the championship week, this will be the last Stock Report of the season. Hopefully. you have found my opinions useful. I'll be picking up the "Fantasy Football Drop List" for players making the switch.

On to the Stock Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 25 Stock Report: The Finale

Stock Up

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox

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Moncada had a rough start to his major league career. He as struggling with his plate discipline, striking out in over 35% of his at-bats. His average was .100 through his first 50 plate appearances and owners were hitting the panic button. In an absolutely SHOCKING turn of events, the top prospect in baseball made adjustments after a short slump to start his career.

Moncada's September splits have been much improved, as he's slashing .327/.400/.551 this month. He's making contact with the ball much more often as his K% has decreased by over 10% in the last month. Amidst his hot streak, he became the youngest player since Mike Trout to reach base six times in one game. He has also recorded three multi-hit games in his last seven.

Moncada credits his improvement to a switch to lighter bats. He mentions that he feels much lighter and more fluid in his swing. Teammate Jose Abreu suggested he make the change, and any advice coming from a hitter like Abreu should be taken seriously. Late in the season, Moncada is flashing the skills that make him one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. His ownership (25% in ESPN) plummeted during his slump. As a result, Moncada is a must add in all formats.

J.A. Happ, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Over the last few seasons, Happ was always on the cusp of being a consistentt Fantasy starter. However, walks and a mediocre arsenal always relegate him to streamer status. At this point in the season, Fantasy owners are looking for any streamers who can provide useful stats without getting blown up. For the last little while, Happ has been that player.

Over his last four starts, Happ has posted three quality starts. He's surrendered just six runs over his last 24 innings pitched resulting in a 3-0 record. He's walked fewer batters with each start while maintaining a decent strikeout rate. Playing for the Jays, Happ won't enjoy a ton of run support. However, he's pitching well enough that he will be plenty of help for owners in quality start leagues.

Happ's next start will come on Thursday against the Royals, whose offense ranks 24th in the league in runs scored. Owners needing a stream in the semi-finals should take a long look at Happ, who is owned in just over 50% of leagues.

Scott Alexander, RP, Kansas City Royals

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When the season started I thought that Kelvin Herrera would be a top 10 closer this season. How wrong I was. Herrera was demoted to the minors for a short time and, despite being back with KC, is no longer in control of the ninth inning. Without Herrera at the back of the bullpen, Alexander has put himself at the top of the list for the Royals' new closer.

Before giving up two runs to the White Sox on September 13th Alexander had gone 17 straight appearances without giving up a run. He is striking out 7.5 batters per nine innings, and walking just over 3.5 per nine. Not the eye-popping numbers you would expect to see from a lights-out reliever. However, Alexander gets by on his extreme ground ball tendencies, as the 28-year-old is inducing 74% ground balls this season. No, that was not a typo. Alexander is about as safe as a pitcher can get, as he rarely give up the long ball (0.49 HR/9).

To get the edge in playoff matchups, many owners look to stream as many pitchers as possible. Owners who don't like risking mediocre pitchers can zig when their opponents zag. Instead of stockpiling strikeouts and wins/QS, owners can load up on relievers to shore up the SV, ERA and WHIP categories.

Stock Down

Hanley Ramirez, 1B, Boston Red Sox

With little time left in the season, it's time to drop anyone who can't be counted on to provide production. For most of the season, Ramirez has belonged in that category. Already dealing with ineffectiveness, Ramirez is now battling biceps inflammation, which has kept him out of four straight games.

Everything is down across the board for HanRam. He hit just .221 in July, and is down to .150 in September. He's walking in just 2% of his September plate appearances while enduring an 8% spike in strikeouts. There has been no indication of how long Ramirez will be out, but owners shouldn't be holding their breath for a triumphant return.

If he manages to make it back, he's still performed well below what is expected of a Fantasy first baseman. As I write this piece, Ramirez is still owned in 54% of ESPN leagues. If you're in the playoffs, Ramirez needs to be kicked off your roster immediately. He no longer has any value and his production can be replaced by anyone on waivers who has a pulse.

Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Glasnow has teased owners with his massive potential over the last few seasons. His fastball/curveball combination dominated Triple-A hitters. The big right-hander struck out over 10 betters per nine innings and has held an ERA under 2.00 in his two seasons in Triple-A. After struggling in the majors in 2016, Glasnow started 2017 in the minors to work on his control.

The walks continued to limit Glasnow's ceiling as he walked over 3.5 batters per nine innings in Triple-A. Despite his struggles, he was given a chance in the majors, predictably getting shelled to the tune of a 7.45 ERA in 12 starts. He was sent back to the minors in June, where he seemingly made massive strides. In 15 starts, he posted a 1.93 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 13.5 K/9. His walks were down to a manageable number as well. Last week he was called up to some buzz in the Fantasy community. Unfortunately, he was crushed by the Brewers, walking six and surrendering five runs in 2.2 innings.

Glasnow's stock has hit rock bottom in redraft as he struggles to adjust to the majors. Despite his strikeout upside, Glasnow should not be used as a streamer under any circumstances. In dynasty leagues, his value has also plummeted to it's lowest point in years.

Starlin Castro, SS/2B, New York Yankees

Owners had to wait a long time for Castro to return from his injury. After hitting the disabled list in late July, Castro was held out until late August before finally returning. In 20 games since returning, Castro is slashing just .244/.279/.366. Castro has been even worse in September, hitting just .211 while drawing zero walks.

Over the last week, he's recorded just two hits in his last 27 plate appearances. While Castro struggles, Joe Girardi has started to give him more regular rest in order to clear his head. Playoff teams cannot afford to wait out a slump this bad. Anyone with Castro in their starting lineup should take a look at the waiver wire for a more productive option.

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

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