Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Up-Stock Down article!
Well, thank God that's over. With the All-Star break in the rearview mirror, we can get back to what's important. While this is an odd month for small samples, we still have a job to do.
The home stretch is finally upon us. The playoff pictures are starting to take form in earnest, and the trade deadline looms overhead. As far as I'm concerned, it's Christmas in July. Every year someone who was largely an afterthought in the first half explodes and contributes to a championship team. With a little bit of luck, it'll be one of the guys below.
Now, without further ado, let's base jump into the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Up/Stock Down list!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Up-Stock Down
Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox
Jarren Duran has run hot and cold over the course of his career. As a bit-character in '21 and '22, he would have weeks of excellence, then bottom out and get demoted for an injury return. Coming into 2023, there were a lot of question marks around the stud athlete and his long-term viability.
As it currently stands, Duran has absolutely silenced the haters. The 26-year-old has a .317 average and a .883 OPS over the course of the season. He also has 17 steals and a 137 WRC+. He has taken full advantage of the opportunity to play every day, and even though he has had struggles this year, he is more than covering his losses.
As is typical of players in this article, Duran has had some good BABIP luck, but that means less here than usual. Duran is a freaky strong and freaky fast player who plays in one of the best hitting parks in baseball. While he may not have a .420 BABIP all season, it could fall 40 points and Duran would still be more than viable.
It’s only a matter of time until Jarren Duran leads all of MLB in doubles.
Freddie Freeman - 90 games started
Matt Chapman - 89 games started
Jarren Duran - 58 games started pic.twitter.com/pus7p0WJNV
— Steve Perrault (@Steve_Perrault) July 15, 2023
Duran has always been a little streaky, and he is on quite a hot one in July. He leads baseball with a 277 WRC+ for the month and has a 1.402 OPS. He may have his runs of bad luck here and there, but even if he finishes with a .280 average on the year, his ability to run and score should still float him when the bat is cool. If you can trade for Duran after his next little run of cold, I would. His ability to go nuclear is what wins championships.
Francisco Alvarez, C, New York Mets
Hand up, I was pretty down on Francisco Alvarez as a prospect. Sure, the power was there in spades, but I generally don't trust guys who have contact and discipline issues in the minors to pan out. Regardless of my personal trepidation, prospect sites refused to move him down their rankings. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why.
Well, I know now. After a brief adjustment period after his initial call-up, Francisco Alvarez is starting to emerge in earnest. Over 10 games in July, Alvarez has five home runs, a .343 AVG, and a 1.166 OPS. If you are waiting on me to reference his elevated BABIP, well, keep on waiting friend. Alvarez's July BABIP is a wacky .318. The dude is just hitting the stuffing out of the baseball.
Francisco Alvarez leads catchers in homers despite only playing 69 of 94 games. He has an .834 OPS and is on pace for 33 HRs and 67 RBIs despite the missed time, which would be 45 HRs and 92 RBIs over 162 games. Just unreal catcher production at age 21.
— Beyond The Data (@BeyondTheData) July 19, 2023
While he is hot right now, Alvarez does own a pretty paltry season line of .236/.292/.505. The average and discipline still need some work, but the power is very real and here to stay. If he just hits his season line for the rest of the year, he could very realistically hit 30 home runs in an abbreviated rookie year. That is someone to circle now and going forward, regardless of growing pains.
Bailey Ober, P, Minnesota Twins
Coming into 2023, I did not expect Bailey Ober to be more than a matchup-dependent streaming option. He showed the capability to get decent results in 2021 and 2022, but he never exactly dazzled. His career K/BB rate of 19% never lit my world on fire, and he seemed to be sort of a less trustworthy Kyle Hendricks.
Enter 2023. Ober kicked off the season by posting a 1.59 ERA through the first month. That fell off a little bit in May and June to a still respectable 3.1 and 3.3. Then the calendar flipped to July and so far Ober has been absolute nails. He has a .69 ERA over two starts this month and is striking out a batter an inning. For the year, he has a 2.61 ERA and a .97 WHIP. Those rank 3rd and 6th, respectively in the league.
An outstanding rebound by Bailey Ober to deliver six solid innings.
After allowing six first-inning hits, he exits with seven hits allowed, three runs and five strikeouts. #MNTwins up 8-3 w/ two on, two outs in B7.
— DanHayesMLB (@DanHayesMLB) July 19, 2023
While a 2.61 ERA feels a little gaudy for a pitcher of Ober's caliber, he is doing some things that back it up. He limits hard contact at an excellent rate, leading to a lot of weak fly balls. Ober is a bit of an extreme fly ball pitcher, which can be alarming, but I don't expect crazy home run regression. His weak contact rate, expected stats, and peripherals all show that there is more skill than luck in the season Ober has turned in so far, and there may be more to come.
Reid Detmers, SP, Los Angeles Angels
Well, the Reid Detmers Renaissance was fun while it lasted. After showing signs of a mini-breakout in June with a 2.05 ERA, Detmers has seemingly lost all of his mojo.
In the three starts he has made in July, Detmers is sporting a 7.63 ERA. He has a 5.96 FIP, so he has gotten a smidge unlucky, but not enough to be an excuse. What is kind of odd is that his other peripherals are all relatively in line with where they were when he was good in June. His strikeout rate is still high, and even with the walks, his 1.3 WHIP is more in line than you would expect with a seven ERA.
Although I really wanted to believe in Detmers, enough is enough. The fact that some of his numbers aren't that scary is very scary to me. Detmers is remarkably two-pitch heavy, and that makes it exceedingly difficult for him to get through the rotation the third time. His ERA the third time through the order for 2023 is 10.13. The first and second time through are 2.75 and 3.72, for reference. He can have an incredible start to a game, and he often does. Unfortunately, the wheels are all but guaranteed to come off. At this point in the season that is not a usable piece on a competing roster.
Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
This is a new first: a player is appearing in back-to-back articles in the same section. Sure, I wrote about 500 words detailing Varsho's less-than-awesome showing in the first half just last week, but his July-only performance deserves acknowledgment too.
For the month of July, in the year of our lord 2023, Daulton Varsho has a -20 WRC+. Negative twenty. You, dear reader, have been more beneficial to the Blue Jays offense this month than he has.
I don't want to say something is clearly wrong because that would imply that I think he is overall fixable and not a .230 hitter at heart. However this particular low certainly cannot last, and it doesn't feel bold to say that Varsho will at least be better than a literal zero the rest of the season.
Thanks for reading the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Stock Up-Stock Down. Be sure to check out more Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!