2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up-Stock Down

by Matthew Rosser
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up-Stock Down

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up-Stock Down article!

We are almost to the two-month mark of the season, and this past week I got a text from a league mate. He wanted to know if I would join a Dynasty NFL league he was starting. The audacity it takes to bring up football before July 4th... That's against the Geneva Convention you know. Semi-related, this league mate, and dear friend, is in 10th place and four games under .500 this year in baseball.  He doesn't read these articles. Don't be like my friend.

Now, without further ado, let's hop into the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down list!

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up-Stock Down

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Andrew Heaney, SP, Texas Rangers

In his first start of the year, Andrew Heaney gave up seven runs in 2.2 innings. he looked absolutely lost, and it was easy to write him off for the season after just one start.

If you held onto the late-round pitcher after that one abysmal outing, congratulations. Over his next eight starts has turned in an excellent 2.98 ERA. He is limiting hard contact at an elite level and is striking out players at a very sustainable clip of 9.75 K/9.

Heaney has always been somewhat of a strikeout artist in the past but he also allowed league-worst hard contact in 2022. So far in 2023, it looks as though he has been locating his fastball up in the zone while staying low with his changeup and slider and altogether avoiding the heart of the plate.  This is a similar approach to what Blake Snell famously did on his way to winning the Cy Young Award.

Now, I'm not saying Andrew Heaney is going to be winning any awards this year. However, the pitching philosophy we're seeing him employ has proven results. If the 31-year-old can manage to keep doing what he is doing, he will be a three-category contributor and points league diamond-in-the-rough.  Since his season ERA is 4.13, the current owner may not be as attuned to how good he's been recently.  If you can get him for a good price, you won't regret it.

Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Washington Nationals

Since becoming a full-time player in 2018, Jeimer Candelario has turned in as many bad seasons as he has good ones. That means very little on its face, but trust me, he is a weirdo.

Since 2018, he has turned in a good season almost exactly as good as his bad years were bad. A 2019 WRC+ of 73? Follow that with a 140 WRC+ in 2020. 120 WRC+  in 2021? How about an 80 WRC+ in 2022?  This is so weirdly consistent, that after almost 6 years of ping-ponging between "very" and "un-" usable, his career WRC+ sits at a resounding 100.

Right now, Candelario is slashing .269/.323/.457 with a 110 WRC+.  Not only is this sustainable according to his peripherals, but it would also almost perfectly offset his 2018 WRC+ of 93.  He is not the flashiest player in the world, but he has a full-time job in Washington and is durable enough to provide a good floor at a shallow position.  Pick up Candelario where you can and ride the wave.

Christopher Morel, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs

You thought I was better than this? No way Jose. You aren't going to get through this article without my 200-word opinion on the North Side's nuclear bomber.

Since being recalled to the big-league club Morel has hit a whopping 10 home runs in 12 games. He has a .333 average and a .957 slugging percentage. While this pace is clearly unsustainable, it cannot be denied the 23-year-old has insane pop.

When he got called up in May of 2022, Morel went on a less hot, albeit more sustainable tear. Over his first 40 games, he hit for a .283 average with seven home runs. Overall, good enough for a very respectable 137 WRC+.  Unfortunately, his 30% strikeout rate caught up to him, and he dramatically decreased production over the following months.  He finished the season with sixteen home runs, a .235 average, and a .741 OPS.

Back to 2023 and that unsustainable pace.  Morel currently has a 50% HR/FB ratio and is striking out 38% of the time.  He also has a .450 BABIP  (For the unaware, home runs don't factor into BABIP.) So currently, Morel is playing drastically over anyone's head in both the power and contact arenas.  He is a three-true outcomes hitter in the sense that he either homers, hits, or strikes out.  If that archetype sounds weird, it's because it largely doesn't exist. Morel's BABIP will certainly come down, and his K rate has no reason to come down. Morel is fun, but he is fool's gold. You can view him as an orange to juice every drop of, or sell him immediately for a legitimate top-30 player.

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Stock Down

Brady Singer, SP, Kansas City Royals

After a breakout 2022 season in which he posted a 3.23 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 153 innings, many had high hopes for Brady Singer coming into his age-26 season. The former first-rounder appeared ready to step into an ace role for the Royals and lead the rotation.

After 10 starts in 2023, it seems as though the breakout has ended. So far, Singer has an ERA of 7.48 and a 6.79 xERA. He has a whopping .298 BAA and has seen his K-rate drop to below 20%.

Statcast pages are far from a one-stop shop for analysis, but there hasn't been a Singer this blue since Eiffel 65.  If you are in a keeper league and held onto the 26-year-old, you can be forgiven for giving him one more start, but it is do or daba-die in Kansas City now.

Taylor Ward, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Taylor Ward burst onto the scene in 2022 after toiling away in a bit role for the last four years. In 2022, he had a .281 average and a .833 OPS. He also hit 23 home runs and had a 137 WRC+. The success was largely due to his above-average plate approach, and his ability to barrel up almost everything. His combination of contact, power, and speed made him an intriguing option in the outfield going into drafts this year.

So far in 2023, the Ward of Yesteryear is nowhere to be found. His average has plummeted to .227 and he has a .623 OPS through the first month and a half of the season. Yes, Ward's BABIP is down, but it isn't as out of line as you would think. The issue is that he just simply is not barreling the ball up anymore and it is affecting all of his numbers negatively. His barrel rate has been cut in half, causing his ISO to drop nearly 100 points, and his groundball rate to peak. All of these numbers play into his career-worst slugging percentage of .320.

Taylor Ward may be one mechanical adjustment away from unlocking the power we've seen in the past, but as of right now, I would look to trade him to someone that can afford to wait on him.

Thanks for reading the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up-Stock Down. Be sure to check out more Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!

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