CLIFTON PARK, NY – Like the MLB, the fantasy baseball season has entered the second half as well.
And with the fantasy baseball trade deadline a mere two and a half weeks away, I thought I’d do another update on which players you should make a move for, stay away from and a dark horse worth investigating on the waiver wire.
Pitcher: Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs
The time is now to trade for Jose Quintana. Move now or it might be too late.
The trade across town is the best thing that could have happened for the should-be-ace. Now with the Cubs, Quintana will have more opportunities to win games, be pitching in the pitcher-friendly National League and just be more confident now.
Heck, he went from a cellar dweller to the reigning World Series champs. If that doesn’t boost morale and turn around his disappointing start to the season, I don’t know what will. You saw some early evidence over the weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.
Quintana has top-10 starting pitcher potential.
Infielder: Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco Giants
Like Quintana, there is also time running out to trade for Eduardo Nunez. The former all-star will score runs and keep his batting average up the rest of the way, but the most important aspect of Nunez’s game is his capability to steal bases at a high rate.
Nunez had 17 steals before we went on the DL and has the potential to steal 20 more before the season is done. That is important.
In a year when you can get power from almost anywhere, stolen bases are hard to come by. But you have to move now. Nunez hasn’t stolen a base since his return from the DL, and when he does his fantasy owner will feel less inclined to trade him.
Outfielder: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
The last time I wrote my fantasy baseball column, Starling Marte was included. He isn’t back from his suspension yet, making his asking price somewhat lower than normal. But remember, the longer you wait the higher his price goes. He returns from suspension this week, too.
Marte had 47 stolen bases and a .311 batting average last season. There’s no reason to believe he can’t duplicate that in a second half.
Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez hasn’t been terrible this season, but he definitely isn’t what he once was and is a borderline top-50 starter. There’s a chance that you’ll be able to trade to King Felix on his name alone.
Infielder: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
Trevor Story is in the midst of a massive slump, so I’m not quite sure what you’re going to get back for him, but I’d float him out there in your league. Maybe someone will bite on his name? Sort of like Felix Hernandez.
There’s a real chance Story gets taken out of the starting lineup in the near future, so you want to be ahead of the game.
Outfielder: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees.
Hear me out. I am in no way panicking about Aaron Judge. But if you were to sell him, this is the time to do so. He has a really high price tag and you’ll be able to get a great haul.
Chances are pretty good he won’t hit over .300 the rest of the season. The power will certainly be there, but I have a hard time believing he’ll get on base at the rate he’s at right now. I’m pretty sure Judge has gotten on base at least once in like 42 straight starts. Pretty impressive.
DARK HORSE: Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers was called up to Triple-A this past weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his big-league promotion is in the near future.
The Red Sox need a third baseman. Devers is really good.
His call-up will come in time. If you can afford the open roster spot he’s worth the add.
One Final Take: For those of you who complain about playing fantasy baseball and that it’s too time-consuming, play in a weekly league. It’s the same exact thing as fantasy football. You set your lineup once.