While the NFBC Main Event garners most of the attention, there are a handful of leagues with even a larger entry fee ($2.5K to $15K). They get originally named “High Stakes Leagues” and this year there are nine of them. With so much money on the line, these fantasy managers are going to try to gain any advantage. Most of the time, these managers will be a week or two ahead of everyone else on their adds. Here are the players and some information on the ones added in five or more of these leagues.
Max Meyer (9), Esteury Ruiz (9), and Kyle Finnegan (9): These three adds should have not been a surprise to anyone. Meyer and Ruiz both started the week in the minors before getting promoted while Finnegan was handed the Nats closer’s role after Tanner Rainey was lost for the season.
Ramón Urías (8): Urias grabbed these managers’ attention when he hit two home runs on Friday. Since coming off the IL, he is hitting .385/.429/.667 with 3 HRs in 42 PA. He’s started in nine of the last ten games. Also, he’s helpful in that he’s qualified at three positions (2B, SS, 3B).
His strikeout rate is the difference maker since returning. It was at 26% K% in 2021 and before the injury but down to 7% K% since coming back.
Besides the improved strikeout rate, nothing has changed. Urias is a fine bench bat.
Austin Slater (8): Since Slater is on the short side of a platoon, there are just a few weeks when he’s rosterable. The upcoming series against the Dodgers is one of those few instances with three of the four projected starters being left-handed. So far this season, he’s hitting .308 .402 .484 with 2 HR and 5 SB against lefties.
Just looking back at his 306 PA from last season, he had 12 HR and 15 SB. Slater’s production should not be a surprise.
Jean Segura (7): The adds for Segura are pretty savvy. He is expected to come off the IL in a couple of weeks.
– Jean Segura is progressing well. He’s hitting in the cage, taking ground balls. Throwing is still an issue but he’s throwing to get his arm going. No time table yet.
– Now that JoJo Romero is back, Thomson plans to use him in low leverage spots. They’re going to ease him in
— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) July 15, 2022
And with even missing some time, he’s the 20th ranked second baseman rest-of-season.
Before Segura was hurt, he was having a productive and balanced season with 6 HR, 8 SB, and a .275 AVG in 179 PA. That’s definitely playable. The only item in his profile on him that seems out of wack is the eight steals. His totals for him over the past three seasons (2019 to 2021) are 10, two, and nine. I could see him not try for as many steals, especially with the bad finger.
Ozzie Albies (6): Albies is another add where managers are hoping for a late August return.
Where is Ozzie Albies in his rehab from a fractured foot?
He’s at 75 percent weight-bearing. We’re probably looking at mid- to late-August or worst case the beginning of September.
Going back to Segura’s rest-of-season rankings, Albies is ranked second for the rest of the season.
Albies was a disappointment before heading on the IL with his .694 OPS being down almost 100 points compared to his career mark (.791). His power from him was down across the board as seen with a career-low .161 ISO and 26.5% HardHit%. Also, he was on pace for just 10 SB which would be a major disappointment after he stole 20 last season. His Sprint Speed and Time to First values are career-worst values. He was definitely struggling.
Back in Spring Training, I have missed a game with general soreness. I wonder if the injury was more substantial and he was playing through it until he fractured his foot. The hope is that the time off will allow him to get 100% healthy.
Adam Frazier (6): The reason for adding Frazier isn’t obvious and he might be part of the 14-Day Club.
The 14-Day Club works like this. On the NFBC website, there is an option to view available hitters by the last seven, 14, and 30 days of stats. The 14-day time frame can be promoted by at-bats (I’d prefer PA, but not an option) to see who is playing. It’s a nice shortcut to find out if anyone has been playing more. This past Sunday, Frazier was near the top of the list in plate appearances and his stats stick out (.366 / .372 / .463 with 1 HR and 1 SB). All that paired with his dual-position eligibility made him a cheap and decent add. I wonder if Ramon Urias might be in the same club. It’s just a theory at this point but it seems to apply to many hitters.
Going back to Frazier, he has been playing (started last nine of the last 10 games), but he might be in a platoon since he’s sat against four of the last five lefty starters. At least Frazier is scheduled to face three righties this upcoming weekend.
There are no fundamental positive changes to Frazier’s profile. Just looking at trends, his power is constant and his plate discipline has been garbage (1 BB in July). The “breakout” is from a .341 BABIP.
No players were added five times, so here are the profiles on a couple of guys added in four leagues.
Joey Bart (4): Bart has been off my radar for a couple of seasons. He has been striking out a ton in the majors (41% K% in 257 career PA).
The 25-year-old started out the season with a .596 OPS and 45% K% until he was demoted to AAA in early June. He was decent in the minors hitting .286/.355/.393 with just a 19% K%.
Since he got promoted in July, his profile hasn’t changed with a 38% K% and a .400 BABIP leading to a .276/.344/.552 triple slash line.
Usually, when a hitter’s strikeout rate is fine in AAA but then struggles in the majors, it’s because they can’t hit a certain pitch type (eg rising fastballs, changeups). Bart misses on everything including sinkers (15% Swstr%). Just ignore him until he makes a fundamental change.
Brian Anderson (4): Anderson seems like the replacement type player who is on-and-off rosters. I’ll do a quick mid-season profile for possible changes.
First of all, Anderson has stayed off the IL and started nine of ten games even with Jon Berti and Joey Wendle being third base options and way too many Marlin outfielders.
As for hitting, his .750 OPS this year is right in line with his career .768 value. The 29-year-old is not showing any more power or speed. His plate discipline from him is constant. No changes to his pull and groundball rates from him. Maybe he was the best available third baseman in the 14-Day Club.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism