Fantasy Baseball: Brendan Rodgers and other batting trends

·4 min read

I know it’s easy to say “arbitrary endpoints,” but I like culling stat leaders from the last 30 days. It’s a thick enough sample that you can often find worthwhile fantasy baseball trends, and it neatly separates a player’s current form from the story his seasonal stats might want to tell you.

Granted, in many instances, we want to trust the larger sample. But there’s something to be said for shifting roles, shifting approaches, and (this is hotly debated) who’s clicking at the moment. You can find smart minds on both sides of the hot hand debate.

Anyway, Brendan Rodgers stormed to the front of Thursday’s column, clocking three homers as the Rockies finished off the Marlins. The final one was a walk-off job, depressing anyone who put save-chasing offers on Cole Sulser last weekend. It’s the first time Rodgers has really shown his pop this year, upping his homer count from two to five.

But the form, it couldn’t be much better. Rodgers now has a 19-game hitting streak, and over the past month he’s batted .354, with 21 runs and 18 RBI. All of his homers have come in this segment, washing out a nightmare April (.078/.172/.098).

Perhaps it’s time for a breakout year from Rodgers, 26, who was the third overall pick in the 2015 draft. He hit 15 homers and batted a strong .284 in 102 games last year. And his game hans’t been adversely boosted from Coors Field — his career OPS is only 38 points higher in Colorado. Perhaps Wednesday is the thin-air spike we’ve all been waiting for. He's still available in 40% of Yahoo leagues.

Brendan Rodgers has been a fantasy baseball force over the last month. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers has been a fantasy baseball force over the last month. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Some other interesting offensive pulls over the last 30 days (don't miss Fred Zinkie's pitching takeaways from May):

Luis Guillorme batted .418 over this segment, with 10 walks against six strikeouts. It’s only a sample of 55 at-bats, but maybe the Mets need to find more for him to do. Guillorme qualifies at three different Yahoo slots, second, short, and third. He's available in over 85% of Yahoo leagues.

Luis Arraez is a noted contact god in Minnesota, and he’s at .403 over that past month. He’s walked 16 times, fanned just 10 times. It’s almost impossible to not be a great hitter when you control your at-bats this well, albeit Arraez offers almost zero power. He does qualify at four Yahoo spots (first, second, third, outfield).

Mookie Betts hit 13 homers, Aaron Judge 10. It felt like these guys homered every day. Betts also scored 30 runs and drove in 29, an absurd month. Paul Goldschmidt mashed against everyone (.398, nine homers, 32 RBIs).

Juan Soto still has a keen eye (22 walks, 18 whiffs), but he batted .198 for the month. Maybe he’s chasing too much, as opponents don’t want to challenge him and Soto doesn’t want to turn into a player who does little more than walk in key spots. Jose Ramirez has overcome a weak supporting cast in Cleveland, but Soto hasn’t been able to do it in the Capitol.

Mike Yastrzemski is part of platoon life in San Francisco, but when he plays, he’s still solid. He hit .310 for the month, with more walks than strikeouts. He also scored 20 runs. He's still available in 39% of leagues.

Kyle Schwarber keeps living that three true outcome life — five homers, 18 walks, 40 strikeouts. He batted .186 over the last 30 days. I wouldn’t wish Philadelphia’s terrible defense on anyone (Schwarber has played the outfield in 45 of his 49 starts).

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Brett Phillips has become a shiny fuzzy mascot in the media, but his bat didn’t work in May. He’s at .194 over the past 30 days, with five walks against 31 strikeouts.

— The Dodgers (169 runs), Red Sox (157 runs), and Mets (153 runs) separated themselves from the other offenses in baseball. Boston had the best average and slugging. The Mets were the third-hardest group to strike out. None of these teams run like crazy; the Dodgers were middle of the pack, the Mets below average and the Red Sox near the bottom.

If you wanted steals in May, the Cubs (32 bags), Rangers (26 swipes), and Athletics (21 steals) were your right answers. Long may you run, Christopher Morel.

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