Fantasy Baseball: The Speedy Villar

There is a common theme in many of my leagues right now…. a need for speed. Now, that isn’t unusual but what is strange is that Jonathan Villar is unowned in 70% of ESPN leagues! With 11 steals on the season there is no one who is more threatening on the base paths right now. What makes this even more nuts is that Villar plays the worst position in fantasy, so the fact he isn’t owned everywhere baffles me.

In general, this week has felt quiet and I don’t think I will be majorly active on waivers other than trying to find a way to get Villar onto my teams, even if I have great shortstop options. There is some power available on the wire this week and there are some young upside pitchers that interest me greatly.

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For pitching streamers and two start options check out Ron and Damian’s articles this week and be sure to keep up to date with the latest news by listening to the 60 Feet 6 inches podcast.

I have tried to identify for each player here some guys who are owned in a greater percentage of leagues at their position that I would replace these guys with. If you have any specific questions be sure to get in touch with me, @benrolfe15, or for our whole team send your question to @60ftpodcast

For more help winning your fantasy baseball league check out Fake Pigskin’s 60 Feet 6 Inches podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

JT Realmuto, C, MIA:

He hasn’t done anything other than be a solid hitter this week, but as a catcher that is really all you need him to do to make him a top 10 option. Tough to say much more than that, really, but with the opportunities to bat high in the order he will end up out doing a lot of catchers just on volume alone.

Players I would drop for him: Stephen Vogt and any catcher not more owned than him on ESPN

Justin Bour, 1B, MIA

Bour has launched two home runs this week to take his season total to an impressive five to pair with a 0.283 average and 17 RBI. Bour is still sitting against some lefties but he seems to have a fairly good grip on the first base job for the Marlins right now. A really intriguing option on roto leagues.

Players I would drop for him: Tyler White, Joe Mauer

CJ Cron, 1B, LAA

Cron hit his third home run of the season Friday night and his second in just two weeks. He has really come around recently and has dragged his season average to 0.273. The power is there and Cron has legitimate 30-home run potential this season. I am picking him up this week for the potential hot streak that now may be coming and then looking to sell on him if he starts to cool off.

Players I would drop for him: Tyler White, Joe Mauer, Pedro Alvarez

Jonathan Villar, SS, MIL

Villar added three more steals this week and now has 11 on the season. He is walking a ton and the Brewers are giving him the green light to run at every opportunity whilst batting atop the order. There is legitimate 50-steal potential here and I think he should be owned in every league as he is right on the cusp of a top ten short stop.

Players I would drop for him: Alcides Escobar, Ketel Marte

Khris Davis, OF, OAK

Another two home runs this week for the Athletics’ slugger. His plate discipline still leaves a lot to be desired but the Athletics are just going to let Davis swing away and that should translate into some good power for fantasy owners. 30-plus bombs is a real possibility and there is potential for 40 if he can stay hot for any period of time.

Players I would drop for him: Nick Markakis, Angel Pagan, Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton

Mallex Smith, OF, ATL

Smith added two steals this week and as the Braves seem keen to keep playing him he should get plenty of opportunities to steal bases. I was concerned the Braves might consider sending Smith down if he struggled, but their commitment to him can only be a good thing in the long run for the speedy lefty. This is a guy I am willing to gamble on if I need speed.

Players I would drop for him: Leonys Martin, Rajai Davis, Nick Markakis, Angel Pagan, Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton


Image courtesy of USA today

Image courtesy of USA today

Alex Wood, SP, LAD

There has definitely been an adjustment for Alex Wood as he gone from struggling to strike people out to having 25 strikeouts in his last 18.1 innings. He has still given up six runs in that time but that is a vast improvement over the inconsistencies we saw earlier in the season. The start this week against St Louis could be an interesting one to see how much progression he has made.

Players I would drop for him: Shelby Miller, Garrett Richards, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Leake, Adam Wainwright

Tyler Duffey, SP, MIN

Duffey has given up five earned runs over 15.1 innings with 17 strikeouts so far this season. Pitching for the Twins has meant he is 0-2 so far on the year, but what we are seeing is really encouraging. This is a guy who should be owned in wayyyyy more leagues.

Players I would drop for him: Shelby Miller, Garrett Richards, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Leake, Chris Devenski, Michael Fulmer, Adam Wainwright

Matt Wisler, SP, NYM

Whilst not a strikeout pitcher, Wisler has been very good this season including shutting out the Dodgers and Mets over 14.2 innings. He has been rocked a couple of times but those were by the Cardinals and Red Sox, two of the best offenses in baseball right now, so that doesn’t give up huge red flags for me. Has his downside for roto in lack of strikeouts and for points leagues he will be punished with losses by pitching for the Braves.

Players I would drop for him: Shelby Miller, Garrett Richards, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Leake, Adam Wainwright

Once again be sure to check out Ron and Damian’s pitching articles over the weekend and subscribe, download and listen to the 60 Feet 6 Inches podcast for all the latest news and advice regarding pick-ups and streaming options for week two.

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