At this point in the season, roto players are scratching and clawing through their categories looking primarily at the ones that have some shred of movement possibilities. Head to head owners are gearing up for their fantasy playoffs as their regular season is almost at a close. Whichever style league you find yourself in, it’s time to start focusing on the hitters that are swinging a hot bat right now, despite their overall value. The catching position is perfect for this. If you’re not sitting on one of the top five backstops out there, then chances are, the players you are using are relatively interchangeable with those that are sitting out on your waiver wire. So why not use the one with the hottest stick right now? If he starts to cool, you can probably find an easy replacement who is on the upswing for the final month then. Here’s a look at some of August’s hot bats behind the plate that may be useful at the moment.
Chris Iannetta, COL — After a virtual disappearing act for the month of July, Iannetta has picked up his game here in August, hitting .353 with a pair of home runs through 10 games. Sure, the .455 BABIP is probably unsustainable, but it doesn’t look like the drop-off is coming too soon; not with the Rockies about start a nine game homestand. Iannetta’s home/road splits tell it all: .326-9-33 at home/.150-3-8 on the road. He’s owned in just 13.1% of leagues on ESPN and in 23% in Yahoo, so if you’re not getting anything special from your current backstop, now is the perfect time to make the change.
A.J. Pierzynski, CHW — You may have to check his status for the week as he missed the weekend after getting hit on the wrist last Friday, but the feisty backstop from the South Side is riding a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .410 with one home run and six RBI in 11 games this month. The home/road splits aren’t as dramatic as those of Iannetta, but with the bulk of his production coming at home and the Sox about to host the next six at the Cell, this may be a great time to pick him up for the week. His power has greatly diminished this season, but he’ll still get plenty of RBI chances. If he can maintain a high batting average for you and provide a little bit of a boost, then is there much difference between him and Joe Mauer in the short run?
Kurt Suzuki, OAK – After a relatively quiet season, Suzuki’s bat has come to life here in August. He’s hitting .281 for the month and already has his usual two monthly dingers. Given his steady improvements since June, it’s hard to believe that he’ll stick on that production now — his SLG and OPS have dramatically increased, as well as a BABIP climbing back to normalcy. He’s also got some suspect pitching coming into town as well as a road trip involving some very favorable hitting parks ahead, which certainly helps. He could be a nice change of pace if you’re sitting on an ice cold Miguel Olivo right about now.
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