It’s time to dive into the free agent pool to make that last push into a money spot in your deep league. September is fast approaching and that’s when a ton of new options will pop up and make a case for significant playing time.
Donnie Murphy | 3B CHC | CBS 8% Owned
Ever since starter Luis Valbuena was placed on the DL with an oblique injury early this month, Murphy has become the every day third baseman for the Cubbies. The 30-year-old has been the definition of a journeyman, as the Cubs mark his fifth organization in his career. He has never received an opportunity for full-time play, and his career high at-bat total sits at just 132 back in 2007. So it’s likely that he has attracted little attention in your league. And while he has his warts — mainly a poor strikeout rate and a below average walk rate — he does bring one skill to the table, power.
His career ISO stands at .190 and he has been on fire in his 53 plate appearances this month, posting a ridiculous .519 wOBA with seven homers. Obviously, this type of pace cannot continue. Heading into yesterday, his HR/FB rate was about 35%, and that has risen even higher after last night’s bomb. The good news is that he’s hitting a ton of fly balls; over 50% of his balls in play have been lifted into the air. If you possess decent power, that’s a good recipe for lots of long balls. All those fly balls have a price though, which would explain his weak .262 career BABIP. I won’t pretend that he’ll contribute in batting average. But for deep leaguers in need of power at the keystone, he’s your man.
L.J. Hoes | OF HOU | CBS 5% Owned
You’s a Hoes (Hoes!). Ever since being acquired from the Orioles in the trade that sent Bud Norris packing, Hoes has become the regular right fielder for the Astros. He’s just the latest horse on the Houston carousel, as the Astros have now played 12 different players in the outfield throughout the season. The 23-year-old lacks any outstanding skill, which could make him an unexciting guy to roster. But, he’s the type of player who may be more valuable than he appears.
He possesses below average power, but not quite Ben Revereian, makes solid, albeit unspectacular, contact and has decent enough speed to offer some stolen base potential. He has already swiped four bags in five tries, but he’s been a rather poor base stealer during his minor league career. Although he has walked just once in his time with the Astros, he has shown pretty good patience historically, and if that reappears, he would make for an acceptable top of the order option. He is unlikely to wow you in any one category, but should contribute enough to earn surprising value in deeper leagues.
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