We’re getting down to that time of year where, unless you’re talking keeper league, it’s all about picking up the guy swinging the hot bat with a relative disregard for the long term. If he keeps it up for a couple of weeks, then great, but no more worrying about small sample sizes or potential in the second half. This is it. So if you’re looking for some quick-fix help in your outfield, these guys just might fit the bill…
Nate Schierholtz |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 7.5% Yahoo – 5%
Bruce Bochy has a ridiculous number of interchangeable players at his disposal, but one of the few constants on the Giants right now is Nate Schierholtz’ playing time. It took a little while for Bochy to wrap his head around the need for better outfield defense, but once the light bulb went on, Schierholtz became a staple in right field. While a reduction in playing time was expected with the arrival of Carlos Beltran and a shift to left, Schierholtz still maintained the lion’s share of the work. Now, with Beltran officially landing on the disabled list, he’s got right field all over again. Sure, he’ll rest every now and again, as Bochy tries to get all of his veterans some playing time, but more often than not, Schierholtz will get the starts.
His numbers may not be the flashiest, but Schierholtz can provide some steady production for you with a nice blend of both speed and power. His .162 ISO may be a bit high, but in looking at his minor league totals, it’s not terribly outlandish. He hits for a solid average, doesn’t strike out at an alarming rate, can stretch a single to a double when he needs to, and while his 63.6 SB% may not be the best in the world, he’ll still be given the green light if needed. He’s a solid 5th or 6th outfielder in roto leagues, and head to head folk in daily leagues will have a nice guy to move in and out of the outfield the rest of the way. Once Beltran comes back, the Giants’ outfield will clutter up again, so take advantage of his playing time now.
J.D. Martinez |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 14.7% Yahoo – 4.0%
When the Astros began trading off their team, a door opened up for both you and Martinez. He gets promoted from Double-A and garners regular playing time and you get a barely owned outfielder who can provide you with some decent pop late in the season. Since his call-up, Martinez has hit .254 with 4 home runs 15 RBI in just 17 games (68 plate appearances), and while that average may seem a little low, it’s only going to get better as his .267 BABIP should steadily climb closer to .300 over the next month. His .270 ISO mark is obviously high, but his minor league totals dictate that the power is real and he should continue to produce.
Similarly to Schierholtz, Martinez should be a solid “fill in the gaps” type outfielder at this point in the season. With the head to head playoffs beginning soon, Martinez is just getting warmed up and should be a great option to move in and out of your lineup on a daily basis when he hits his stride in the coming weeks. In shallow leagues that have 10-12 teams, he probably won’t be your first option, but he definitely has value as a bench option. For roto leagues, he’ll be a nice choice moving forward as the regular playing time with improved offensive production is exactly what you need at this time of the year.