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Breakout Hitters for Fantasy Baseball - MLB Batters Rising for Week 19

Brett Baty - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Prospects, Draft Sleepers, Wavier Wire Pickups

Welcome back to another edition of my "Breakout Hitters To Watch" series. What we're doing here is taking a good, close look at the hitting data each week to see which hitters are standing out the most.

At times this year, I have gone away from the "breakout" term to just highlight hitters that have been seeing boosts in their production in recent weeks. We have highlighted some established stud hitters, and that can certainly be strange to see in a "breakout hitters" piece. So I'll try to stick to the true "breakout" candidates this week as we find some interesting hitters to buy in on for the stretch run.

Before we get to the names this week, I've included a brief intro and also a recap of all the names we've talked about throughout the year in this weekly piece.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Fantasy Baseball Breakouts Recap

Here are all of the names I've recommended so far.

Week # Breakout Picks
Week 1 Julio Rodriguez, Steven Kwan, Kevin Smith, Bryson Stott
Week 2 Steven Kwan, Gavin Lux, Andrew Vaughn, Jesus Sanchez, Austin Nola
Week 3 Seiya Suzuki, Jeremy Pena, Alex Verdugo, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Rowdy Tellez
Week 4 Alec Bohm, Santiago Espinal, Taylor Ward, Cristian Pache
Week 5 Rowdy Tellez, Ha-Seong Kim, Max Kepler, Christian Walker, Pavin Smith
Week 6 Manuel Margot, Brandon Drury, Josh Naylor, Daulton Varsho, Gleyber Torres
Week 7 Brendan Rodgers, Yonathan Daza, Brandon Nimmo, Tommy Edman, Ryan Jeffers
Week 8 MJ Melendez, Kyle Isbel, Patrick Wisdom, Julio Rodriguez, Mike Yastrzemski
Week 9 Alejandro Kirk, Nolan Gorman, Christopher Morel, Joc Pederson, Garrett Cooper, Emmanuel Rivera
Week 10 Andres Gimenez, Jazz Chisholm, Santiago Espinal, Harold Castro, Brendan Donovan, Ramon Urias
Week 11 Matt Chapman, Luis Garcia, Christian Bethancourt, Oscar Gonzalez, Luis Arraez
Week 12 Juan Yepez, Andrew Vaughn, Bobby Witt Jr., Michael Harris II, Gavin Lux
Week 13 Alex Kirilloff, Adley Rutschman, Isaac Paredes, Josh H. Smith, Matt Vierling, Victor Caratini
Week 14 Ryan Mountcastle, Cavan Biggio, Nick Gordon, Daniel Vogelbach, Rob Refsnyder,
Week 15 Vinnie Pasquantino, Kris Bryant, Yermin Mercedes, Yadiel Hernandez
Week 17 Josh Rojas, Carlos Santana, DJ LeMaheiu, Ezequiel Duran
Week 18 Jose Miranda, Nelson Velasquez, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Santander, Lars Nootbaar, Carson Kelly
Week 19 Darick Hall, Tyler Naquin, Seth Brown, Nick Gordon, Elehuris Montero

 

Breakout Picks for the Week 19

Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals

We have seen a rush of minor league call-ups in recent weeks, and none have been more effective than Meneses. After spending a good portion of his twenties in the Japanese League, Meneses came back state-side to join the Nationals organization. He hit .286/.341/.489 in AAA to earn him the call-up to a hurting Nats offense. Since getting the call, Meneses has hit .356/.396/.689 with five homers in just 48 plate appearances at the highest level.

So we have a 30-year-old guy who is putting up the best numbers of his career against the toughest pitchers – it's not something that's likely to continue to anywhere near this degree, but that doesn't mean he needs to be written off entirely.

The most impressive thing Meneses has done this year is put up a great stat duo of an 82.4% contact% and a 13.5% barrel rate. It's really not easy to do these two things at the same time, although it would be a whole lot more convincing if over 150 plate appearances instead of 50.

 

You see his impressive standing on the Contact% vs. Brl% scatter plot since the call-up. He's hit the ball very hard (45.9% Hard%) and has earned himself a .406 xwOBA.

I want to stress again that it's really unlikely that his production continues anywhere near this level. We just don't see guys come up to the majors and beat their minor league numbers, which is what Meneses has done in every regard – so you're going to see some come-down here, but he is looking like a guy that can put together power and contact ability at the same time – which not every hitter can say for themselves.

 

Brett Baty, New York Mets

I'm writing this before Baty even sees a pitch in the major leagues, but it's good to get ahead of some of these guys. All Baty has done this year is lead the entire Mets organization in OPS.

 

Mets System OPS Leaders, 400+ PA

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Brett Baty 415 .311 .407 .524 .931
Pete Alonso 490 .278 .357 .534 .891
Francisco Alvarez 411 .249 .355 .507 .862
Francisco Lindor 503 .270 .348 .451 .799
Alex Ramirez 448 .278 .348 .443 .791

It's hugely important to note that most of that sample (389 plate appearances of it) came from AA ball, which is a far cry from the major leagues, but Baty couldn't have done much more than he's done this year. It will be interesting to see how his playing time shakes out in this loaded Mets offense, but he's worth a grab right now if he's sitting there for the taking.

 

Kerry Carpenter, Detroit Tigers

Another guy that hit his way into the major leagues, Carpenter went for a 1.025 OPS in 400 plate appearances between AA and AAA. He pounded 30 homers in 400 PA's there, and that earned him a call-up to the Majors.

 

2022 Minor League Home Run Leaders

Player Affiliate PA HR
Moises Gomez STL 396 32
Kerry Carpenter DET 400 30
Alexander Canario CHC 424 29
Tristan Gray PIT 359 28
Stone Garrett MIA 426 28
Nicholas Northcut BOS 375 28
Jhonkensy Noel CLE 396 28

 

Carpenter has wasted no time adding to his season total, homering twice in his first 21 Major League PAs. Those homers were against Zach Plesac and Eli Morgan, so not exactly next-level studs, but encouraging to see the power transfer this early on.

The reason for hesitancy is the 38% strikeout rate we've seen from him, but he's added a 14% BB% to that and has kept the chase rate to a league-average 29%, so there's some hope that he can improve on that (his K% in the minors was 23%).

 

Emmanuel Rivera, Arizona Diamondbacks

We talked about Rivera way back in week nine as he was putting up some pretty impressive Brl% and K% numbers with the Royals. Now he has been traded to the Diamondbacks, and that has been a boon for his fantasy value.

In 55 plate appearances since the All-Star Break, Rivera is hitting .300/.364/.600 with four homers, a 14.3% Brl%, and a 76% contact%. The strikeout rate is up to 27% in that time, but it may just be a consequence of the things giving him a power boost. With the Diamondbacks, Rivera has been hitting in the top three of the order quite often and has slashed .324/.410/.765 with four homers in just 39 plate appearances.

If we take a step back and look at the full season sample, Rivera has a .346/.300/.448 line with a 22% K%, a 10.2% Brl%, and a 76.7% contact rate. The .324 xwOBA shows more of an average hitter than a good one, but you can see the really strong combination of barrels and strikeouts there.

A change of scenery and a push upwards in the batting order may prove to be a very good thing for Rivera, who clearly has some talent at the age of 26.

 

Josh Jung, Texas Rangers

We are eagerly awaiting the call-up for Jung, who was poised to make the team out of Spring Training as the team's everyday third baseman but then need surgery to repair a torn labrum. His recovery was incredibly fast and he's been playing games in the minors for a couple of weeks now.

He has not missed a beat, hitting .320/.404/.800 in 57 plate appearances with seven homers and a steal. This is a follow-up to the elite .348/.436/.652 line he put up in 156 PA's in AAA last year, so the ceiling seems quite high. The 24-year-old should be making his major league debut soon, and there's no lack of talent here. I would be ready to add him as soon as you hear he gets the call.

 

And that's it for this week's breakout picks, hope this helps. Good luck this week, RotoBallers!



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