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Champ or Chump: David Hamilton, Blaze Alexander, Justin Foscue Fantasy Baseball Outlooks

David Hamilton - fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers prospects waiver wire pickups

If your fantasy roster needs middle infield help, injuries give you several options. David Hamilton should receive everyday run after Trevor Story dislocated his shoulder, Blaze Alexander is the beneficiary of Jordan Lawlar and Geraldo Perdomo going down in Arizona, and Justin Foscue was expected to get at-bats after Josh Jung broke his wrist.

With so many names, you might not be sure which way to go. All three are available in most leagues, so the decision won't be made for you.

Let's take a closer look at all three to figure out who should make the greatest fantasy impact in 2024.

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David Hamilton (SS, BOS) - 1% Rostered

Hamilton made an impact in his first AB with the team:

Hamilton's scouting report suggests his legs will make a greater fantasy impact than his pop, as illustrated below:

That looks like a guy who might steal bases and do nothing else, but Hamilton's MiLB performance suggests he could do more. First, he'll steal tons of bases. He swiped 70 bags in 78 attempts with Double-A (Portland) in 2022 for a 90% success rate, then added 57 in 71 attempts for Triple-A (Worcester) last season for an 80% success rate.

Second, Hamilton should hit more homers than his scouting report suggests. In 2022, he hit .251/.338/.402 with 12 homers in 531 PAs for Portland. His raw power wasn't great with a 7.2% HR/FB, but his 48.8 FB% was so high that he still cracked double digits. Hamilton repeated the trick in 2023, hitting .247/.363/.438 with 17 HR in 469 PAs for Worcester with a 14% HR/FB and 42.8 FB%.

Hamilton's fly-heavy profile helps with power but could hurt his batting average. His speed boosts his BABIP on grounders but won't help on flies. Hamilton also hit plentiful pop-ups on the farm, with a 26.5 IFFB% at Double-A and a 24% mark at Triple-A. Minor league IFFB% is calculated differently than MLB, so we must halve it for an MLB projection. It's still too many pop-ups for a guy like Hamilton.

Fortunately, Hamilton can offset some of that with strong plate discipline. He ran a 10.5 BB% against a 22.4 K% at Portland, showing both the ability to make contact and take a walk. Both traits held at Worcester, where Hamilton posted a 15.1 BB% and 23.2 K%. BB% and K% aren't always the whole story, but his 8.4 SwStr% at Double-A and 8.5% at Triple-A validate the performance.

Story is expected to miss a lot of time, giving Hamilton an extended opportunity to carve out a role. He also has experience at 2B and in the outfield, so it's not shortstop or bust for him. Hamilton is expected to hit ninth most of the time, a lineup role with little fantasy value. Still, the team's heavy hitters might give him some runs upside.

The potential of 50 steals with double-digit HR and an average that won't kill you should be rostered in more than 1% of leagues. He's a Champ.

 

Blaze Alexander (2B/SS, ARI) - 4% Rostered

Alexander is off to a strong start, slashing .286/.348/.429 with a homer and a steal over 23 PAs. His 30.4 K% isn't great though, and his scouting report doesn't suggest immediate fantasy upside:

Alexander is below-average at hitting, hitting for power, and speed: the three things fantasy managers care most about. His MLB.com scouting report identifies an even more troubling fact: a debilitating weakness to velocity. Alexander had a 30 SwStr% against in-zone fastballs in 2023, something nearly every MLB pitcher can exploit. His overall Z-Contact% of 78.1 inspires little confidence as well.

This scouting report stands in stark contrast to his MiLB performance, which has generally been strong. Alexander hit .306/.388/.539 with 17 HR and 10 SB in 363 PAs for Double-A (Amarillo) in 2022. His .383 BABIP will probably prove unsustainable, as will his 27% HR/FB. His 28.3 FB% was too low to project much power, and his plate discipline was rough with a 25.3 K% and 9.1 BB%.

Alexander spent the entire 2023 season at Triple-A (Reno), hitting .291/.408/.457 with eight homers and two steals across 305 PAs due to a broken thumb. His 30.1 FB% was still low, his .398 BABIP high, and his 16.3% HR/FB inflated by the infamous Pacific Coast League. His 27.2 K% was problematic even if his 13.8 BB% suggested plate discipline growth.

Arizona will be running Alexander out there for at least a month since they have no other options, giving him fantasy appeal in deep formats where playing time is king. If you're looking for quality, you should avoid this Chump. He lacks the tools to compensate for his swing-and-miss issues.

 

Justin Foscue (1B/2B/3B, TEX) 7% Rostered

Foscue has the most prospect pedigree on this list, but his immediate prospects aren't great. First, let's look at his scouting report:

Foscue offers excellent contact skills but no power, speed, or glove. The overall profile is reminiscent of Jeff McNeil: a guy who needs to pray to the BABIP gods for fantasy value since he doesn't offer much outside his average.

Foscue's MiLB performance is best described as meh. He first reached the High Minors in 2021 with Double-A (Frisco) and hit .247/.317/.387 with two homers in 104 PAs. He repeated the level in 2022 and hit .288/.367/.483 with 15 HR and three steals over 460 PAs.

Foscue made lots of contact with a 14.3 K%, but his .308 BABIP wasn't high enough to take advantage of the balls in play. Foscue had a 40.6 FB% and 33.1 IFFB%, giving him way too many harmless pop-ups that dragged his average down.

Texas promoted Foscue to Triple-A (Round Rock) for 2023 and he did virtually the same thing. He hit .266/.394/.468 with 18 HR and 14 SB. His 12.4 K% was outstanding, but his 39.5 FB% and 25.5 IFFB% helped limit his BABIP to .279. His BB% jumped from 9.8 at Double-A to 15.1, but the power was subpar for the PCL.

Foscue's fantasy value is contingent on his batting average, and he has a pop-up problem that limits his average. The Rangers also left him on the bench for the first three days after his call-up, suggesting he'll struggle to accumulate the ABs needed for average to matter. Foscue is a Chump.



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