Contact Rate Risers and Fallers - Week 24

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Welcome back, RotoBallers! Batting average is just one of many statistics fantasy owners must consider, but contact rate can also be telling of all-around success at the plate. A sudden increase or decrease in contact rate could signal the beginning of an extended hot or cold streak, leading to important waiver wire choices or start/sit decisions for fantasy baseball managers.

Each week we will look at a few players who are rising and falling in terms of contact and compare their previous week's contact rate with their season-long performance.

Here are some of the top contact rate risers and fallers for Week 24 of the fantasy baseball season.

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Contact Rate Risers

Michael Taylor (OF, WAS) 85% contact rate last seven days (+16%)

Maybe Taylor is proving that he isn't just a toolsy player, but he actually can hit for average as well. His contact rate on the season actually isn't higher than his career mark, but a .358 BABIP has helped him maintain a .274 average. Look further and his high strikeout rate (30.2%) also isn't much better than his usual numbers. It seems that he's simply having some good fortune in September, but is bound to regress. He's still worth using in mixed leagues for his power/speed numbers.

Matt Olson (1B, OAK) 83% contact rate last seven days (+12%)

Olson is crushing the ball at a high rate, thanks to an astronomical 37.8% HR/FB. As a rookie, it's tough to project exactly where his true talents lie in the Major Leagues, but it's probably safe to say he won't keep this pace up throughout next season. In terms of average, his career high is .282, which came in Rookie ball. That said, his .267 BABIP will probably stay about the same while some of those fly balls may translate into outs. Olson is a promising power prospect, but count on a batting average around .250 rather than the .300s he's putting up over the past month.

Christian Yelich (OF, MIA) 91% contact rate last seven days (+11%)

While the season stats don't look bad overall, it's been a slight letdown for those who thought Yelich would take the next step toward All-Star status in 2017. Instead, he's looking like just the third of the trio, as he's been overshadowed by teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, both of whom have had tremendous seasons. Yelich's trying to pick up the pace in September, with 15 hits in 40 at-bats (.375). He's batting .313 in the second half and has already matched his first half home run total with eight, so it appears he's made enough adjustments to put that sweet swing to its potential.

Jose Ramirez (2B, CLE) 95% contact rate last seven days (+8%)

He's pretty good. Let's just leave it at that. Actually, we should talk about the fact that he's only batting .154 in the past week despite leading his team offensively through a historic 20-game win streak. He did go 2-for-4 on Tuesday night, raising his season average to .309. Yeah, I think he'll be OK to keep in your lineup.

 

Contact Rate Fallers

Yasmani Grandal (C, LAD52% contact rate last seven days (-22%)

You can't blame Grandal for the Dodgers' sudden fall from grace, but he certainly isn't helping any. The backstop is still hitting for power, but has struggled to reach base throughout the second half with a .213 average and only six doubles. His 7.8% walk rate is nearly half as much as last year and is by far a career low. Much like the rest of his team, there is no way to justifiably explain the sudden drop-off, but it doesn't seem as if it will suddenly reverse course again in the next two weeks.

C.J. Cron (1B, LAA) 54% contact rate last seven days (-21%)

The roller coaster ride that is C.J. Cron's fantasy value has just gone over the peak and guess where it's headed? When he's on his game, nobody drives in runs in bunches like Cron (seriously). He's now gone five straight games without an RBI and has struck out in eight of his last 18 plate appearances. If you were along for the ride, it's time to jump ship. How's that for a mixed metaphor?

Carlos Gomez (OF, TEX) 61% contact rate last seven days (-10%)

Gomez is taking a much more aggressive approach lately, missing the ball at a higher rate but also creating more opportunities. While his strikeouts have increased in September, he's hitting .321 for the month with six extra-base hits in eight games. If you own Gomez, you'll always live with a high K rate and middling average, but he's showing that he's got some juice left in that bat.

Logan Morrison (1B, TB) 71% contact rate last seven days (-4%)

Two things you need to know here. First, LoMo hasn't registered a single base knock in a week's time and is striking out nearly half the time. Second, he isn't an everyday player any more. The team brought in Lucas Duda to share time and is trying to see if it can Morrison intact for an entire season. Morrison might wind up as a 40-HR hitter this season, but one who has very limited value down the stretch.

 

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