Contact Rate Risers and Fallers - Week 25

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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 25 of the fantasy baseball season.

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Contact Rate Risers

Trevor Story (SS, COL) 87% contact rate last seven days (+17%)

Story's warming up at the right time for the playoff-hungry Rockies, batting .320 with three homers and nine RBI in the last two weeks. While he hasn't gone deep this week, he does have four doubles and has upped his average to .348. For a player not known for making gains in contact (34.6K% and 69.3% contact% this season), it's refreshing to see him go five straight games without a strikeout. Keep him locked in as your SS for the playoff run.

Yuli Gurriel (1B, HOU) 96contact rate last seven days (+12%)

Gurriel is trying to make it four straight months with a batting average over .300 as he's currently at .286 for September. Not known for taking many walks or strikeouts, he at least is beginning to even out that ratio. He posted a 6:37 BB:K in the first half, but has a 10:11 BB:K since August began. Gurriel relies on contact for value, since he may not even finish with 20 home runs this season, so it's good to know you can at least put him in a corner infield spot for average alone.

Avisail Garcia (OF, CHW) 85% contact rate last seven days (+12%)

He's just coming off a nine-game hitting streak and had a whopping 12 hits in a four-game span just days ago. Haters are going to keep their mouths closed until next year when they doubt him in preseason ranks all over again. Sure, he only has a 73% contact rate and an absurd .397 BABIP, but 477 at-bats isn't exactly a small sample size. OK, so maybe you don't draft him as an OF2 in 2018, but he's got to stay in your lineup through the rest of 2017.

 

Contact Rate Fallers

Paul Goldschmidt (1B, ARI) 64% contact rate last seven days (-11%)

September is sticking out like a sore thumb on an otherwise stellar resume this season. Goldschmidt is hitting .167 over the last two weeks and frustrating fantasy owners at the exact worst time possible. You can't consider sitting your best player, so just hope that he at least carries over his August power.

Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) 60% contact rate last seven days (-16%)

It looked like Duvall might find a way to carry a high average along with superior power after the first half came to an end. Not so much. He's batting .204 in the second half and has seen his season strikeout rate climb back up near last year's 27% rate. In all, his stat line across the board might look nearly identical to last year, which is to say pretty good as long as your league doesn't count strikeouts for hitters.

Jose Bautista (OF, TOR) 58% contact rate last seven days (-15%)

It's never fun to see a former All-Star fall from grace. The warning signs were there last year, but some people were willing to bet on a bounceback, at least in the power category. While he managed to match last year's 22 HR total (albeit in 120 more at-bats), Joey Bats is clearly a shell of his former self. Bautista is striking out 24.5% of the time, which will be the highest of his Major League career. Coupled with an anemic .207/.314/.375 slash line and a disappointing .168 ISO, it wouldn't be surprising if we've seen the last of him in a Major League uniform.

Corey Seager (SS, LAD) 58% contact rate last seven days (-18%)

While not as sad as Bautista's decline, it has definitely been a disappointment to see the Dodgers fall apart at the seams after being declared the best team in baseball history a bit prematurely. Last year's Rookie of the Year hasn't helped, with a .220 September average and 2:13 BB:K. We know there are physical issues to blame, as manager Dave Roberts said that Seager won't be able to throw at 100% efficiency the rest of this season. He'll still score and drive in runs at least.

 

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