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Fantasy Baseball Breakout Hitters Watch and Underachievers, Overachievers (Week 10)

Colt Keith - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News

We're going to take our usual look around the league to see who is showing signs of some meaningful trends that can be revealing in some form or another. Perhaps a hitter is about to break out or on the verge of a cold spell.

Checking in on who's hot (or not) can bring to light some notable names. Those names then become potential waiver-wire targets or sneaky DFS plays (or avoids) until the rest of the fantasy community catches on.

Below, we'll check in on players with the longest hit streaks, highest batting average, and highest ISO over the last seven days, as well as some regression candidates and more. Note that totals are designated by the number in parentheses next to the player's name.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Hit Streak Leaders

(data through 5/23)   

Jurickson Profar (12)

We spoke about Ketel Marte the last couple weeks, so while his 21-game hit streak is impressive, we'll skip down to Jurickson Profar, who has the highest average during their streak of anyone on the list (Marte has the lowest, interestingly). Profar is having a career year so far, providing some pop and average. The switch-hitter has a .339-7-32-31-3 line with a .416 wOBA and 178 wRC+. The 31-year-old has an unusually high BABIP of .371, so there may be some regression coming, but his xBA is still good at .310 and xwOBA is still an impressive .378.

 

Highest Batting Average Last Seven Days

(minimum 13 AB, games through 5/22) 

Check out the names on this list as there are some interesting ones for sure that could help in both season-long and DFS, but we'll discuss the top two names in depth below.

Matt Chapman (.611)

Matt Chapman was batting a meager .206 through May 15, but since then he's caught fire, going 11-for-18 over his last five games. The hot streak includes five doubles and home runs in two straight games. The former All-Star has seen his batting average rise all the way up to .245 with a .311 OBP and .426 SLG. This white-hot streak is reminiscent of his start to last season when he went 23-for-47 (.489) over the first 12 games but hit .214 the rest of the way. Hopefully this is sustainable, and perhaps it is as he's posting a career-high contact rate of 79.5%, but buyer beware.

(Update: Chapman went 2-for-5 Thursday with a home run in a third straight game)

Colt Keith (.571)

Two weeks ago, I had Colt Keith in this article, but further down under the "xBA Underachievers" section because his numbers were indicating he was due for a turnaround. Well, it doesn't always happen the way it should, but in Keith's case, it did. He's hitting .571 over the last seven days and is 15-for-33 (.455) since he was mentioned as an underachiever.

The 22-year-old is known for his power and hit 27 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A last season, but has yet to homer in 2024. Now that he's putting the bat on the ball with some consistency, the power should come. The left-handed hitter is available in over 80% of Yahoo leagues and is also eligible at both 2B and 3B for those buying the breakout.

(Update: Keith went 0-for-3 on Thursday)

 

Highest ISO Last Seven Days

(minimum 13 AB, games through 5/22)

When it comes to fantasy, especially DFS, we want to see power. More big hits mean more points. Big hits usually drive in more runs, which means more points. Doubles and triples put hitters in a better position to score, which means? You guessed it -- more points! So, who's hitting for extra bases over the past week?

Nolan Gorman (.714)

Nolan Gorman was a big power guy coming up through the minors, hitting no less than 15 home runs in any minor league season and ultimately belting 16 long balls in just 43 games at Triple-A before he got the call to the majors in 2022. The former first-round draft pick hit 14 more for the Cardinals in just 89 games in '22, and went on to hit 27 last season. But instead of taking another step forward, the 24-year-old has regressed, hitting just .207 in 2024 and relegated to a platoon role at second base.

You can see his numbers over the last seven days in the table above, but he's been hitting for almost two weeks now, slashing .345/.472/.828 (1.30 OPS) since May 10 with a .483 ISO. Gorman has certainly been a disappointment in season-long, but perhaps he's still usable in DFS while he's hot. With the lowest Contact% (61.7%) in all of baseball among qualified hitters (by a wide margin) and second-highest strikeout rate (35.8%), this may not be sustainable. At least the 16.3% barrel rate points to some additional home runs along the way.

Dylan Moore (.684)

Dylan Moore filled in admirably while J.P. Crawford was out, but since Crawford came back Monday, Seattle has found a way to keep Moore's bat in the lineup, playing second base, third base, and left field at some point over the last three games. You can see the numbers he's put over the past week, but in just Tuesday's and Wednesday's games alone, the 31-year-old is 5-for-8 (.625) with a double and two home runs. The utility man is eligible at 2B, SS, and OF in Yahoo leagues, and has also stolen six bases on the season. He can be a solid bench bat that can help managers plug holes in season-long lineups.

 

Most Steals Last Seven Days

(data as of 5/22) 

Luis Rengifo (3)

Luis Rengifo stood out before the season began as one of the players who increased their walk rate the most year-over-year from 2022 to 2023, going from 3.3% to 9.2%. The 27-year-old hasn't been able to repeat quite that level of success in 2024, but his 7.0% BB% is still near much better than it was two seasons ago.

The switch-hitter's Contact% is at a career high of 81.9% and the K% is at a career low of 14.8%, which has buoyed his career-best OBP of .362. All of this has upped his stolen-base opportunities and he's taken advantage, stealing 12 bases so far, six better than his previous career high.

Rengifo wasn't getting regular playing time earlier in the season, but that hasn't been an issue as of late. The power output has been a bit disappointing after he hit 17 and 16 home runs the last two seasons. With a 2.0% Barrel%, we might not be able to expect many more than his current total of three, but a .308 batting average might be a fine consolation prize. He's also eligible at 2B, 3B, SS, and OF in Yahoo leagues, making him all the more useful.

 

xSLG Underachievers

(data through 5/22, minimum 50 AB)

Normally we look at xBA here, but many of those same names still appear on that list, so we'll look at xSLG this week and revisit xBA next week. Below are hitters who have some of the biggest differences between their current slugging percentage and their expected slugging percentage, or xSLG. While many times this is a good exercise to see who is on the verge of turning things around, it's not certain. Sometimes hitters over or underperform their xSLG throughout their career, so regression to the xSLG may not happen.

Corey Seager (.404 vs. .544)

Corey Seager managers will be happy to see that he's got one of the biggest discrepancies in SLG and xSLG and that he should be slugging much better than he is. It's not that he's been bad, having tallied eight home runs thus far, but he's got just three doubles after hitting the second-most doubles in the entire league last season. The 30-year-old should continue to hit homers based on his 13.9% Barrel%, but his SweetSpot% has dropped from 86th percentile to 70th percentile, so perhaps the left-handed hitter just needs to work on some launch-angle improvements.

 

xSLG Overachievers

(data through 5/22, minimum 50 AB)

We'll touch on a hitter below who will eventually cool off. In this case, the SLG is much higher than the xSLG, and some regression should be expected. Note that the players who've shown up on this list so far this season have continued to hit well, so don't expect them to go ice-cold. Rather, it's usually more of a gradual decline.

Isaac Paredes  (.512 vs. .387)

Isaac Paredes has nine home runs on the season and is batting .308, but can he keep it up? The 25-year-old is a career .241 hitter and his current .336 BABIP is well above his career rate of .251, so regression seems like it is coming. Many of his other numbers like K%, BB%, Contact%, and Barrel% are all mostly in line with career numbers, so a repeat of last year's 31 home runs might be doable, but his xSLG also points to regression.



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