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Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers - Andrew Vaughn, Brandon Pfaadt, James McArthur & more

Andrew Vaughn - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

There is nothing quite like the ebbs and flows of fantasy baseball. Every at-bat of every game is the final straw based on that moment whereas in reality, players will have hundreds more across the next dozen weeks to neutralize whatever outcome came about.

Across the past two months, plenty of recently unknown players have thrived in fantasy baseball while many perennial All-Stars have disappointed. Below, I discuss which known commodities should work their way back to fantasy stardom and which flavor of the month may stick.

For all complaints, contact Kev Mahserejian on X (@RotoSurgeon). Without further ado, here are your Risers and Fallers for Week 12 of the fantasy baseball season!

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

 

Fantasy Baseball Risers

Andrew Vaughn, 1B - Chicago White Sox

23% Rostered on Yahoo

Andrew Vaughn is finding his footing over the past week. Since June 4, Vaughn's produced seven runs, two HR, and three RBI while batting .360. A .438 BABIP carries Vaughn throughout this span but that was due to positively regress given his slow start.

Vaughn is far from a prospect but the former third-overall pick still has a shot at a real breakout. The Chicago White Sox organization is not doing any favors to its young players. If Vaughn is traded midseason, a fresh start could revitalize him. In the meantime, he is due for a little more regression and could continue building with Luis Robert back this past week.

Verdict: Roster in all 12+ team leagues with average.

Gavin Sheets, OF - Chicago White Sox

12% Rostered on Yahoo

Chicago's best hitter this season is 28-year-old Gavin Sheets. Sheets' wOBA (.346) and xwOBA (.373) lead the team while his xwOBA is top-30 in the entire league (among eligible hitters)! This start is no shock to those who bought into Sheets' 2021 season but he has been dreadful since. Between 2022 and 2023, Sheets' xwOBA sat below .290 which is below league average.

Sheets' walk rate (12.7%) and strikeout rate (17.5%) are career bests this season. His changes are dramatic and suggest this breakout may not be a fluke. Sheets, like Vaughn, is a potential trade candidate if the White Sox clean house during the trade deadline. He would be much better served on almost any other offense but should still be rostered in most fantasy formats.

Verdict: Must-roster in 12+ team leagues for now. Must-roster everywhere if traded. 

David Hamilton, SS - Boston Red Sox

12% Rostered on Yahoo

David Hamilton? More like Billy Hamilton, am I right? Boston's rookie middle infielder is up to 13 steals in 41 games this season with 19 runs, three home runs, and a robust .282 batting average. While some batted ball luck props up his performance, Hamilton could sustain fantasy relevance this season.

His strikeout rate is high at 25.2% while the walk rate is a low 7.1% but in a league based on batting average, Hamilton should be more valuable. Hamilton stole 70 bases in 119 Double-A games two years ago and could be a game-changing piece for teams behind in SB.

Verdict: Quality middle-infielder for 12+ team league using average. Drop at the first sign of a struggle. 

 

Fantasy Baseball Fallers

James McArthur, RP - Kansas City Royals

57% Rostered on Yahoo

Good News: The Royals closer has 12 saves in 25 appearances this season which makes him tied for 10th-most in the MLB.

Bad News: McArthur has a 5.27 ERA and 1.43 WHIP with 12 earned runs since May 5th.

The Royals are competitive this season and could make a change if this keeps up for McArthur as he holds four blown saves thus far. He is underperforming his peripherals (3.35 xFIP and 3.12 SIERA) but is not striking batters out of late. Nick Anderson is heating up over the past two weeks while John Schreiber possesses a 2.67 ERA and has acted as a closer once before.

Verdict: Hold until the closer role is officially lost. 

Brayan Bello, SP - Boston Red Sox

58% Rostered on Yahoo

Brayan Bello's season is unfortunate as he was good for the first month before his lat injury. Bello posted a 3.04 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with a quality 17.3% K-BB% through his first five starts. A 3.21 xFIP backed this performance and made it seem like his breakout had arrived.

Unfortunately, since his return from IL, Bello's posted a 6.25 ERA and 1.61 WHIP with a mediocre 7.7% K-BB%. He is underperforming by a significant margin but still not enough that makes him worth starting at home against the Yankees this week or in Cincinnati against the Reds afterwards.

Verdict: Drop in all leagues 12-team or shallower.

Brandon Pfaadt, SP - Arizona Diamondbacks

67% Rostered on Yahoo

Pfaadt is a frustrating pitcher but there is enough good to continue holding onto him. His 4.60 ERA is far from representative of his skills as every peripheral ERA indicator is at least a full run below his actual ERA. Pfaadt's 18.8% K-BB% is above-average but his 61% left-on base rate is unsustainable. Arizona's defense has done him no favors and that should change as the season goes on.

While recent matchups have not been kind, Pfaadt's luck is due to regress as he faces the Angels, Nationals, and Twins over the next three matchups.

Verdict: Hold through at least this week's start vs LAA. 



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