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Friday Five: Hitters for the Stretch Run


It's hard to say where the time has gone, but we're on the cusp of September baseball. Expanded rosters and pennant races will lead to different types of drama and intrigue as we bring the 2018 regular season to a close.

More importantly, of course, your fantasy teams are sprinting toward the finish line. Whether your postseason is approaching in a head-to-head league or you're scrapping for the numbers to put you over the hump in a rotisserie setup, we can all use a boost somewhere.

These five hitters - one each for the standard five scoring categories - can help, and all but one of them is available in at least 80% of Yahoo leagues right now.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Home Stretch Heroes

AVG: Joey Wendle, 2B/3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays (18% owned)

If you've kept up with the MI Waiver Wire column this year, you know Wendle's name well by now - he's had a regular presence on that list. The 28-year-old rookie (yes, he just barely qualifies) is hitting .296 on the season. That's despite a June swoon which saw him bat just .192. He's posted a .346 mark since July 1 but only recently has his ownership rate climbed out of the single digits.

R: Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets (30%)

The player who is least likely of those featured in this space to still be available in your league, Rosario has crossed the plate 21 times in 26 games this month. He's hit leadoff in all but two of those contests and figures to remain in that lineup slot for the remainder of the year. The Mets, who have outscored every team except Boston this month, have nothing to play for at this point. It behooves them to see if Rosario can finish strong and establish himself as a potential leadoff option for 2019.

HR: Tyler Austin, 1B, Minnesota Twins (5%)

Austin clearly didn't factor into the Yankees' long-term plans. Even with Greg Bird seemingly always hurt, the 26-year-old couldn't make the case for more playing time with the big club. Given his allergy to contact (37.8 K%, 18.4% swinging strike rate in 323 MLB plate appearances) that's not entirely surprising. But Austin has undeniable raw power when he does manage to connect - he's also bashed 21 home runs in that small sample. 14 of them have come this season, in fewer than 200 trips to the plate. and five of those in the past two weeks. Now getting everyday at-bats in Minnesota, Austin is an easy grab for those in need of pop.

RBI: Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres (19%)

Renfroe played sparingly for most of the season's first half, but injuries to several teammates cleared the Friar's outfield logjam. He's taken full advantage of getting back into a regular starting role, driving in 26 runs in as many games in August (11 in his last 10 games, seven in his last four). Nine homers have accounted for a good chunk of that month-long total, so you can opt for him over Austin in that category if you like. Renfroe's more widely owned, but still free to add in four of every five leagues.

SB: Roman Quinn, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (4%)

Quinn, a second-round pick back in 2011, lost a ton of development time due to a slew of injuries to seemingly every part of his body. Since being promoted to the majors last month, however, he's shown what he can do when healthy. The batting line (.369/.388/.569) is him playing over his head, but the speed is real, and it's spectacular. Quinn has swiped six bags in eight tries, and he's also legged out two triples in the last three games. The latter nearly bested Billy Hamilton for the season's best time on a three-bagger. Understand that he probably won't play every day and he may disintegrate into dust the next time someone looks at him funny, but Quinn has the kind of game-breaking speed that could allow him to pile up steals.

 

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