The regular season is coming to a close and if you are reading this it means you are a true fantasy baseball owner that is deep in the playoffs or finishing the last rotisserie push! None of that fantasy football goofiness, you want 162 games of pure glory. Knowing your dedication, this week we dedicate our hitter profiles to your last push and a few hitters that may have been cast off due to poor early-season performance. In the spirit of Mario Mendoza and disappointing stat lines, we are shopping at the Mendoza bargain bins for players who have had rough seasons and seeing if there is any gold to be found for the late-season push.
The first item up for sale at Mendozas this week is a Padre outfielder that may be falling out of favor not only for fantasy managers but also the real-world version. Hitting a beautiful .189 on the season overcome only by his 17 long balls, Grisham has been a true disappointment. If we stretch for a bright spot it is the spotless record on the basepaths for a total of six steals. But who are we kidding, there is really nothing that has gone right for the artist formerly known as Trent Clark. The rough season has him only owned in 33% of Yahoo leagues. To make things even more grim, since September kicked into gear Trent has barely hit .100 while striking out in more than one third of plate appearances.
Why even consider such a player for the late-season push? For one, Grisham is a notoriously streaky hitter which can be valuable for a fantasy manager looking to find lightning in a bottle. From a numbers perspective, there is also hope. Since September started, Grisham has a 47% hard hit rate which is easily his best month this season leading to an increased number of line drives. If you hit the ball hard, they tend to find spots to land. However, if you are incredibly unlucky with a .125 BABIP during the same timeframe it is hard to see the true potential. While recommending a player with three hits the entire month is not for the faint of heart, it the pickings are slim Grisham is worth a glance.
Mendoza Value: 3 out of 10
Hotshot rookies are always tempting and Spencer Torkelson is no exception. That said, the ownership rate of 15% in Yahoo leagues tells us this has not been the coming out party that many had hoped. On the season, Tork has hit .205 with only six homers and 23 RBI across 93 games. That is certainly below replacement level on your fantasy roster and even at the major league level with a -0.8 WAR. Capping off the struggles, Torkelson was sent to the minors in July to figure things out only being recalled on 9/2.
The reason Mr. Spencer makes our list today is what he has done quietly since returning to the majors. Over 10 games, he has hit .265 with four extra base hits. What is really interesting is that his strikeout rate is merely 15% in that small sample compared to 25% prior to the demotion. While he had a hard hit rate under 30% in the first half of the season, September has brought 45% hard hit rates with a more balanced all field approach. In addition, he has been putting the ball into the air more often which is pretty beneficial when trying to increase your power numbers. Now while this is all very good news, we have to still caution that he was less than stellar during his demotion to AAA. For Torkelson, there are some very intriguing signs, but do not expect all the glory as there is still a lot to prove.
Mendoza Value: 7 out of 10
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