The fantasy playoff season is upon us and many a power bat (Domonic Brown, Jose Bautista, Carlos Gonzalez, David Wright) has vanished into injury purgatory. Let’s take a look at the XN Sports AccuScore Projections to see which players have the highest home run potential and some waiver wire pick ups to give you an added power boost.
Chris Davis: Projected 6 HR
There’s no better bet than the guy who already has 47. So far this season, Davis’ monthly totals have been 9, 10, 12, 7, 9. At the same time, hitting that many home runs has to take a lot out of you and Davis certainly hasn’t been as impressive in the second half as he was in the first. After batting .315 with 37 HR and 93 RBI over 95 games in the first half, Davis is batting just .248 with 10 HR and 29 RBI over 43 games since the All-Star game.
Over the last two weeks, Davis is batting just .186 with one home run and five runs batted in. Over the last week, his slump has deepened and he’s batting just .095 with no home runs or extra-base hits. We’ve seen power outages late in the season plenty of times before and while Davis is as good a bet as any I’m not certain he can match the power production we saw in the first five months of the season.
Encarnacion has already notched 36 HR, making good on the promise of his 42 HR campaign last season. Unlike Davis, Encarnacion has improved in the second half. After batting .264 with 25 HR and 72 RBI over 91 games in the first half, Encarnacion is batting .309 with 11 HR and 31 RBI over 46 games since the All-Star break. He’s already hit two homers in four games this month and has hit between 5-9 in every month this season. We saw Encarnacion put up seven dingers last August and another seven last September and the projected five home runs over the next three weeks would put him at that total once again.
David Ortiz: 4.5
While the first two are big time power hitters, the 37-year-old hasn’t topped 30 home runs in five of his last six seasons and currently sits at 26 this year. Aside from six homers in May and seven in June, Ortiz hasn’t hit more than four in any other month. At the same time, he’s hit two home runs already in September and another four doesn’t seem unlikely.
Mark Trumbo: 4.5
Trumbo currently sits at 29 homers after hitting 32 last season and 29 in his rookie season. Although he’s in a bad slump right now (.167, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 16 K over his last two weeks), Trumbo has hit at least five home runs every single month this year. Pretty consistent for a guy as streaky as him.
I’ve had Trumbo on various teams the last three years and short slumps like this are to be expected. While his average is suspect, his power production has been very consistent and I fully expect at least another 4-5 homers from him before the season’s end.
Adam Jones: 4.5
Jones seems to improve every single season and this season he has a career high .295 BA and 100 RBI. He sits at 30 home runs right now and is very likely to best his career high 32 home run mark that he set last season.
Last season, his second best home run month was September as Jones hit six over 31 games. This month, he’s already hit three in the first five games. After hitting just 13 home runs over his first 87 games, Jones has 12 home runs over 64 games since the All-Star break. He’s on fire right now and with the Orioles in the playoff hunt, I wouldn’t bet against him.
Curtis Granderson: 4.4
This projection is obviously based on past production and 2013 Curtis Granderson is a far cry from the guy who topped 40 home runs in each of the last two seasons. Grandy has just four home runs over 40 games and none since August 23. Between the injuries and the rough lineup around him, I don’t see Granderson being much help in the final few weeks.
Adrian Beltre: 4.3
With 28 home runs on the season, Beltre is in good shape to top 30 home runs for the third straight year. With Texas in a pennant race, I really like Beltre’s chances to put up a huge month. In 2012, Beltre hit 11 home runs in September. In 2011, he crushed 12 in the final month. Unlike other guys, he seems to turn it up in September and four home runs may end up being a very conservative estimate.
Miguel Cabrera: 4.3
After hitting 44 home runs last season, Miggy sits at 43 this year, four behind Chris Davis. Although he’s banged up, Miggy is another guy who turns it up in a big way at the end of the season and you better believe he wants that second Triple Crown. He hit 11 home runs last month and has hit at least seven in every month since April. Last season, he hit 11 home runs in September and 19 over the last two months of the season. It’s Miggy so it’s more of the same old, same old and four home runs is a very conservative estimate.
Giancarlo Stanton: 4.2
After hitting 13 home runs in his first 46 games of the season, Stanton has hit just five over 48 games since the All-Star break. He’s also batting .191 since the break. At the same time, he’s managed at least five home runs in each of the last three months so, taking his streakiness into account, four home runs seems like a solid bet for the final few weeks.
Pedro Alvarez: 4.2
Alvarez has an NL-best 32 home runs, topping his 30 home run mark last season. At the same time, Alvarez is batting just .195 with eight homers over 44 games since the All-Star break after hitting 24 in his first 85 games. With five home runs in each of the past four months, Alvarez is still a good bet for four homers but that may not be enough to outweigh the rough batting average.
But most of those guys are owned. What if I need to add power, not just figure out who to start?
Good question. Let’s take a look at the top waiver wire grabs with the best shot at four or more home runs in the final few weeks.
Waiver Wire Picks:
Chris Carter: Carter may have an ugly batting average but he’s hit at least four home runs in every month of the season and is coming off of seven homers in August. With 27 home runs on the season, Carter is very likely to crack 30 as one of the more underrated power hitters in the league.
Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko had eight home runs in August and now sits at 16 over 100 games. Extrapolated over a 162 game season, that’s 26 home runs. His power comes in streaks and with no homers over his last 11 games, he’s due.
Khris Davis: He hit six home runs over 22 games in August and has one through four games (three starts) in September. His 7.3 HR% rivals even Miguel Cabrera’s 7.5% (and is much better than Miggy’s 6.3% last season).
Darin Ruf: Although his average is shaky, Ruf hit nine home runs in August and one through his first four games in September. No surprise here, Ruf crushed 38 homers in 139 Double-A games last season.
Matt Adams: Adams has been a productive power hitter in limited action this season, hitting 11 home runs over 215 at-bats. Extrapolate that to a full season and Adams would have around 28 home runs over 550 at-bats. With Allen Craig out indefinitely with a sprained foot, Adams is going to get his chance to shine in the final month of the season.