|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|Eloy Jiménez||OF||Chicago White Sox||66.4|
|Joey Bart||C||San Francisco Giants||5.1|
|Jed Lowrie||2B||Oakland Athletics||31.7|
|AJ Pollock||OF||Los Angeles Dodgers||59.3|
|Eric Haase||C, OF||Detroit Tigers||44.3|
1. Eloy Jiménez | OF | Chicago White Sox
Jiménez is in a rehab stint as we speak. If he’s not rostered in your league, he will be soon. This is Eloy Jiménez we’re talking about, not Wil Myers or Ian Happ. In 730 career plate appearances, Jiménez has a slash line of .276/.321/.527. Last year, Jiménez played 55 games in the shortened season, but finished with a 162-game pace of 41 home runs, 120 RBIs, and 76 runs to go along with his .296/.332/.559 slash line. If he’s available, you should be doing whatever it takes to put him on your roster, as he has the potential to be an impact player down the stretch.
2. Joey Bart | C | San Francisco Giants
Yeah, yeah, Buster Posey is probably going to be back soon. He might even be reinstated immediately after the All-Star Break. That being said, Posey is 34 years old and his immediate return and continued health is no guarantee. The other catcher in the mix, 32-year-old Curt Casali, is not going to get anyone excited either. Enter Joey Bart. He got brought up for the second time this year. In his one game, he finished 2-for-5 with a run, an RBI, and two strikeouts. This is a bit of a risk, as there really is no guarantee that Posey misses any more time, and he’d almost certainly split time with Casali. Regardless, Bart carries the prospect pedigree worthy of rostering just to find out.
3. Jed Lowrie | 2B | Oakland Athletics
Remember back in April when everybody picked up Jed Lowrie? His ownership has come down quite a bit since, however, as he’s slowed down from his scorching hot start. On the season, he’s slashing .263/.336/.423 with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs, 40 runs, and a 67-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Even more encouraging are some of his batted ball metrics. Lowrie is currently in the 82nd-percentile in Average Exit Velocity, the 81st-percentile in HardHit%, and 84th-percentile in Expected Slugging. Essentially his entire Savant page is lit up with red. It’s rather encouraging that he’s had the production and the underlying metrics to back it up. He’s not going to win you your league, but he should give you solid production the rest of the way.
4. AJ Pollock | OF | Los Angeles Dodgers
Imagine injecting a healthy Eloy Jiménez and AJ Pollock into your lineup. Pollock has missed a little time this year, but otherwise has been pretty solid. He’s slashing .271/.332/.518 with 28 runs, 12 home runs, 33 RBIs, two stolen bases, and a 49-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Overall, his Average Exit Velocity, HardHit%, and Expected Slugging are all in the 80th-percentile or higher. He’s been red-hot in July, as well. In 38 plate appearances, Pollock has a .364/.447/1.000 slash line with eight runs, six home runs, eight RBIs, and a 10-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Just like Lowrie, Pollock combines the solid production with the underlying metrics to back it up. Pick him up and plug him in for the rest of the year.
5. Eric Haase | C, OF | Detroit Tigers
When Haase got called up and started raking, nobody really took it seriously. However, 171 plate appearances in, he’s slashing .244/.292/.538 with 13 home runs, 27 RBIs, 26 runs, one stolen base, and a 57-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. To play devil’s advocate, that 57-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 171 plate appearances is pretty abysmal. It’s so abysmal that it seriously puts a cap on his ceiling. That being said, a .538 slugging percentage from a player eligible at both catcher and outfield is hard to pass up. He hasn’t really slowed down either, as his production has been pretty consistent. If you can get over the fact that it’s Eric Haase playing for the Detroit Tigers, there might be some decent production to be had at catcher going forward.