Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has already exceeded expectations. (AP Photo)
Cody Bellinger: Everyone is talking about Aaron Judge‘s huge breakout (and rightfully so), but Bellinger isn’t far behind, as he’s sporting a 1.021 OPS with 24 homers over 215 at bats. He’s also a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts and has taken 23 walks. Bellinger became the only player in major league history to have four multi-homer games in his first career 45 games a couple of weeks ago. He then proceeded to hit two homers during Sunday’s game. Sure, the rookie will regress (no one is this good), but Bellinger looks like a special player. His average exit velocity is the sixth best among all hitters who qualify. No one has hit more homers in MLB since he’s been called up.
Orlando Arcia: Over his last 125 at bats, Arcia is hitting .320 with 12 runs scored and four steals. He’s still batting in the bottom of the Brewers’ lineup, but it’s a good hitter’s park, and he’s a highly valued prospect. Arcia is owned in just four percent of Yahoo leagues, so if you need middle infield help (injuries have been more devastating than ever with the new 10-day DL rule), he’s an option to go grab.
Michael Taylor: It might be too quick to call Taylor a post-hype sleeper, but he’s been playing very well lately. Over his last nine games, he has five homers with three steals while batting .333 with 10 runs scored and 10 RBI. His season-long BABIP (.368) will drop, but Taylor’s defense remains great, and it helps batting in a lineup that’s scored more runs than any other in baseball. Taylor is owned in fewer than 10 percent of leagues.
Mallex Smith: He’s hitting leadoff and already has nine stolen bases through 23 games after getting called up. The .420 OBP isn’t going to last, but if you need steals, add Smith, who’s somehow only owned in a third of leagues right now. He can take a walk, and this is someone who stole 209 bases from 2013-2015 in the minors. Kevin Kiermaier is out at least the next two months with a fractured right hip.
Carlos Rodon: He’s owned in fewer than half of leagues, but this a former top-three pick who has great stuff, appears to be healthy and ready to return. Rodon needs to improve his control, but he owns a career 10.1 SwStr% and has a ton of upside.
Gary Sanchez: Catchers have been a bigger disaster than usual this year, and it started with Sanchez going down with an injury. But since his return, he’s hit .411 with seven homers and 21 RBI over his past 51 at bats in 14 games. Sanchez is going to be a huge difference maker for fantasy owners from here on out. I’m not a big BvP guy in DFS, but note Sanchez has a .571/.667/2.286 (that’s a 2.952 OPS) when facing David Price, as he’s hit four homers over seven at bats against him.