Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 8/19/14

With Fantasy Baseball trade deadlines beginning to pass, it’s becoming more difficult to address the categorical weaknesses on your roster. The most prominent source currently out there in over 90% of leagues is Minnesota Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas. The 24-year-old is still striking out nearly 30% of the time, but is continuing to benefit from a .410 BABIP. Hitting behind Mauer and Brian Dozier he’ll continue to have opportunities to drive in runs, and needs to be  in your lineup. Take a look at the most common roster moves being made to start off Week 20… Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Catcher Added: Stephen Vogt (OAK, C/1B/OF), Wilson Ramos (WSH), Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) How were the pyramids built? Who built Stonehenge? How is Wilson Ramos only 50% owned in mid-August? Some of life’s greatest and most unanswerable questions. While injuries have limited the Nationals backstop to just 58 games and 241 plate appearances, he’s hitting .318 in August, with three of his six home runs. Both his SLG% and ISO are down, while his AVG and OBP are up from the career marks. His line drive is also up to 26.1% from a career average of 18.3%. The Nationals have been just fine without Ramos – holding a 6.0 game lead in the NL East – but after hitting 16 home runs last year, if he can stay healthy for the remainder of 2014 he’ll be a big boost to rosters. Dropped: J.P. Arencibia (TEX, C/1B), Caleb Joseph (BAL), Derek Norris (OAK) Joseph has had a big breakout in 2014; winning more starts of late over Nick Hundley who was acquired from the Padres following the season ending surgery to Matt Wieters. He’s slugging .423 with an ISO of .196 following his five consecutive games with a homer last week. He’s not the best option out there but he’s the best of these three, and should see a boost in his meagre .252 BABIP. Traded: Joe Mauer (MIN, C/1B), Buster Posey (SF, C/1B), Carlos Santana (CLE, C/1B/3B) The most desirable to playoff bound teams should be Santana. When he’s not drawing walks, he has the most pop of these three (.204 ISO, 21 HR), which makes him the most likely to impact a playoff matchup. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: First base Added: Michael Cuddyer (COL, 1B/OF), Kennys Vargas (MIN), Michael Morse (SF, 1B/OF) There’s little debate that Cuddyer has the best plate discipline of the three and is the most consistent hitter. At this point in the Fantasy Baseball season however, you’re either looking for the highest upside, or for possible keepers. In both cases, your pick should be Kennys Vargas. The 24-year-old is still striking out nearly 30% of the time, but is continuing to benefit from a .410 BABIP. Hitting behind Mauer and Brian Dozier he’ll continue to have opportunities to drive in runs, and needs to be  in your lineup. Dropped: Lucas Duda (NYM, 1B/OF), Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE, 1B/3B), Joey Votto (CIN) Despite cooling off in August after a tremendous June and July, Duda still holds value, at against right-handed pitching. 20 of his 21 homers have come against righties, and he’s hitting .115 points better against them. He’s best used as a platoon player, but should be in your roster every time he’s playing an RHP. Traded: Chris Davis (BAL), Jose Bautista (TOR, 1B/OF), David Ortiz (BOS) Bautista is the only one providing any type of value in terms of average and on-base percentage. When all three are at their best the home run totals will be nearly equal. While Big Papi currently leads the trio, and Davis has been hot of late, look for Joey Bats to get back to his old slugging ways with Edwin Encarnacion back in the Blue Jays lineup behind him. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Second base Added: Kristopher Negron (CIN, 2B/3B/SS/OF), Jonathan Schoop (BAL, 2B/3B), Jedd Gyorko (SD, 2B/3B) I praised Schoop heavily at the start of the season, owned many shares of him after drafts, and currently own him nowhere. Regardless, I’m happy to be finally given some reassurance in my praise in the form of his recent success. He has four home runs in August and appears set to end the season strong, just as he did in 2013. If in need of a middle infielder, expect him to lead me to hype him up again going into 2015. Dropped: Dustin Ackley (SEA, 2B/OF), Emilio Bonifacio (ATL, 2B/3B/OF), Jed Lowrie (OAK, 2B/SS) If desperate, go Lowrie. None of the three are overly appealing. Traded: Dee Gordon (LAD, 2B/SS), Javier Baez (CHC, 2B/SS), Jose Altuve (HOU) Baez is the most well-rounded of the three. While Gordon and Altuve are more proven hitters and can provide more speed, Baez has way more power than them both, and can also steal some bases for you in the playoffs. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Third base Added: Brock Holt (BOS, 1B/3B/SS/OF), Conor Gillaspie (CWS, 1B/3B), Nick Castellanos (DET, 3B/OF) While Castellanos has three homers in August, he also has his lowest average of the last three months. His value peaks in keeper leagues, as much more could be expected from him in his sophomore campaign. Still, he’s playing for the best 2014 team by a long shot, and the increased power is certainly a good sign. Dropped: Chris Coghlan (CHC, 3B/OF), Casey McGehee (MIA, 1B/3B), David Wright (NYM) Wright re-joined the Mets lineup Monday and was able to avoid the DL for his ailing shoulder. He’s been hampered by it for most of the season, and likely will be for the remainder, but still, I’d take him at 70% rather than either Coghlan or McGehee. Traded: Evan Longoria (TB), Edwin Encarnacion (TOR, 1B/3B), Adrian Beltre (TEX) In terms of value: Encarnacion > Beltre > Longoria. Although, any given week any of the three could perform the best. If you’re feeling lucky, punk, take a chance on Longoria. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Shortstop Added: J.J. Hardy (BAL), Josh Rutledge (COL, 2B/3B/SS), Alcides Escobar (KC) With all three struggling over all at the plate, Escobar becomes the best play due his speed. Pick him up to boost your SB category if you’re doing fine everywhere else. Dropped: Troy Tulowitzki (COL), Jean Segura (MIL), Jordy Mercer (PIT, 2B/SS) Segura…maybe? None of the above can do much for you, but he’s got to break out of his sophomore slump a little bit, no? Traded: Alexei Ramirez (CWS), Jose Reyes (TOR), Danny Santana (MIN, 2B/SS/OF) Despite continuing to struggle against the White Sox, the Blue Jays lineup has been greatly improved with the re-additions of Encarnacion and Adam Lind. He’s been by far the hottest of the bunch in the second-half, and is in the best position to score runs. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Outfield Added: Norichika Aoki (KC), Avisail Garcia (CWS), Travis Snider (PIT) Pick up Garcia!!!! As of Monday he was available in 80% of Y! leagues, despite being activated on Saturday. He and Jose Abreu are the future of the White Sox and look to pick up where they left in the spring when Garcia suffered his “season-ending” injury. Dropped: Josh Reddick (OAK), Carlos Beltran (NYY), Carlos Gonzalez (COL) Could we get a petition going to just get Carlos Gonzalez dropped from Fantasy Baseball so none of us are ever tempted to draft him again? Traded: Bryce Harper (WSH), Matt Kemp (LAD), Nelson Cruz (BAL) Kemp battled through the incessant trade rumors to play his best baseball of 2014 in July. While average wise he’s cooled off in August, he’s matched his season high for homers in a month already, with four. With his asking price likely down again in the Fantasy Baseball world, send out some offers in hopes of another hot-streak come playoff time. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Starting Pitcher Added: Mike Fiers (MIL, SP/RP), Kyle Hendricks (CHC), Ryan Vogelsong (SF) With a date at home against the Blue Jays, Fiers makes for a solid value play in daily games for Tuesday. His 10.29 K/9 matches up well with the Jays love of strikeouts and overall poor play of late. Matched up against each other, I like Vogelsong slightly more than Hendricks in daily play. Dropped: Jesse Hahn (SD), Jeremy Hellickson (TB), Charlie Morton (PIT) With Hahn soon to be shut down for the season, any play for him would be short-lived. Hellickson is intriguing, but his next start will come against the Blue Jays at the hitter-friendly Rogers Center. Morton struggled in four his five most recent starts prior to being place on the DL with hip inflammation. None of the above hold any value currently. Traded: Jeff Samardzija (OAK), Jon Lester (OAK), Zack Greinke (LAD) Greinke > Lester > Samardzija. Although, I’d take any one of them if I could get them. Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Relief Pitcher Added: Carlos Carrasco (CLE, SP/RP), Pat Neshek (STL), Chris Capuano (NYY, SP/RP) Even with Trevor Rosenthal‘s latest struggles, Mike Matheny insists he’ll remain the team’s closer, diminishing Neshek’s value in an add. Carrasco is the only intriguing option in that event and with an 8.30 K/9 and upcoming start vs. the Astros, he’s a worthy add. Dropped: Joe Kelly (BOS, SP/RP), Marcus Stroman (TOR, SP/RP), Hector Santiago (LAA, SP/RP) Following his shortest start of the season, it’s important to note it was still just Stroman’s fourth non-quality start of his MLB career. While it appeared bad on the surface, he didn’t walk a batter, and all five runs came on just five hits (.833 BABIP) and one hit-batter. His next start will come at home against Tampa Bay, and is a must-start. Traded: Garrett Richards (LAA, SP/RP), Kenley Jansen (LAD), Francisco Rodriguez (MIL) At this point of the season, you better have 3/4 closers or none of them. If you fall under the latter, feel free to trade either Jansen or K-Rod for someone like Richards who can be used as a starter in the RP slot. In the playoffs you should rack up as many starts as possible in order to maximize opportunities for a win, and increase K totals. The post Week 20 MLB Transaction Trends: Kennys Vargas ‘Powers’ Needs to be Added appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

PLAYERS: Kennys Vargas
TEAMS: Minnesota Twins
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