Yuli Gurriel, 1B/3B, HOU
Gurriel is on fire during the month of July. The combo corner infielder has five home runs and 9 RBIs this month. Quite impressive considering he had only seven total in May and June.
With a season line of a .275 average, 13 home runs, and three stolen bases, Gurriel has suddenly climbed himself into fantasy relevance.
Gurriel has a low K rate (10.3%) and a solid Hard% of 37.2% that bodes well for the future. His ability to put the ball in play while paired with a new approach to hit the ball in the air is paying high dividends. His Fly Ball% now sits at 39.9% after a pedestrian start to the season in March and April at 35.2%.
I say it every week, but putting the ball in the air with this historically juiced ball is the best approach to success right now for hitters. Gurriel is a bit of a reach as first baseman now but is a must pick up at third base or as a corner infielder.
Jose Urquidy, SP, HOU
Call me a skeptic but I don’t understand all the love Urquidy is getting right now. His debut in Coors Field was underwhelming at best: throwing 2.1 innings and giving up five runs. Coors Field is probably the toughest place in the league to start your big league career as a pitcher, but he’s not exactly a top prospect.
In 43.2 innings in AAA this year he has an impressive K/9 of 13.2, but an extremely low Ground Ball% of 30.9%. That number was better last year in AA but still lower than what I look for (40.3%).
It remains to be seen if he can continue to strike out big league batters. Regardless, we know keeping the ball on the ground will be a problem for Urquidy.
Let everyone else in your league waste their waiver priority on Urquidy while you wait for someone with more upside.
Trevor Bauer, SP, CLE
Bauer has been a bit of a disappointment this year after his stellar campaign of 2018.
Some regression was inevitable after his ridiculously low ERA of 2.21 and highly impressive K% of 30.8% last year. While his season numbers are still decent (3.74 ERA, 7 wins, and 140 Ks in 125 innings pitched), once we start looking into the numbers more the red flags start to appear.
Bauer’s K% is at 26.5%, more than four points back of his elite number from last year. Hitters are making hard contact frequently as well, logging a Hard% of 41%. Last year that number was at 35.9%. More worrisome even is his Fly Ball%, which has climbed up to 38.2% this year from 34.4% last year.
So, to sum up: fewer strikeouts, more hard contact, more fly balls. Yikes. Nothing to like there.
All that said, it’s not too late to sell high on Bauer, especially after his solid start on Sunday (7 innings, 1 ER, 9Ks). You still may be able to get #1 SP back, so make some bold offers and see what you can get.
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