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Look Who’s Streaking: Let Go and Let Kwan

Welcome back to another edition of Look Who’s Streaking! In this season-long series, we’ll be taking a look at players who are streaking – both hot and cold. The idea is fairly simple: We’ll highlight players who are streaking in either direction and take a closer look at their performance, with the ultimate goal of aiding lineup and waiver wire decisions.

For this week’s write-up, we’ll focus on rookies who are on hot streaks. Some are recent call-ups, while others have been heating up since the All-Star break. On the flip side, we’ll take a look at a couple of struggling veterans to see if they can bounce back in the final months of the season. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some players who are streaking!

Look Who’s Streaking!

Running Hot

Steven Kwan (OF – CLE)

Unlike the other rookies in this write-up, Steven Kwan started the season in the majors.  But he didn’t make sense for most fantasy rosters since he lacked power and wasn’t running much to start the year (three stolen base attempts thru May).  However, now that he’s running more, he deserves our attention.  Since the All-Star break, Kwan has five stolen bases — half of his season total — and tied for the third-most steals over this period. He also has a .423 OBP with two home runs, 18 runs scored, and six RBI across 97 plate appearances.

For the season, Kwan is slashing .299/.375/.396 in 414 plate appearances.  He’s one of the league’s toughest outs, walking more than he strikes out (9.9% BB% and 8.7% K%); and his 2.9% SwStr% is second-best in the league. Additionally, his plate discipline metrics are elite – he has a 22.4% chase rate and 96% zone contact rate. Kwan won’t give you power, but he bats leadoff, plays for a team that isn’t shy about stealing, and should push for a total of 80 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and a .290+ batting average. He’s a three-category asset as long as he continues to run.

Darick Hall (UTIL – PHI)

Darick Hall has been having a fantastic rookie season since filling in for the injured Bryce Harper. Across 119 plate appearances, he’s slashing .274/.311/.575 with a .301 ISO, eight home runs, 18 runs scored, and 15 RBI. But he’s really kicked things up a notch in August. In the past eight games, Hall has three home runs, with four runs scored, and four RBI, to go along with a .407 ISO and 1.192 OPS.

Hall is smoking the ball this season with a 18.8% barrel rate and 48.8% hard-hit rate. But power is nothing new to the rookie. In 315 Triple-A plate appearances this season, he hit 20 home runs (and stole five bases). Hall’s 27.7% strikeout rate in the majors will likely bring his batting average down a little, but he should still be able to provide a balanced amount of runs scored and RBI by continuing to hit in the middle of the order. Hall is a strong power play and could stick in the lineup moving forward – even after Harper returns.

Michael Massey (2B – KCR)

Michael Massey has seen consistent playing time since his August 3 call-up, playing in eight of the Royals’ last nine games. He has a .321/.387/.393 slash line during this span, and has been a hitting machine, going 9-for-32 with three runs scored, three RBI, and one stolen base.

Massey has some pop and speed to his game. In Double- and Triple-A this season, he combined for 16 home runs and 13 stolen bases across 391 plate appearances. The sample size is small, but in his 40 major league plate appearances, he’s making a strong amount of contact in the zone (88.4%) and overall (79.2%). With Whit Merrifield gone, Massey should be able to secure playing time and contribute across the board. Take advantage of his power/speed profile.

Jose Miranda (1B/3B – MIN)

Jose Miranda started playing in May, but has really come on strong in July. In 71 plate appearances since the All-Star break, Miranda is slashing .369/.423/.554 with a 183 wRC+. He also has a 51% hard-hit rate over this period, to go along with three home runs, 13 runs scored, 15 RBI, and one stolen base.

Miranda has a .282/.327/.472 slash line across 269 plate appearances this season. While he doesn’t walk much (4.5% BB%), he has a solid 19.3% strikeout rate. Also, his plus batting average closely mirrors his career .281 minor league average. Miranda makes a ton of contact in the zone (89.4%) and overall (79.5%), which plays well with his 44% hard-hit rate. Miranda has primarily hit cleanup in August, making him a strong source of RBI moving forward. He could surprise in the second half of the season.

Elehuris Montero (1B/3B – COL)

Don’t look now, but the Rockies are playing a rookie! Elehuris Montero has been given regular playing time since the beginning of the month and hasn’t looked back. He’s started 10 games this month, registering a hit in all but one of them. Over those 39 plate appearances, Montero has a .368/.385/.579 slash line, with 14 hits, including five doubles, one home run, five runs scored, and six RBI.

Montero has played sporadically throughout the season, logging a total of 74 plate appearances. During that time he has a .278/.297/.417 slash line that’s partially fueled by a .404 BABIP. Montero’s plate approach isn’t pretty. He barely walks (1.4% BB%) and strikes out too much (32.4% K%). However, he’s barreling the ball at an 10.4% clip and has a 43.8% hard-hit rate – both of which play well at Coors Field. Montero is a better deep-league play, but there’s no shame in riding him while he’s hot – or at least until the Rockies realize he’s a rookie.

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Running Cold

Marcell Ozuna (OF – ATL)

Marcell Ozuna has been ice cold in August. For the month, he’s slashing .135/.132/.324 with two home runs, four runs scored, six RBI, and has a 13 wRC+ across 38 plate appearances. He also failed to register a walk, had a 21.4% hard-hit rate, and chased pitches outside the zone at a 48.3% clip. Yeesh.

Overall, Ozuna has had an underwhelming season. In 440 plate appearances, he hit 20 home runs with a .211/.261/.391 slash line and a .652 OPS. Unluckiness has played a part – his .229 BABIP is about 80 points lower than his career mark; and while expected stats aren’t always predictive, his .250 xBA and .478 xSLG indicate better days could be coming. The power is there with Ozuna – he’s barreling the ball 13.3% of the time and his 113.9 mph maxEV is in the 93rd percentile. Ozuna is tougher to roster in shallower leagues, but if his bat starts to make noise in the final months of the season, watch out.

Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL)

Charlie Blackmon has had a rough start to the month. He’s 8-for-47 with no home runs, four runs scored, four RBI, and a stolen base. He’s also slashing .186/.234/.186 with a 7 wRC+.

Blackmon’s season hasn’t been awful. He has a 16/55/63/3/.262 line with a .316 wOBA and 94 wRC+ across 451 plate appearances. While he’s still making a strong amount of contact in the zone (89.2%), his hard-hit rate has dipped to 30.3% (38.3% in 2021). Blackmon is one of the more durable players in the game. He bats leadoff and should still be considered an asset in runs scored and RBI. He’ll also provide a plus batting average, just don’t expect anything north of .270.

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