Cubs’ Rafael Ortega can give your fantasy baseball team some pop

We’ve reached the purpose of the season when each fantasy proprietor nonetheless taking note of their groups must be residing by the identical motto: Win in any respect prices.

That means you’re on the lookout for any participant who can supply constant manufacturing to help in your quest for fantasy glory. Those can are available many kinds. Veterans like Lorenzo Cain, C.J. Cron and Brandon Belt are on the market, ready for somebody to note them. Youngsters like Logan Webb, Vladimir Gutierrez, Lewis Brinson, Kyle Farmer and Tanner Houck are hoping for fantasy house owners to consider they’re manufacturing is for actual.

There are additionally gamers who’ve toiled round within the minors for years, with a number of hardly ever memorable moments within the bigs, who aren’t solely taking part in day-after-day however are producing numbers being ignored as a result of they don’t have the title recognition.

Before becoming a member of the Cubs’ massive league roster on May 26, Rafael Ortega had performed 143 video games for the Rockies (two video games in 2012), Angels (66 video games in 2016), Marlins (34 video games in 2018) and Braves (59 video games in 2019). He clearly didn’t make a lot of an impression, hitting .229 with three homers, 33 RBIs, 41 runs, 17 stolen bases, 70 strikeouts, a .287 on-base share and .577 OPS in these 143 video games.

Rafael Ortega
Rafael Ortega
Getty Images

Over his first 33 video games with the Cubs this season, it seemed like the identical previous story for the 30-year-old. He was 15-for-64 (.234) with two homers, 5 RBIs, six runs scored, two stolen bases, 17 strikeouts and a .649 OPS.

Since the All-Star break, nevertheless, Ortega has seemed like a distinct ballplayer. He has a minimum of one hit in 22 of his first 27 video games because the Midsummer Classic (that features an eight-game hit streak July 29-Aug. 6). During that stretch, he’s 34-for-83 with 4 homers, 12 RBIs, 12 runs, 5 stolen bases and a 1.100 OPS.

Among gamers with a minimal of 80 second-half plate appearances, Ortega ranks second in common (.410), ninth in stolen bases, fourth in on-base share (.462), ninth in slugging share (.639) and fifth in OPS.

As the Cubs dismantled their team, Ortega thrived — not solely as an on a regular basis outfielder, however as Chicago’s leadoff hitter. In 20 video games hitting within the prime spot, Ortega was 27-for-67 (.403) with 4 homers, 11 RBIs, 4 stolen bases, 11 runs and a 1.109 OPS.

For the season, Ortega entered Friday hitting .333 with six homers, 17 RBIs, 18 runs, seven stolen bases and a .905 OPS.

You can take a look at the actual fact Ortega strikes out in 24.8 p.c of his at-bats, walks simply 7.5 p.c of the time or the actual fact he’s a 30-year-old journeyman outfielder who has by no means had a lot success within the majors however hit .292 with 72 homers, 486 RBIs and 259 stolen bases over 13 seasons within the minors.

Though it appears unlikely his present degree of manufacturing will proceed, his numbers are backed up by an above-average barrel fee, a strong .302 xBA, a 41.7 p.c hard-hit share, 109.5 mph max exit velocity and a 46.3 p.c candy spot fee, which ranks second within the majors amongst gamers with a minimal of 100 batted ball occasions.

The different factor Ortega has in his favor: constant taking part in time whereas hitting leadoff. Even if his common falls, let’s say to his present profession common (.257), he nonetheless presents unimaginable worth together with his means to steal bases. The reality he has some energy, can rating runs and hit for a good common is a bonus.

Ortega, who stays obtainable in additional than 55 p.c of ESPN leagues after being probably the most added outfielder this week, shouldn’t be a prospect or somebody you’ll take into account stashing for subsequent season. He is merely a participant who’s excelling whereas getting the possibility to play day-after-day.

When you’re trying to win in any respect prices, discovering a participant like this on the waiver wire must be a welcome sight.

Big Hits

Abraham Toro 2B/3B, Mariners

Has a minimum of one hit in 12 of his first 15 video games since being traded from Houston. He is 20-for-55 (.364) with three homers, seven RBIs, one stolen base, 10 runs and a 1.063 OPS in that span.

Joe Musgrove SP, Padres

Allowed simply 4 earned runs over his previous 4 begins whereas going 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA, 28 strikeouts and a .180 opponents common.

Freddy Peralta SP, Brewers

Has allowed greater than two earned runs as soon as since May 11, going 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA, 109 strikeouts and a .134 opponents common over his previous 15 begins.

Freddy Peralta
Freddy Peralta

Lewis Brinson OF, Marlins

Entered Friday hitting .432 (16-for-37) with 4 homers, 15 RBIs, 10 runs scored and a 1.340 OPS over his previous 10 video games.

Big Whiffs

Dallas Keuchel SP, White Sox

Since his final win on July 9, the lefty is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA, 11 walks, eight homers allowed and a .212 opponent common.

Matt Chapman 3B, Athletics

After hitting .227 with a .705 OPS and 111 strikeouts within the first half, it hasn’t gotten significantly better for the 28-year-old. In his first 23 video games of the second half, he’s hitting .167 with 37 strikeouts and a .564 OPS.

Zach Davies SP, Cubs

Allowed 18 earned runs over his previous three begins (12 innings) whereas going 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA, six homers allowed and a wholesome .370 opponents common.

Cody Bellinger 1B/OF, Dodgers

In his first 22 video games because the break, he’s 15-for-81 (.185) with 5 homers, 11 RBIs, 24 strikeouts, a .250 OBP and .682 OPS.

Check Swings

  • In his first 9 video games this month, C.J. Cron hit .387 (12-for-31) with 4 homers, 17 RBIs, 9 runs and a 1.293 OPS. Of these 17 RBIs, 13 got here in three video games from Aug. 6-8 (all 4 homers got here in these video games, too), and 7 got here within the sport on Aug. 8.
  • Cal Quantrill, probably the most added pitcher in ESPN leagues this week, has not allowed greater than three earned runs in his previous eight begins. He is 3-0 with a 2.09 ERA, 37 strikeouts and a .195 opponents common in that span. He has 21 strikeouts over his previous three begins, and 33 over his previous six whereas going 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA and .176 opponents common.
  • After hitting .288 with 16 homers, 52 RBIs and a .896 OPS within the first half, Carlos Correa has cooled down significantly. Since the break, he was hitting .207 with two homers, 9 RBIs and a .636 OPS in his first 22 video games.

Team Name of the Week

Moustakas Tuesday

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