Turn Back the Clock! These “Old Guys” are Raking and Deserve a Roster Spot.
Updated: Aug 27
In what seems like a league run by 21 year old superstars, we tend to forget about the overshadowed, less popular veterans and consequently leave them off our fantasy rosters. While everyone’s out looking for the next best thing, waiting for their favorite prospect to get the call up, these savvy vets are producing on the field and are likely to outperform their shiny, new counterparts. There are of course the obvious players that are already 100% owned and are hitting as expected, Nelson Cruz for example. But there are a few under the radar players who are quietly raking as well, that will only help your roster. Lets take a look at a few players thought to be past their prime or “old” by baseball standards, that are hot right now.
Brandon Belt 1B/OF, SF Giants
Brandon Belt is on fire. Over his last 7 starts, Belt’s an absurd 16 for 28 (.571 BA) with 4 home runs, 10 RBI, and 8 runs scored, including a stretch of reaching base safely in 9 straight plate appearances. His biggest hit came in the 9th inning last night, blasting a no-doubter to deep center, tying the game and forcing extras. The home run came off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, giving him his first blown save of the year. Belt looks incredibly locked in right now and possesses a .313/.395/.612 stat line for the season. History is not on his side, but at the moment he definitely needs to be owned and started against right handed pitching.
Wilmer Flores 1B/2B, SF Giants
Sticking with the Giants, we move onto fan favorite Wilmer Flores. Over the last three games he has slumped a bit, but before that he had gone 13 for 23 with three HR’s, 10 RBI, and 8 runs scored. For the season he’s hitting a robust .291, with 7 homers, 19 RBI, and 16 runs scored. Flores put up similar numbers last year in Arizona, so the production isn’t all that surprising. He’s always crushed lefties and still has the benefit of facing many of the same pitchers within the division he did last year. He also qualifies at 1B and 2B furthering his value. Still only 29 and not quite “old” even for MLB standards, Flores seems to be peaking in his 8th season and should be rostered across the board.
Evan Longoria 3B, SF Giants
One final Giant who deserves mentioning is former All-Star Evan Longoria. Far removed from his fantasy stardom days, Longoria has shown he can still produce in the clutch and git ‘er done! Many of his Statcast numbers place him above the 85th percentile in the league, including xwOBA, xSLG, and xBA. He currently has 15 RBI in only 89 at bats, to go along with a fine .292 BA and 3 home runs. He may not be worth starting, but he’s more than deserving a spot on your bench.
Brad Miller 2B/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals
It wasn’t that long ago that Miller hit over 30 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays. A player I viewed as a deep sleeper coming into the season, I never expected him to mash the way he has so far. Hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Cards, Miller’s hot start has resulted in a .353/.477/.588 stat line. He qualifies all over the diamond and while I don’t expect this level of production to continue, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Cards keep him in the lineup against right handed pitching all season long. Because of COVID delays he’s only had 34 AB’s, but as long as St. Louis keeps him in the starting lineup, you should too.
Kyle Seager 3B, Seattle Mariners
Seager stormed out of the gate this season leading a youthful Mariners squad to above average offensive production. Embracing the role of leader on the club, Seager’s let his play on the field do the talking and boy has it ever. In just over 100 at bats, Seager has produced an .875 OPS and a whopping 24 RBI’s. Another player I was high on before the draft, Seager has outplayed his ADP by at least 200 picks and has provided massive value for those savvy enough to draft him. The signs were all there, dating back to last year when he returned for the second half of the season, crushing 23 home runs and 19 doubles in less than 400 at bats. When interviewed on MLB’s 30 clubs in 30 days, Seager stated he’d never felt healthier and just seemed so at ease. He said he was more than excited to take on a leadership role and was happy to still be a part of the Mariners organization. It just looked so genuine, I knew he was going to produce this season and he hasn’t let me down. Keep him in your lineups, especially against right handed pitching (although he’s done equally as well vs. lefties this season).
Mitch Moreland 1B, Boston Red Sox
If someone told you before the season started that Mitch Moreland would be the best player on the BoSox halfway through the season, you would have laughed. But like many matters this season, things haven’t always gone as planned. Not only does he lead Boston with a 1.274 OPS, but if he qualified with enough plate appearances, he would lead all of baseball. Left out of the starting lineup half the time vs. lefties, Moreland only has 68 PA’s leaving him 25 short of qualifying. However, over those 68 PA’s he has driven in more than a batter per game, nearly walked as much as K’d, hit a home run in every 8 AB’s, and has continued to be a nightmare out for opposing pitchers. He started off last year hot as well, but these numbers are too good to ignore. His OPS+ is hilariously 232 and his standard OPS is 1.350 vs righties right now, you need him in your lineup.
Andrew McCutchen OF, Philadelphia Phillies
McCutchen started the year off slowly, but has recently been a force at the dish. Like many of his teammates, he’s currently riding a hot streak where he’s produced a 9/2/12/3/.309 roto line over the past 2 weeks. The 3 steals are a welcome site of hopefully things to come, and the fact that he’s driven in 12 in as many games out of the leadoff spot, shows the team as a whole is clicking. McCutchen hit for an admirable .834 OPS last year in Philly before he got hurt, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to sustain similar production. He probably won’t hit above .260 for the season, but the help in the other four categories makes him worth starting right now.