Groovin’ with Govier: Fantasy Baseball Roundup (8/22)


Get into the groove as I take you on a stadium tour across the fantasy baseball realm! It is my hope that you will find this article both entertaining and informative. Don’t forget about our stellar season-long fantasy baseball coverage at FTN Fantasy. Save a couple bones with my promo code MJGOVIER when you sign up so you can get access to outstanding pieces like Matty Davis’ Weekly Hitter Planner. Also, I’ve started a weekly video complement to this article. Each week a new episode will be live at 6 p.m. ET every Saturday on the FTN Network YouTube channel. Take advantage of the live chat in real-time to ask questions related to this week’s article or for questions you have for the following week’s action.


It is my ultimate goal for you to absorb and apply winning fantasy baseball wisdom from each edition of Groovin’ with Govier. It’s similar to when Neo was offered the blue or the red pill. If you continue reading this, you take the plunge to find out how far my fantasy baseball analysis can take you. Every Tuesday we’re on bended knee in search of the ultimate … a league championship! Tuesday is my birthday so I’m going to apply the gratitude I have for still being alive so I can make this article the best one yet!

Inside-The-Park Home Runs Are Always a Good Time

Just a Moment of Weakness

I started my fantasy baseball show known as the Pallazzo Podcast in January of 2020. By June of that year I was having many conversations on the show with excellent prospects gurus like Shelly Verougstraete and former TGFBI overall winner Michael Richards. Nearly everyone I engaged with seemed to join in on the general consensus, which was aligned in favor of Arizona State Sun Devil corner infielder Spencer Torkelson as the top selection for the 2020 MLB Draft. He was a special power-hitting talent who made a name for himself by breaking the ASU freshman home run record previously held by BALCO’s biggest client Barry Bonds. By the time Tork was drafted though, COVID-19 had brought the United States to a standstill. From after the draft and for the rest of 2020, Tork was denied the initial typical minor league progression and coddling that most top prospects before him enjoyed. There is no definite way for me to prove that this impacted Torkelson’s development, but mix the COVID-19 chaos in with a ho-hum-at-best GM named Al Avila and the ensuing result after the 2020 MLB Draft may make more sense to us as time drags on. 

As society came back from hibernation in 2021, Tork joined up with the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps where his stay only lasted for 31 games because that’s how impressed former Tigers GM Avila, who was the father of former Tiger catcher Alex Avila, was with Tork. He played 50 games at AA Erie with the Seawolves ripping 14 taters before jumping up to AAA Toledo to participate in another 40 games to close out 2021. Tork smacked 11 bombs with a 129 wRC+ over 177 PA in Toledo. Based on his performance to that point, the only question for Torkelson in 2022 was how much service time manipulation Avila and company would execute before finally bringing Tork to Motown. 

Then, it happened! Torkelson actually made the Opening Day 2022 roster for the iconic Tigers franchise. Coming out of the CBA Lockout imposed by the owners last year, there were new incentives for the Tigers to deploy Torkelson from the get-go in the hopes that they might secure draft picks if Tork was on the opening day roster and finished in the top three of the Rookie of the Year voting. All indications from his prospect pedigree, his performance in the minors and his offensive skills pointed toward Torkelson making a legitimate run at ROY. 

It didn’t work out that way. Torkelson struggled mightily over 298 PA for an awful-offensively Detroit team that in fairness to Torkelson did him few favors. He was demoted at the All-Star break after only hitting 5 homers with a .197/.282/.295 triple slash and a 69 wRC+. He was given another opportunity with the big club Sept. 2. Over 108 more PA Tork hit 3 homers with 9 XBH overall and a 95 wRC+. He closed the frustrating year with an excellent series against Seattle going 5-13 with 2 dongs in that final three game set. It’s also worth noting that current Tigers ringleader Scott Harris was hired in September of the 2022 season after Avila was finally sent packing. The hope for Torkelson and all the younger Tiger players was that Harris was much more aware and attuned to the player development requirements that every player needs from the moment they are signed as bonus babies until they finally become an MLB mainstay. 

2023 appeared to be more of the same for Torkelson. By June 1, he had achieved only four round-trippers. Yet despite his .237 batting average after two months, Torkelson showed a slight improvement by securing a .319 OBP with a 21.2% K rate. He also really stood out by crushing the ball consistently to that point with a 49.7% HHR. Since June 1, Tork has mashed 18 homers with four multi-homer games over that span and a 129 wRC+ as well. Yes, his .229/.312/.496 slash line doesn’t hit as hard as his home run numbers do since June 1, but his 54.1% HHR over the same time frame really supports the amount of power he has shown off since the start of June. 

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For the season he has 22 homers along with 27 two-baggers over 521 PA and 122 games played. Tork is a very reliable asset who can be written into the lineup with a pen without any concerns for his durability. That matters plenty in fantasy baseball. In roto leagues specifically, securing players who can provide more opportunities at the plate can be the difference in winning a hitting category or two by season’s end. Over the last month on the recent episodes of the Pallazzo Podcast, my co-hosts Mike Virginia and Britton Allan to their credit have been getting stoked about the rise of Torkelson’s performance frequently bringing him up Tork’s latest achievements on the show. I have remained steadfast and unsure about Torkelson’s second half growth. To my detriment as a fantasy player, I have been very down on Torkelson since his demotion last year not only for the disappointment from his play, but also most likely for the simple reason that he plays for the team I grew up rooting for. Passion for the local MLB team, especially when that team stinks like the Tigers have now since 2015, can be a dangerous variable when analyzing players who play for that squad. When an individual player turnaround like Torkelson’s occurs, that blind spot of rage and frustration with the team’s failures can possibly creep into the player analysis process. I’m not saying that is precisely what happened to me in relation to Torkelson, but I have to at least consider the possibility after I didn’t catch on to his power hitting ways in early July. Don’t be that guy.

Pointless Act

It’s important to find time for levity in each day we inhabit this planet. If we can do so with brevity, then we have completed the levity/brevity/regularity trifecta for the day! So let me introduce this week’s most innocuous transaction as found on MLB’s own website. This one is fairly pointless. Remember the hype around Jeter Downs a few years ago? Whoops!


Henry Davis, C/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Hopefully those fantasy baseball managers who roster Henry Davis were paying attention before lineups locked in weekly leagues as Davis landed in the IL with a strain in his right hand. Davis said the injury has been lingering for awhile now and he needs to rest it to be useful again. The former top overall draft pick didn’t set the world on fire in his first go around with the Pirates, but it’s possible the injury has been slowing his ability to make meaningful contact. With his unique positional eligibility, he should be held if possible. In shallower leagues he was likely already on the waiver wire. 

Freddy Peralta, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Another lesson for all fantasy baseball managers when it comes to seeing the big picture of a talented arm like Freddy Peralta. He has had three double digit strikeout games over his last five starts. With a career 11.60 K/9, we should all have been a little more patient with Peralta. Outside of his rough outing against Atlanta July 21 where he gave up 6 ER, Peralta has been a strong SP2 for most rosters. Since June 1, over 79 IP, he’s sported a 3.52 ERA supported by his 3.47 FIP with 110 K’s to 27 BBs. Yes, he has surrendered 11 dongs over that stretch as well, but the rest of his output makes those tolerable. His 77% strand rate over the same time frame does make me wonder if he could be looking at more trouble with the walks if he doesn’t keep those runners at bay. That feels like nit-picking to me. Keep the K’s coming, and the rest will work itself out.

Seiya Suzuki, OF, Chicago Cubs

Since returning from his temporary benching Aug. 9, Seiya Suzuki has come out swinging. He homered again Monday night against Detroit, giving him 4 homers over his last 10 games. He’s only struck out 4 times over his last 36 ABs. Right now it looks like Suzuki is tapping into the potential he was originally signed for by the Cubs last year. If he happens to be available in any leagues, he should certainly be scooped up right away. 

Ryan Noda, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics

Ryan Noda made his triumphant return from the IL Monday, drawing two walks and scoring twice. Noda is an OBP machine and should absolutely be on rosters for OBP leagues in 12-teamers and deeper. Don’t sleep on his .375 OBP as a rookie! Plenty of left-handed Rhys Hoskins vibes here. Also Noda’s return means Tyler Soderstrom is Major League III: Back To The Minors

Bryan Woo, SP, Seattle Mariners

Recently called upon starting pitcher Emerson Hancock has landed on the IL with a shoulder ailment. Hancock was originally brought up as Bryan Woo went on the IL. Now Woo is ready to return to replace Hancock. Ain’t baseball something else? Woo was looking like he was out of gas before he hit the IL, but maybe the rest did him some good. He’s worth taking a chance on to see if he can recapture some of his early magic this year. 

Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox

Jarren Duran left Sunday’s game against the Yankees with a left toe contusion. He is getting an MRI done on the toe Tuesday. Apparently it’s a tricky one according to the Red Sox brass. The Sawks may end up placing the talented CF on the IL as a result of this injury. There are many people who love to see the Red Sox call up flashy prospect Ceddane Rafaela. Duran was definitely in Rafaela’s way. Stay up to date on this situation Tuesday. Things could get interesting very quickly. 

D.J. Stewart, OF, New York Mets

How about the former Baltimore prospect showing out in the Big Apple for the Mets right now? DJ Stewart is also an OBP specific player with plenty of power to crank baseballs all over the ballpark. Right now, he is on a dong stroking tear with 5 homers over his last six games. Stewart will eventually cool out, but while he is hot like this, he is an absolute must-start OF in 12-teamers and deeper. 

Gavin Williams, SP, Cleveland Guardians

I am going to live with the pain of watching Gavin Williams recently go back-to-back against the Rays and Blue Jays with double-digit strikeout performances. I traded Williams July 27, because even though I loved his profile, I was concerned about his efficiency up to that point. So I sent him away at the deadline for Alex Cobb. This was in my home league BYB which is a 14-team H2H Cats league. The lesson here is to be more patient. I was hyping Williams up on Twitter for months before he finally arrived to The Show. I believed in his talent, but in the H2H playoffs I felt I needed a veteran who could go deeper in games to secure wins. Maybe I am cheating with hindsight here but heed the error of my ways. I don’t want anybody else to sell too soon on a player they have done their homework on. 

Harold Ramírez, 1B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Harold Ramírez feels about as unheralded as any useful player in fantasy baseball. That’s probably because he doesn’t hit for much power. Still, how does 15-34 over his last 10 games sound? He also hasn’t drawn a single walk over the last 10 games either, but for fantasy managers looking for batting average boosts, this is the man to consider.

Nick Lodolo, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Nick Lodolo Cincinnati Reds Fantasy Baseball Groovin' with Govier

Nick Lodolo is very close to making his highly anticipated return to the MLB. He pitched in another rehab outing last Saturday that wasn’t all that impressive. Regardless, he’s going to give it another go this week with the Louisville Bats. It’s possible he could return to the Red after that start. It’s also possible he needs one more tune-up before returning to the Queen City. Most fantasy managers have stashed Lodolo by now, but if he is available he should definitely be added with the expectation he pitches in The Show in 10 days or so. 

Stone Garrett, OF, Washington Nationals

I love this name! It’s just a fun baseball name. Stone has been rocking and rolling lately just like Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam. Garrett is playing every day as of late in the Nationals’ lineup. He has five multi-hit games over his last ten along with 11 RBIs as well. Stone may be playing over his head right now from a contact perspective, but he is certainly worth rostering as Washington heads to New York City to take on the moribund Yankees. Already feels like Stone will go yard at least once in this upcoming series as Aaron Boone prepares to exit stage left. 

Edward Cabrera, SP, Miami Marlins

For the lurkers out there waiting for Edward Cabrera to get another opportunity in the Marlins rotation, this isn’t news. For the rest of the fantasy baseball managers out there who forgot about Cabrera, take note. He has completed three starts at AAA with only 4 ER allowed over 17.2 IP in those three starts with 15 K’s. Unfortunately Cabrera has given up 8 BBs as well. His command was the crucial aspect of his game that needed fine tuning. Miami brough Eury Pérez back up while rolling with the newly acquired Ryan Weathers as well. Weathers was ripped Monday night while technically having three lefties in their rotation. If Weathers goes to the pen or is demoted, Cabrera would be in line to get another shot. It’s possible that opportunity is approaching soon. It’s just a matter of control and command for Cabrera upon his return.

Parker Meadows, OF, Detroit Tigers

Congratulations to Austin’s younger brother Parker Meadows, who is now on the MLB roster in Motown/ I am very happy for Meadows, but I have to say I still think Justyn-Henry Malloy deserves a call-up before Meadows. Just saying. Anyway, Parker is a 6-foot-5 left-handed 23-year-old OF who is looking at everyday playing time over the final six weeks. Parker spent all of 2023 at AAA Toledo where he cranked 19 homers and stole 19 bases while sporting a 97 wRC+ over 517 PA. Meadows held an 11% BB rate in Toledo, but only a .337 OBP which was possibly brought down by his .256 batting average. His contact skills will be a concern even though his K rate at AAA of 23.8% isn’t overly concerning. Hitting homers at Comerica Park is easier for right handers than lefties, but Meadows is worth a speculative add for power and speed down the stretch.

Ha-Seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS, San Diego Padres

I am very pleased for Ha-Seong Kim! When he arrived in MLB back in 2021, he had just come off of a stellar 2020 in the KBO cranking 30 homers with 21 steals and a 141 wRC+ over 138 games played. I went heavy on him during draft season that year. It didn’t go according to expectation though. Last season was a slight improvement from 2021, but he still didn’t produce like he did in the KBO. Now though, at 27-years-old, he is absolutely playing like the guy the Padres originally signed for. He launched a grand slam against Miami Monday night while also going 2-4 with a steal! This dude fills up a stat sheet in so many useful ways. It’s now looking like Kim could challenge Fernando Tatis Jr. as a fair comparison when it comes to fantasy baseball returns. Compare their numbers. It’s much closer now than it was two years ago. This is not a fluke.

Ryan Pepiot, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers lost Tony Gonsolin to the IL last week after he was destroyed by the Marlins. Ryan Pepiot was used as the 27th man for the doubleheader last Saturday where he pitched 5 solid innings while striking out 5. The Dodgers sent Pepiot back to AAA already, but with Gonsolin lost now indefinitely, it seems like Pepiot will likely be in the mix for starts sooner than later. Ryan Yarbrough may be in Pepiot’s way, but for those looking for low-rostered starters who can make an impact, Pepiot should be monitored on all watch lists going forward. 

Ji Hwan Bae, 2B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Ji Hwan Bae finally returned from the IL after lingering with an ankle injury. Bae got on base three times in his first game back last weekend against the Twins. Bae led off for all three games against Minnesota in that series. Bae became fantasy relevant this season because of his ability to steal bags. If he remains in the leadoff position down the stretch for the hapless Pirates, that is a tasty place to reside. Bae can provide contact skills and steals for any fantasy manager in need of those traits on their fantasy roster. Bae’s worth adding in 14-teamers and deeper. 

Kole Calhoun, OF, Cleveland Guardians

A rare post-deadline trade went down in early August when the Dodgers sent Kole Calhoun to Cleveland for cash. The only reason this was allowed was due to the fact that Calhoun had not been on a 40-man roster yet this year. It’s a little-known loophole in the CBA. Anyways, being starved for offense the Guardians have been deploying Calhoun against righties. He went yard last weekend against my bozo Tigers. Cleveland looks like they may be done for 2023, but Calhoun holds appeal in deeper leagues where power is required. He’s still good for dongs. 

Carson Kelly, C, Detroit Tigers

Just wanted to mention this addition that my bozo Tigers made because I think Carson Kelly still has some life left in him and Detroit is an ideal landing spot for him because outside of Jake Rogers there isn’t anybody to fear. Plus with the Tigers letting Eric Haase go as well, Kelly could show what he’s got over the season’s final moments. 

Luis Urías, 2B/3B/SS, Boston Red Sox

There is no doubt that Luis Urías has talent. He can hit while offering solid plate discipline. Urias hit two grand slams in three days last week. That’s a really stunning achievement. It’s just too bad the Red Sox are loaded up with infielders who are producing. With the return of Trevor Story and the emergence of Pablo Reyes, the Sawks just don’t have consistent playing time for their new arrival at the trade deadline. Urías has fantasy appeal on formats like Yahoo where he has three different positions to offer, but he isn’t a viable option until someone else gets hurt or goes ice cold. 

Dylan Moore, 2B/SS/OF, Seattle Mariners

Dylan Moore never seems to play consistently enough to be worth rostering, but at the very least he needs to be starred on all watch lists. He smoked 2 round-trippers last Saturday in Houston and then followed that up by going 4-5 Sunday against the righty Hunter Brown. He’s not just performing against lefties either. I am more cautious and uncertain about the playing time for Moore, but keep watch and consider as an add in deeper leagues thanks to his multi-positional eligibility. 

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