Monday's roster trends segment of Fantasy Baseball Today provided a long-than-usual list of players with possible staying power. Al Melchior and I touch on several in the video, but I wanted to expand on two of my favorites here.
First, Collin McHugh, whose place among the most added I suspect is because he's making two starts this week. But the way he's righted the ship after a rough patch in early June has earned him a longer stay, I think.
His control escaped him for about a six-start stretch there, limiting him to fewer than six innings in four of them. Considering he was already hurting for wins pitching for one of the worst teams in the league, that seemed like too much of an obstacle to overcome. Plus, it gave owners the excuse they needed to cut ties with a journeyman pitcher they had no reason to trust.
But the key to McHugh's breakthrough -- the improved strikeout rate -- never abated and, in fact, improved thereafter. Over his last seven starts, he's averaged 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings, compiling a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP along the way. Plus, he's regained his former efficiency, pitching at least six innings in six of those starts. He has a 0-5 record during that stretch, which explains why Fantasy owners have been slow to come back to him, but that's mostly the product of bad luck. Clearly, you shouldn't expect a 20-win pace from him the rest of the way given his supporting cast, but if he can match Dallas Keuchel's 13-win pace, you'll be happy you acted when you did.
David Peralta is the other player I made a point to add in several of my leagues this weekend. A product of the independent league, nobody really knew what to make of him at first (kind of like the way Daniel Nava's career started), but after more than 200 at-bats, I'd say what he's actually done counts for more than what his 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio suggests he should do, especially since it's line with what he did in both the independent and minor leagues.
He's a contact hitter, plain and simple, and though he's not walking at all (which initially made me skeptical of his batting average), he's striking out just one out of every seven at-bats, which is about the same rate as Chase Utley. That's not all he has to offer either, having already delivered five home runs. He might be something like the NL version of Nick Markakis, only with more doubles and triples.
He's not there yet, of course, and may still have some regression in store, but I'm no longer expecting a drastic one. If nothing else, Peralta is worth owning in standard Rotisserie leagues (meaning five outfielders) as a batting average specialist whenever he's facing mostly right-handers. He's batting .333 against them compared to .250 against lefties.