<
>

Missed Austin Meadows? Here are other outfielders to add

If Austin Meadows has already been scooped up in your fantasy league, Brandon Nimmo of the Mets could be a solid addition for your outfield. Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy managers have rushed out to pick up Austin Meadows, the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect who is off to a great start, including a home run off of Jon Lester on Tuesday night.

However, there are other, more widely available outfielders on hot streaks that have them moving up the Player Rater. If you missed out on Meadows and need help in the OF, are you looking to add these players?

Eric Karabell on Brandon Nimmo

I am interested in Nimmo finding his way onto my fantasy rosters because it seems like there is nobody decent to provide batting average and stolen base aid. Even the top options are not running as much. Free agency features Rajai Davis types with a history of stolen base production, but a lot of these fellows do not play regularly. Nimmo might, but who knows if the Mets will comply.

I can see platooning Nimmo against left-handed pitching, but it is not like the Mets have so many other options. Just leave this guy alone in the leadoff spot and he could be a bit like Adam Eaton, when the Washington Nationals outfielder was healthy, at least. Nimmo is not a power guy, despite the early power burst. He is not a major steals option, though he is 5-for-5 already. But like Eaton I see double digits of each, with runs scored. I would take that. I think Nimmo is legit.

Tristan H. Cockcroft on Gorkys Hernandez

If you're looking to pick up some statistics while Hernandez is on a hot streak and "juice the orange," OK, he might be worth a look (well, in deeper-than-12-team mixed and NL-only leagues), but it should be relatively easy to find a more trustworthy, longer-term pickup. Why is Hernandez garnering recent attention? He has started 10 straight San Francisco Giants games, hit safely in each of them, and batted .425 (17-for-40) with four home runs in them.

In Hernandez's career leading up to that 10-game streak, he's a .239/.302/.332 hitter who had never previously had a Combo Meal (home run and stolen base in the same game), hit safely in more than eight straight games, or hit more than 10 home runs in any professional season. He also has a .400 batting average on balls in play this season, a completely unsustainable number. And while he has cut down slightly upon his previously high ground-ball rates in the minors, it's not enough to support him suddenly becoming this much of a power source. Hernandez might've earned himself a larger opportunity, and that is the hook for NL-only managers -- I stress often on these pages how playing time is increasingly an asset the deeper the league -- but I don't see him contributing much in standard mixed leagues, perhaps a .250-.260 batting average, 10 home runs and 15-18 stolen bases per 162 team games (scaled for what remains).

AJ Mass on Jon Jay

Meadows is certainly an intriguing pickup, but it all comes down to playing time with him. Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington has said, "He could be here for the rest of the year. He could be one of our next moves." That's not exactly a rock-solid guarantee for at-bats going forward, though I'd be happy to ride the rookie and his ridiculous .854 slugging percentage while he's hot.

Jay is certainly getting the at-bats, as he's currently just one shy of the top 10 in the league. His strikeout rate is at a three-season low of 15.4 percent and his hard-hit rate is at a career-best 32.8 percent. While his power is non-existent, it's hard to argue how consistent he has been for the entire month of May -- batting .368 with only two hitless games on the calendar page.

As a top-20 OF in points leagues for the past 30 days, and a top-10 option over the past week, it's hard not to like Jay -- especially when he's leading off for the Royals with Whit Merrifield (.313 in May) hitting behind him in the order. Jay may have a decade on Meadows in the age department and far less of a fantasy future, but for the present he makes for a fine alternative.

Kyle Soppe on Jurickson Profar

You're not going to tease me with a Profar streak of production again, only to pull all of the value away as I decide to make a move. Yes, I realize that he had seven hits (four of which went for extra bases) and 11 RBIs during a six-day stretch in the middle of this month ... so what? He slashed .323/.363/.465 in the first half of the 2016 season, only to round out that season with a dreadful .166/.288/.228 line post-All Star break. Way back in 2013, he had 10 hits in his first 27 at-bats, but managed to hit a mere .220 the rest of the season.

Those obviously aren't massive sample sizes, but it's really all we have to go on for a player that has just 809 at-bats on his big league resume despite making his debut back in 2012, and we really have no reason to expect sustained fantasy value moving forward. He's a switch-hitter who has yet to prove capable of hitting consistently from either side (his career batting average is under .240 from both sides of the dish), he has only been successful on 57.1 percent of his career stolen base attempts, and his career .116 ISO simply isn't going to cut it in this era of baseball. Go ahead Charlie Brown, keep trying to kick that football ... I'll wait to see Lucy keep the ball on the ground before taking another crack at it.