Fantasy: FAAB Targets For Week 18

Image credit: Sal Frelick (Brad Krause/Four Seam Images)

After a whirlwind few weeks with so much crammed into the baseball calendar, our weekly FAAB report returns. This installment looks at hitters you should target via trade, FAAB bid or waiver wire addition. With the trade deadline bearing down not only in reality but in many dynasty leagues this is an active time to buy and build. Whether you’re looking to move up in the standings this year, cement a championship or build your next title-contending core, now is an essential time to be active. Trading, FAAB bidding and knowing your league’s waiver wire are all essential parts of executing a winning strategy no matter your situation or position in the standings.

The targets below should be of particular interest to rebuilders and competing teams looking to restock the cupboard after a big trade. 

Jonathan Aranda, 2B Rays

League Type: Redraft Leagues or All Types

So far this season Aranda has ridden the Durham to Tampa shuttle a few times, seeing just 16 plate appearances across seven games. While his MLB returns have been meager he’s having another stellar season in the minors. The infielder has hit .328/.403/.550 with 15 home runs. His production is supported by his underlying numbers as well, with an average exit velocity of 89 mph, an 81% contact rate and a 23% chase rate—all numbers that rate as above-average to plus for their particular metric. Aranda is a complete hitter and on the 40-man roster now. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Aranda potentially moved at the trade deadline or see him take a spot at the big league level. With his particular skill set, he’s worth taking a flyer on this week. 

Sal Frelick, OF Brewers

League Type: 12 Team Dynasty or 75+ Prospects Rostered 

A 2021 first-round pick and highly touted collegiate star with Boston College, Frelick is likely widely rostered in leagues. In the faint chance he’s not in a shallow dynasty league, he’s worth an add or bid. In leagues where Frelick is already rostered he’s a worthy trade target at the trade deadline. After starting the season in the frigid Midwest League, Frelick saw a promotion to Double-A on May 3 and struggled initially, hitting .239/.316/.330 over his first 20 games with Biloxi. Since June 7 Frelick has been on fire, hitting .370/.425/.565 with 15 extra-base hits and six stolen bases on seven attempts. Something has certainly clicked halfway through Frelick’s first full season as he’s been on a great run over the last month. With contact, speed and sneaky power, Frelick is a worthy target as dynasty managers head into the deadline. His quality of play and ability to handle all three outfield positions give him a chance to exceed rookie limits as early as next summer. Frelick is a close-to-the-majors prospect with first round pedigree and a variety of skills that will play in all scoring formats. 

Colton Cowser, OF Orioles 

League Type: 12 Team Dynasty or 75+ Prospects Rostered 

Cowser has received multiple recommendations in FAAB articles this season, and his price tag of late continues to go up. While you likely can no longer buy him at the bottom of the market, he’s still a valuable trade target, particularly in points or OBP-based scoring formats. Since his promotion to Double-A on June 28 Cowser is hitting .321/.476/.679 with seven home runs, one more than his career total prior to his promotion to Bowie. He’s also put up this line while running the lowest batting average on balls in play of any stop over his professional career. If Cowser has unlocked his power even at an average level in games, his combination of elite plate discipline and contact should lead to strong overall results. Now just a few steps away from the major leagues, Cowser could see time with the Orioles burgeoning young core as early as next spring. Cowser should be one of your top trade targets as you head into your league’s deadline. 

Kyle Manzardo, 1B Rays

League Type: 12 Team Dynasty or 100 Prospects Rostered 

Over the last few years Manzardo has blossomed from underrated college hitter to one of the biggest helium names in dynasty leagues. The Rays 2021 second-rounder has destroyed High-A pitching, hitting .321/.421/.623 with 16 home runs over 59 games. While Manzardo has beaten up on Class A pitching, his combination of plate discipline, contact and power are showing in games. His 80% contact rate and sub-20% chase rate support his batting average and on-base percentage while his exit data is solid but not spectacular. His average exit velocity is above-average but he lacks the top-end exit velocities you’d expect for a power hitter. As you would expect with a lefthanded hitter, Manzardo struggles at times in left-on-left matchups but is still productive overall in same side matchups. He excels against righthanded pitching, working deep into counts and making a lot of barrel contact on strikes. Manzardo is an excellent hitter with the ability to hit for power due to consistent quality contact. 

Oscar Colas, OF White Sox

League Type: 12 Team Dynasty or 100 Prospects Rostered 

It was difficult to know just what type of player Colas would be once he came stateside. Now that we have a larger sample it’s easy to see there’s a potential impact offensive contributor with his combination of bat-to-ball skills and plus power. After hitting .311/.369/.475 with seven home runs for High-A Winston-Salem over 59 games, Colas was promoted to Double-A Birmingham in mid-July. So far with the Barons, Colas has mashed, hitting .395/.465/.842 with five home runs over 10 games. He’s been a name mentioned loosely as a potential trade chip for the White Sox. There’s always a great deal of uncertainty with all these things, but Colas looks the part of a power-hitting corner outfielder with a plus throwing arm. He’s an aggressive swinger who looks to put the ball in play, but he manages to make contact at an above-average rate, with the sort of raw power that allows him to hit hard drives to his pull side with ease. He’s a worthy add, bid or trade target if you’re looking for a close-to-the-majors power threat who won’t tank your batting average. 

Addison Barger, SS Blue Jays 

League Type: 16 Team Dynasty or 250 Prospects Rostered

It’s been a stellar season overall for Barger but over the last month he’s been one of the best players in the minors. Halfway through July he made the jump from High-A Vancouver to Double-A New Hampshire, and has hit .462/.509/.769 with four home runs over 14 games. Barger has spent time split between shortstop and third base, but isn’t likely to stick at short long term. Barger is a bat-first prospect with an aggressive nature at the plate. His profile is heavily reliant on average bat-to-ball skills (71.5% contact rate) and above-average power (112-plus mph max exit velocity). This leads to some concerns that his aggressive approach will get exploited by major league-caliber pitching. That said, a lefthanded-hitting infielder with contact and power experiencing a breakout in his age-22 season isn’t a bad profile to take a flyer on. 

Justin Dirden, OF Astros

League Type: 20 Team Dynasty or 300 Prospects Rostered

Dirden has been suggested in a FAAB article previously but he’s continued to hit and is worth an add in deeper dynasty leagues. Dirden has hit .318/.404/.590 with 17 home runs over 86 games with Double-A Corpus Christi. He’s 25 years old but came from a smaller school, signing as a nondrafted free agent after the 2020 draft. He has athleticism, average bat-to-ball skills, above-average power and an aggressive approach that works for him. There are going to be some questions around his potential strikeout rate at the major league level due to his aggressive nature, but he finds the ability to balance it with lots of flush barrel contact, maximizing his contact quality. He’s a worthy add in leagues where you’re looking for a potential average major league contributor in the next year. 

Thomas Saggese, 3B/SS Rangers

League Type: 20 Team Dynasty or 300 Prospects Rostered

Saggese, in the midst of a breakout season with High-A Hickory, was a fifth-round pick out of Carlsbad (Calif.) High back in 2020. He had a solid under-the-radar season with Down East in 2021, hitting .256/.372/.463 with 10 home runs over 73 games. His approach was heavily based on getting on base and hitting for power with a steep swing path.  In 2022 Saggese has found success with an adjustment to his swing path and approach. Saggese still has plenty of loft in his swing but he’s flattened out a little while aggressively looking for pitches to hit. Despite a significant jump in chase rate Saggese is putting the ball in play with greater frequency and doing damage. He’s seen a 30% increase in contact rate this season and is now hitting .314/.361/.503 with 11 home runs over 74 games for Hickory. As a 20-year-old in High-A he’s two and a half years younger than the average age of competition and could push for a late season promotion to Double-A before 2022 comes to a close. He’s a good add this week without a tremendous amount of helium. 

Julio Carreras, SS Rockies

League Type: 20 Team Dynasty or 300 Prospects Rostered

Carreras initially popped onto radars as a 19-year-old putting up good numbers in the Rookie-advanced Pioneer League back in 2019. After the pandemic and an inconsistent 2021, Carreras became an afterthought in an improving Rockies system. Over the last five weeks Carreras has hit .373/.418/.618 with 16 doubles and three home runs while earning rave reviews for his defensive prowess. Coming into the season Carreras made adjustments to his swing to add more loft and it’s led to a higher rate of barrel contact. The production has been strong for Carreras and there’s certainly some feel to hit, which lends itself to optimism around his profile. 

However, there are also some potential land mines here. His approach is hyper-aggressive and not in a way that’s sustainable, exemplified by his 39% chase rate. He’s an average bat-to-ball hitter despite this, but his 70% contact rate leaves little room for error. He’s shown power but his exit velocity data is fringe, as a 100.5 mph 90th percentile exit velocity is below-average. Despite many questions, Carreras has strong supporting tools and shows bat-to-ball skills and enough power to do damage. It’s just a matter of him refining his approach to a level where he can sustain production against quality pitching. 

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