HOT AND NOT
Batters the past two weeks
OAK .319, 8 HRs, 14 RBIs NYM .300, 4 HRs, 5 SBs, 12 R CHW .407, 2 HRs, 5 SBs PHIL .393, 2 HRs, 18 RBIs ---------- LAD .032, 1 HR, 2 RBIs ARZ .182, 1 HR, 0 SBs Moncada 2b Abreu 1b AGarcia rf 5 5 4 1 5 3 42 5 2 5 7
One last week on baseball while we give hockey training camps time to get up to speed. So, let’s take an early, early look at some position players who, at the moment, could be undervalued come draft time next spring — at least until their potential playing time has become clearer — and, given the opportunity, could outperform their pre-draft rankings in 2018. There were plenty of those this season, names such as Justin Smoak, Eddie Rosario, Aaron Hicks, Scooter Gennett Paul DeJong.
is wide open for 2018 with only Avisail Garcia assured a job. And unless the club hastens its rebuild via the freeagent market (unlikely), he’s been the best of an untested, and injury-plagued batch of no-names given a chance to play in the second half.
■ Dansby Swanson ATL: Former No. 1 overall pick has struggled in his first full season as the Braves starting SS and was even sent back to triple-A in late July. But since returning, he is hitting .303 over 130 PAs.
■ Teoscar Hernandez
■ Jorge Alfaro PHIL: Cameron Rupp is still under contract, but has done nothing this season to justify automatically handing renewing him as the starting C next year. Alfaro, current 2-for-16 skid notwithstanding, has shown enough since his midAugust callup that he at least deserves consideration.
■ Raul Mondesi KC: In and out of the Royals lineup at 2B, speedster can also play SS, which is where he could wind up next year on a permanent basis if Alcides Escobar — trying to salvage a grim 2017 with a hot September — is not re-signed.
■ Jose Peraza CIN: Saw plenty of ABs because of teammates’ injuries and, as long as the Reds do not re-sign Zack Cozart (which we figure they won’t, despite his career year and two-HR game on Friday), Peraza will be their starting SS.
■ Jorge Bonifacio KC: Played little of late, but showed enough power potential to suggest there is a starting role waiting for him again if one or both of Melky Cabrera and Lorenzo Cain depart as free agents.
■ Some minor-leaguers who could graduate to a starting role, replacing potential free agents who do not get re-signed: Rockies 1B-OF Ryan McMahon (for Carlos Gonzalez or Mark Reynolds); Yankees IF Gleyber Torres (for Todd Frazier), Orioles C Chance Sisco (for Welington Castillo), Royals 3B Hunter Dozier (for Mike Moustakas), Rays 1B Jake Bauers (for Logan Morrison).