How to replace Stanton in fantasy baseball

How to replace Stanton in fantasy baseball

There, there, poor Giancarlo Stanton owner.

Calmly walk to your bathroom, locate your tissue box and wipe those tears away. I did that before sitting down and typing this. Feel free to do the same and then return to continue reading this here article. So, naturally, Stanton has done his annual injury thing, and this time it's a severe groin strain that is expected to knock him out for the remainder of the season. In six full seasons, he has only cleared 600 plate appearances twice. And what's odd is that he still doesn't seem particularly injury-prone, as most of his issues have been of the freak nature or one-time occurrences. So what's an owner to do?

Here are four potential replacements who offer real power potential and are owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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1. Alex Dickerson (16 percent owned): While it's hard to believe he could keep it up, his current combination of contact and power is quite exciting. In fact, it's been quite similar to Daniel Murphy's combo, and his results have been elite. Actually, the commonality even extends to their walk rates, as both have been aggressive at the plate, leading to walk rates in the mid-5 percent range. Aside from Murphy, only Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts have posted .200+ ISOs along with sub-13 percent strikeout rates.

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2. Brandon Moss (35 percent owned): With Matt Adams and Matt Holliday landing on the DL, Moss now has no obstacles on his path to everyday playing time. He has taken over the everyday left-field job, where Holliday had been playing, and he even started against a lefty this past week. While his ISO and HR/FB rate had been in freefall, declining every season since his breakout half-season in 2012, Moss' power has rebounded this year. His ISO sits at exactly the same mark as in 2012 at a lofty .306, and his HR/FB rate has jumped back above 20 percent for the first time since that season. He also continues to hit a ton of fly balls, which further helps boost his home run total. He obviously will always have swing-and-miss to his game, as he owns an inflated swinging-strike rate and 30-plus percent strikeout rate, but with that power, no one's complaining.

3. Randal Grichuk (24 percent owned): He's back ... again. Grichuk was recently recalled from Triple-A and got three straight starts in center field. He hasn't exactly been good defensively there this year, though, as he sports a negative UZR, so he'll need to be better than a .307 wOBA to keep getting penciled into the starting lineup. After a breakout half-season in 2015 that brought strikeouts and power, things got a bit tougher for Grichuk this year. His HR/FB rate and ISO have fallen, but not precipitously, and his strikeout rate has actually improved. The big difference is his BABIP -- it has slipped from a hefty .365 to just .258 this year, quite a dramatic fall indeed.

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An extreme fly-ball rate is an issue, but the bigger problem is a sudden inability to hit line drives. Grichuk's line-drive rate sits at just 12.8 percent, which is easily the lowest among batters with at least 300 plate appearances. There's obviously some flukiness/bad luck involved, but his current BABIP is probably deserved. It should get better though as he's probably not this bad at hitting liners. At the very least, he'll do a good Giancarlo impression by striking out and hitting home runs, just not as frequently.

4. Tyler Austin (18 percent owned): That's one way to make a debut -- Austin was recalled on Saturday and thanked the Yankees for their decision by homering in his first plate appearance. While the Yanks seemingly have a roster crunch now, Austin figures to play nearly every day. Heading into the 2015 season, Austin was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the Yankees organization, with Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs concluding that "…[he] could be small adjustments away from being a low-end everyday guy, but more likely ends up as a corner utility guy or platoon bat," which isn't great praise.

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He then dropped off FanGraphs' prospect list, getting just a small blurb as one of the "Quick Hits" in the 2016 prospect rankings after a poor showing at Triple-A that saw him post a weak .294 wOBA. But then something must have clicked, because in 2016, he regained his former prospect appeal and posted a .461 wOBA in his second try at Triple-A. His walk rate remained strong at 13.7 percent, while his ISO soared to .313. That's the highest he has posted at any Minor League stop. He's probably going to strike out a lot, but certainly no more than the pair of Cardinals discussed above. But he'll also take a walk, like Moss does. Austin is still just 24 and while we don't like to put too much faith in what sometimes could be little more than a hot streak, this could have been legitimate power growth. Given such a low ownership rate and potentially identical positional flexibility to Moss, he's a worthy pickup.

A version of this article also appeared on FanGraphs.com.

Mike Podhorzer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.