Find the next Ty France on waivers

France earned a turn in the fantasy spotlight when he posted a memorable stat line Saturday night that included a 5-for-6 with a home run and five RBIs. And he followed up that effort with a home run and a three-hit game on Sunday.

Those mind-boggling numbers give me a great reason to single out someone who was underappreciated during the draft season.

As a first baseman who is far from a three true player, France is a bit of a unicorn in this era. The 27-year-old Consistency has low strikeout rates, including a 10.8 percent mark this season. He also produces plenty of online workouts, having achieved a career 24.4% which includes a 33.9% rate this year. The combination of consistently putting the ball in play and keeping it on a hit-generating path makes France one of the few players who can significantly help a fantasy team’s batting average. In fact, if we throw in some struggles he had as a rookie with the Padres in 2019, France has batted .300 since the start of the 2020 season.

Ty France has slipped under the fantasy draft radar this season. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

France’s contributions go beyond the batting average category, however. He’s finished second in every plate appearance this season, surpassing his career-best 85 runs scored a year ago. And his 19 RBI ranks second among the Majors. France aren’t going to make a huge impact in the circuit category, but they managed to beat 18 a year ago and are on course to do better than that this season.

Ty France lets us know batting average still matters

Fantasy managers are constantly chasing power hitters who have had notable homer and RBI totals. But having a player like France provides an excellent base batting average that allows managers to make aggressive moves to other positions without having to worry about falling to the bottom of their league in the batting average category. Over many years of playing, I’ve noticed that power or speed are the skills that usually draw us to free agents on the waiver wire. We rarely find an average batting gem on waivers, making it necessary to have a few of these players glued to our permanent rosters. France is one of those guys, and his triple eligibility (1B/2B/3B) makes him even more valuable.

Now is obviously not the time to try to trade for France, as its heavy weekend will have it overvalued for a few days. But if you wait a week and hope his bat gets relatively quiet, you might be able to pick him up at a reasonable cost.

In the meantime, some players have similar skills but have slower starts and can be added for more reasonable returns.

Trade for: Gavin Lux (2B/SS, LAD)

Lux breakout season is underway but has so far been hidden by a .267 BABIP. The 24-year-old owns the strike zone (13.3% strike rate, 17.8% walk rate) and has recorded an xBA of 0.347. Eventually, moving to a bigger spot in a Dodgers-laden lineup would be the icing on the cake.

Added: Nico Hoerner (2B/SS CHC)

Available in 90% of Yahoo! leagues, Hoerner is shaping up as someone who should be a consistent .300 hitter. He can also sweep 15 bases this season, and like Lux, the youngster would benefit from hitting higher in the order.

Add: JP Crawford (SS, SEA)

Crawford hits everything in sight, having hit just 5.9% of the time so far. He also consistently hits near the heart of Seattle’s roster, which could lead to career highs in every scoring stat category. I’m not sure Crawford will be a fit all season, but he’s widely available and can help right now.

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