Fantasy Baseball Weekend Stockwatch: Michael Busch breaks out; Colton Cowser settles in


The year 2020 will be remembered for many things, not the least of which is me scooping up Michael Busch in every Dynasty league I was a part of.

The Dodgers drafted him 31st overall the year before, and the scouting reports were glowing, touting his hitting prowess and preternatural on-base skills. He seemed like a throwback to the sort of OPS hog that defined the Moneyball era, and I had every confidence that an organization like the Dodgers would only bolster those abilities. And seeing as he was drafted out of college, it seemed only logical that his rise to Fantasy prominence would be a rapid one.

Spoiler alert: it was decidedly not rapid. In fact, Busch hardly even sniffed the majors in the four years that followed, more because of his defensive limitations than anything he was doing at the plate. After years of resisting, the Dodgers finally decided it just wasn’t going to work out with them, shipping him to the Cubs for a couple prospects of lower urgency.

And the rest is history? So it would seem. Busch heads into the new week riding a four-game home run streak. His Statcast page is decked in red, and his stat line is beginning to resemble the one he had last year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he slashed .323/.431/.618 with 27 homers in just 98 games. Of those four home runs in four games, two in particular stand out. There was this one off Mariners reliever Ryne Stanek on Friday:

It’s notable because one of the focuses for Busch this spring was catching up to fastballs high in the zone. If he can turn on 99 up there, he can turn on anything.

There was also this one off Mariners ace Luis Castillo on Sunday:

It’s notable because both the Cubs and Mariners broadcasts seemed unsure whether the ball would carry over the fence because of how high Busch hit it, but it turns out he hit it so hard (108.4 mph) that it ended up landing about 15 rows beyond the fence (or 437 feet away from home plate, if you prefer).

And with that deceptively decisive blast, Busch solidified himself as the weekend’s biggest riser.

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