This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Anything can happen in two-and-a-half weeks, right? However, to give it a chance, opportunity is needed. Today, I'm going to look at under-the-radar batters getting playing time down the stretch. If you play in an AL or NL-only league, chances are they're not available. They could be on the wire (or your reserve) in mixed formats, though. Along the way, I'll give a shout out to some hitters who have had regular playing time for a while but may be performing better than you realized.
As a bit of foreshadowing, the bulk of the players are on American League teams. There's a plausible explanation for that, as more AL teams are playing out the string with no playoff aspirations, hence more of them can afford to look at some of their future pieces while Senior Circuit clubs are still battling for a post-season berth. The names are presented alphabetically.
Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays: Adames has been playing nearly every day since the All-Star break, but in his last 150 plate appearances he's been on on-base machine, getting on at a 39 percent clip with five homers, the same number of steals and a useful 26 runs. Runs is an overlooked category. If you need a boost, Adames recent pace prorates to over 100 of them in a full season.
Ehire Adrianza, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Minnesota Twins: Adrianza is the Twins super-utility guy, but between suspensions and injuries, he's played frequently for most of the second half.