We are now entering the post-All Star Game portion of the fantasy season. My biggest takeaway from the game itself was how bad Yasiel Puig choked in not JUST the game, but the Home Run Derby, too. Poor guy.
We should all know by now whether our teams need true adjustment or if it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. This week I am re-examining some of my previous buy and sell hitters. This is not only a mid-season check-in on how my buy / sell recommendations panned out, but a chance to update how these players adjusted following my article. Don't worry, I won't be patting myself on the back, merely readjusting or reinforcing my viewpoint using updated and trending stats from when I previously wrote about them.
Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Buy
In week 6, I recommended selling Matt Adams, but I have officially changed my mind. Even though Adams’ BABIP did drop from .409 in week six to .370 today, his AVG increased from .298 to .325. As strange as it is, he has increased his AVG despite dropping his BABIP.
A big reason for this phenomenon is how he has hit the ball. His LD% increased to 31.9% from 23.6%, which is well over his career 21.3%. It is no surprise that his wRC+ sits at a very pretty 140 right now. He should continue to hit the ball this well the rest of the season and the results can help any fantasy team, good or bad.
Jhonny Peralta – SS, Cardinals
In Week 5, I recommended buying Jhonny Peralta due to his unusually low BABIP of .167. That has since risen to a respectable .280, and could go higher. His career BABIP is .313, so expecting him to continue producing is realistic.
Since my article, his AVG has naturally followed his BABIP and risen to .255, which is still below his career .267 AVG. Peralta rebounded by lowering his GB/FB ratio from 1.17 to 1.01. By hitting fewer ground balls and more fly balls, Peralta has shown an increase in power. His ISO currently sits at .199, which is good for second highest in his career.
Like Peralta, Adrian Gonzalez is beginning to rebound on BABIP and AVG, but also has more room to grow. His BABIP increased from .268 (in my Week 13 article) to .276 but is still below his career .319. Similarly, his AVG has risen to .259 from .248, but is still below his career .292 AVG. Look for Gonzalez to continue this trend, and hopefully you can ride his hot streak into the playoffs.
One of the biggest turnarounds I’ve written about this season is Alejandro De Aza. At the time his BABIP was .211 and AVG was .175. Now, his BABIP has returned to a more normal .295 and his AVG has followed, up to .237. He should continue this upward trend and wind up closer to his career averages of .327 and .268, respectively. Surprisingly, at the time of my article, he was owned in only 25.8% of ESPN leagues, and that number has actually lowered to 24.9%.
Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Sell
Matt Kemp – OF, Dodgers
Most of what I said in my Week 9 article still applies to Matt Kemp today. His GB/FB ratio is still high at 1.63 (compared to his career 1.15 average), as is his 26.1% K% compared to his career 23.8%.
My biggest worry when it comes to Kemp is this nagging disagreement with his coach, which is now beginning to materialize into trade rumors. That scares me because for a guy who has had a fair share of injuries and still makes $20 million a year, not many teams will be willing to take that risk. If he were to stay in Los Angeles, I can see his playing time continue to dip.
In Week 8, I wrote that Leonys Martin’s BABIP would fall from .369, and it has (to .336). That should continue to trend towards his .322 career average. His AVG has also dropped from 282 to .268. His wRC+ remains at 88, which can be easily replaced in fantasy baseball. Unfortunately, Martin remains a one-category contributor. That said, SB are one of those stats that grab owners' attention, and if you catch the right one you can make yourself a great deal including the overvalued Martin.
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