I’m selling some heavy hitters and base stealers this week. It’s not that these guys have performed poorly, but they all have issues glaring fantasy owners in the face. The good news is that they all of them still have value and you can sell for some really nice value that will help out that struggling team.
The players I’m buying are guys that have tremendous upside and two of the three are starting to be dropped in leagues everywhere. This is great news if you have been hanging on to the top waiver wire spots all year.
Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Buy
Alejandro De Aza – OF, White Sox
Alejandro De Aza is dropping faster than Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter. Down to 25.8% owned in ESPN leagues, De Aza is obviously not living up to expectations. If you have him, don’t panic. If he’s available, grab him while you can.
De Aza’s career BABIP is .322, but is currently struggling with a .211. With BABIP being a stat that can determine the luck of a hitter, that is a pretty glaring gap. His season versus career AVG is also gaping at .175 and .263, respectively. Alejandro is also getting the benefit of the doubt from his coach and continues to start most nights, which will bring both his BABIP and AVG back up. Make sure he is on your team when they do.
De Aza is hovering pretty close to his career numbers in GB% (44.4% this year verse his career 42.5%) and FB% (31.5% verse 33.1%, respectively), which doesn’t equate to such a low AVG for a career .263 hitter with speed.
Jed Lowrie – SS / 2B, Athletics
You know I love buying these struggling shortstops. Jed Lowrie is no exception. Lowrie has shown great discipline this year with a 1.14 BB/K ratio, meaning he has actually walked more than he has struck out. This will keep Lowrie’s OBP around his current .348 and in that Oakland lineup, getting on base equals runs.
Like most of my buys, Lowrie has a lower BABIP and AVG this season than his career. That is a perfect way to tell if a guy is struggling or not. This year his BABIP is .263 verses his career .292 and his AVG this year is .246 verse his career .262. Maybe this isn’t as glaring as with De Aza, but it means that he still has some improvement left in his season.
Beside his BB/K ratio, his wRC+ of 107 is my favorite stat. Lowrie is still producing 7% more runs than the rest of the league but owners are actually beginning to sell!
Lucas Duda – 1B / OF, Mets
Oh lord, I’m buying a Met. I absolutely am because Lucas Duda is hitting a whopping 47.1% FB% that compliments his 12.2% HR/FB ratio. Meaning, he hits a lot of fly balls and a lot of those fly balls end up as homeruns. If you can suffer through his .236 AVG (which shouldn’t move too much one way or the other), than you will love his home runs.
Duda only has one major league season with over 400 at bats. With the Mets trading away Ike Davis to the Pirates, Duda should see continuous playing time and easily surpass 400 AB. Duda already has a 101 wRC+, but should see that raise with more at bats.
Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Sell
David Wright – 3B, Mets
David Wright is having major issues this year, even if his R and RBI production doesn’t seem to be lacking much. Wright’s BABIP is a little bloated (not too much) at .386 verse his career .342. What isn’t bloated, however, is his AVG at .305 verse his career .301. His season’s BABIP will dip a little and his AVG should follow and dip below the .300 mark.
What’s really troubling is Wright’s .25 BB/K ratio, well below his career .60 mark. That’s not all, his 32.3% FB% is also below his career 38.7%. Subsequently, his .100 ISO is well below his career mark of .201. To wrap those three up, Wright has a major decrease in plate discipline this year, he is hitting less fly balls than he usually does, and even when he does hit fly balls has shown a real lack of power this year.
Jacoby Ellsbury – OF, Yankees
Ellsbury has had an underwhelming year for the average 25th pick in ESPN leagues. Both his BABIP and AVG are low, which will mean he could still see a boost in production in the next few weeks. The problem is that Ellsbury has not stolen enough bases to warrant the 25th pick and has a wRC+ of 93.
His ISO of .121 and career ISO of .140 are real indicators that he is far, far away from that 32 HR season four years ago. It is entirely in the realm of possibility for him to steal 30 bags, but he is only on track to steal 39 this year. That does not scream second round pick to me. You can still sell him high now and drop his .93 wRC+ off your team for second to third round talent.
Matt Kemp – OF, Dodgers
Matt Kemp has had a decent season and has shown some of the flashes that have made him great in previous seasons. The problem now, though, is that he has sat for his fourth game in a row and finds himself in the unfamiliar territory of fighting for playing time.
As far as numbers go, he is hitting a 46.7% GB% and only a 27.6% FB%. Those numbers don’t bode well for great home run hitters. Also, his career 41.5% GB% and 36.6% FB% prove that he has progressed more towards a contact hitter than a power hitter. There is always the injury prone label that he can’t seem to break and I don’t see the Dodgers’ stealing him that much anymore with all of his injuries.
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