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Buy Low and Sell High Hitters for Fantasy Baseball (Week 22)


In the past 15 days, three players on the Toronto Blue Jays have clobbered 10 home runs each, amassing 89 RBI in the process.

Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion have powered the Jays offense to record-setting lengths in the month of August and there are no signs of stopping.

For the most part, Bautista and Donaldson are off limits in trade conversations. But Encarnation may be the perfect asset for a late season blockbuster, if your league's trade deadline hasn't passed yet.

 

Sell High Hitters for Week 22

Edwin Encarnation (1B/DH, TOR)

Encarnacion has been lighting it up at the plate this month. In August, the Dominican slugger is wielding a ridiculous .402/.458/.927 line with 11 HR and a franchise record-tying 35 RBI. He's now up to 30 homers on the season, establishing him as one of the elite power hitters in the game. With that kind of power tied together with a .402 batting average over the course of a month and the counting stats in a overloaded Jays offense, Encarnacion may be the most valuable man on the market right now.

Bear with me here. True - Encarnacion was among the first round draft picks in 2015. Still, his name does not hold quite as much value as Bautista's. Donaldson is a leading MVP candidate. Encarnacion is really the only tradable option of the big three in Toronto and, at this point, you can pretty much name your price to make a deal. Don't forget that he was floating a lowly .241 batting average before this recent tear. He's just as likely to fall back down to Earth as he is to continue producing.

Yoenis Cespedes (OF, NYM)

Since his 3 HR game in the middle of the month, Cespedes has been the fuel to the offensive fire in Queens. In ten games, he's slashing .302/.400/.791 with 6 HR and 15 RBI. Naturally, much of that is influenced by the one extraordinary game. Does it even matter? Cespedes is the epitome of a name value player in the league. Since being traded to the Mets at the beginning of the month, everyone has just been waiting for Cespy to have a brief stretch of power like this. Now that he has, he's become the centerpiece of the Mets division-leading run and his value has reached a peak.

With that being said, the Cuban outfielder is actually enjoying a pretty solid season. His 2015 line of .291/.327/.518 is much improved from his .260/.301/.450 numbers from 2014. Power hitting outfielders carry a lot of value this time of year, especially when they are consistently making headlines and find themselves in the midst of a hot streak. If you can strike a deal with Cespedes as an elite asset, take the opportunity.

Stephen Piscotty (3B/OF, STL)

The Cardinals have done it again. In 35 MLB games, Piscotty sports a tremendous .344/.378/.576 line including 4 HR and a stolen base in his last 15 games. The rookie has far surpassed expectations and has been a key factor to the Cards' success in light of injuries to Matt Holliday and Matt Adams. But he's also outplaying his true capabilities. Regression is coming for the young gun, it's just a question of when.

There's a handful of other reasons to deal Piscotty now. In keeper leagues, a guy like him would hold top tier value as a rookie keeper for next season. He's got a bright future, that much is certain. If you've got another solid rookie to hold onto already, you should try to make a deal. Also, for the positions that he plays, Piscotty won't put up enough counting stats this season. While his slash line may be impressive, he doesn't have enough power to rack up home runs and isn't quick enough to steal a lot of bases. Lastly, his 29/8 K/BB ratio is concerning. Regression will undoubtedly hit the kid hard. Deal him while his value is at a premium.

 

Buy Low Hitters for Week 22

Yasmani Grandal (C, LAD)

Since August 7th, Grandal has amassed only three hits in 40 at bats. He's been dealing with a nagging shoulder ailment, which could account for some of the slump. The catcher was enjoying a breakout season and All-Star campaign in the first half of 2015 before this miserable August. If he continues to play this way, he could lose playing time the A.J. Ellis and risk his usefulness as a fantasy catcher in the last month of the season.

Most catchers go through slumps like this over the course of the season. Even Buster Posey has been struggling as of late. When healthy and productive, Grandal bats in the middle of a potent, playoff-bound Dodgers lineup. He will come for pretty cheap right now and could wind up being a key player over the final weeks of the season.

Cesar Hernandez (2B/3B/SS/OF, PHI)

With the departure of Chase Utley, Hernandez has become the every day second baseman in Philadelphia. Problem is, he isn't hitting like he was in his grandiose debut months. In his first 71 games of 2015, Hernandez seemed to be in the middle of a breakout campaign with a .302/.385/.385 line to go along with 12 stolen bases. Since then? He's posted a .227/.288/.301 line and has seen his season average drop to .265. Things have only gotten worse in recent weeks.

In reality, Hernandez was probably outplaying his limits in the first half. The young Venezuelan has a career average of .264, although his 114 games played this year nearly doubles his season totals from any prior year. There's no telling if Hernandez will bounce back this year. But he's a young heralded utility man who will be playing hard for the remainder of the season to prove his worth. If you are looking for cheap replacement anywhere on your team, Hernandez could be your guy.

Prince Fielder (1B/DH, TEX)

2015 has been a nice comeback year for Fielder. He's batting .316, roughly 30 points higher than his career average, and has 17 home runs to show. The modest home run total and .470 slugging percentage, almost 50 points lower than his career average, are a sign that Fielder is somewhat of a shell of his former self. Perhaps he just needs another year to fully recover from his injury-ridden 2014 campaign.

At the end of the day, Fielder shouldn't cost too much on the market at this point of the season. A moderately powerful designated hitter, albeit with a good batting average, is not a must have commodity for the playoff stretch. With that being said, we all know what Fielder is capable of. In a 15-game stretch from May 11th to May 26th, the staunch DH smacked 8 HR while racking up 24 RBI. If you can negotiate a fair price, Fielder may just find a late season power surge that will propel your team to victory.

 

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