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Fantasy Baseball Buy Low / Sell High: Hitters for Week 16

Buy/Sell Week 16: Don't Give Up Yet!

In some leagues we only have about 6 weeks left (excluding the playoffs) of fantasy baseball.  I hope you all enjoy the impending end to the season, because I know we will all have a lot more time on our hands when it’s over.  Even if your playoff chances are slim, keep up the hard work.  Nothing is over until it’s over, and fantasy baseball is a funny game.

If you’ve been eliminated from the playoffs already and your season is essentially over, don’t be the guy who gives up.  No one likes that guy.  Be the guy who goes down swinging and try to ruin everyone else’s chances.  Be THAT guy.

For week 16, these are the sleeper hitters I’m buying and selling.


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Buy

Jason Heyward – (OF) Atlanta Braves

rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-jason-heywardFredi Gonzalez has recently decided to play with his lineup again, and the big winner from the shuffle is Jason Heyward.  By moving out of the leadoff spot, Heyward will begin to see more AB's with runners on.   Besides the obvious uptick in RBI chances for Heyward, his BABIP is still low (.285) compared to his career average (.300).  This means you can expect Heyward to hit as well as he has, or better in the coming weeks.

A better sign for Heyward owners is that he has shown better plate discipline by raising his BB/K ratio from his career average of .57 to .68 this year.  When he hits, he hits with an increase FB% of 37.1%, up from his career 33.6% and he has decreased his GB% to 45.4% down from his career norm of 48.4%.

Get him in your lineup because for the next few months, Heyward’s fantasy value will continue to rise.


Pablo Sandoval – (3B) San Francisco Giants

By Chase N. on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsThis looks like the year that Pablo Sandoval finally returns to the 20 HR club.  Kung Fu Panda is currently sitting at 11 home runs, but has seen his ISO return to a more respectable .160 from his mediocre .139 last year.

In addition, he has lowered his GB/FB ratio to 1.14 from his career average of 1.17, which doesn’t sound like much, but what it means is that he is hitting the ball better than his career average.

His batting average is only .270 at the moment, but his career average is .295.  If he can stay healthy, expect his BABIP and batting average to rise towards his norm.


Victor Martinez – (DH / 1B) Detroit Tigers

Victor Martinez is currently sitting out until after the All-Star break and now might be the time you can actually snag him for your team.  It appears that Martinez is nowhere close to slowing down, which is scary, considering what he has already done this year.  His BABIP is still low at .298 compared to his career .314 and with his batting average is already near his career high, Martinez quite possibly will have his best year at the age of 35.

Martinez currently has a gigantic 165 wRC+, most of which is derived from his improved BB/K ratio of 1.43, up from his career .88.  Another factor is his decreased GB% of 37.8%, down from his usual 42.8%.  Combined, they have created an unbelievable OPS of .991.

Martinez will come at a high price but  because he is a little banged up right now, this could be the perfect time to try and buy him at his lowest value.  Once he returns, I would think it’d be close to impossible to convince a fantasy owner to give him up.


Evan Longoria – (3B) Tampa Rays

In his major league career, Evan Longoria has never finished a season with an ISO below .213.  That is why I have a hard time believing that his current .132 ISO will stay that low.  Similarly, there has only been a single year when Longoria has had a BABIP below .309.  That single year his BABIP was .239, which brought his career average down to .304.  Most years, Longoria's BABIP hovers between the .310 to .320 ranges.

Longoria’s .260 batting average is also a little low right now compared to his career .273 mark.  From his GB/FB ratio (1.16), it appears Longoria is having a hard time making solid contact on the ball.  He has never finished a season with a GB/FB ratio above .94, so expect some improvement there, too.


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Sell

Yasiel Puig – (OF) Los Angeles Dodgers

mlb-fantasy-baseball-advice-yasiel-puigAs the 29.1 average pick in ESPN leagues, I’d say Yasiel Puig’s 12 HR have been a disappointment to the owners who reached that high for him.  It comes as no surprise that his HR production is that low when you factor in his 1.49 GB/FB ratio.  That is sky high for a power hitter.  Unfortunately, his HR/FB ratio has decreased to 13.3% from last year’s 17.5%.  This means that he is hitting only 34.4% fly balls on balls in play this year, of which he only hits 13.3% of for HR.

What is great about Puig is that he is a young star that still produces Runs, RBI, and hits for high batting average with a possibility for the stealing the occasional base.  Selling Puig should yield big outcomes simply for his reputation but also for his perceived potential, not his actual production.


Justin Morneau – (1B) Colorado Rockies

After a hot start, Justin Morneau is beginning to re-enter the atmosphere.  His BABIP and batting average are dropping back down to a more normal .313 and .309 respectively, but those numbers are still a little inflated next to his career norms.  Really worrisome however, is that Morneau is hitting 6.2% more ground balls than his career average.  In contrast, he is hitting 7.1% fewer fly balls.

With solid RBI and batting average stats, lazy owners will still think they are getting a good deal.


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