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Hitters to Buy and Sell in Fantasy Baseball (Week 20)

Can you believe that combined, Carlos Gonzalez and Adrian Beltre have only hit for 27 HR, 99 RBI, and have amassed only four SB?  Jose Abreu, with an average draft pick of 135.8 (ESPN leagues), has bested the previous two first-round picks' homer totals and has almost equaled their combined RBI total, with 86.

Speaking of first-round picks, only two first round draft picks (using ADPs) have more than 20 HR this year--Mike Trout and Edwin Encarnacion.  Only Jacoby Ellsbury has more than 20 SB, and only three of the top 16 players taken have 70 RBIs or more. Feasting on the waiver wire has been a necessity for every team this year.  Almost everyone’s first round pick has disappointed in some way.  Don’t be discouraged if you got caught drafting BOTH CarGo and Beltre (yours truly).


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Buy

Josh Harrison – OF/2B/3B, Pirates

Josh Harrison Pittsburgh Pirates MLB NewsIn the past 14 days, Josh Harrison has hit a whopping 4 HR, 16 R, along with 4 RBI, 3 SB and a .431 BA. Harrison is definitely seeing some good luck with numbers like a .345 BABIP, and .309 BA, especially when compared to his career totals of .300 BABIP and .272 BA, but his 139 wRC+ this year shows how much value he's actually providing for the Pirates - 39% above league average. His .194 ISO has also got me very high on him. And it is not just the .194 ISO that has caught my eye, it’s that this is the fourth year in a row of increasing his ISO.

In his fourth year of increasing power, with a more aggressive (and successful) approach, it is understandable that his BABIP and AVG are higher this year compared to his career averages.  All the numbers are pointing up for Harrison for 2014 and while he might regress a little bit, we think he's a great buy candidate for the rest of the season.


Chris Coghlan – OF, Cubs

Another hitter on a hot streak, Chris Coghlan has a wRC+ of 202 over the last 14 days, thanks in part to his .409 AVG.  There is more to see behind the curtains with Coghlan.  Not only has he seen an increase in walks this year to 10.6% from his career average of 8.8%, but his line drive % has skyrocketed to 25%, meaning he is hitting fewer ground balls and making more solid contact.

In the past 14 days, Coghlan has displayed an even finer display of plate discipline, by walking in 12.0% of his plate appearances while only striking out in 10.0% of PA.  On the season, he has a 145 wRC+ (meaning he has created 45% more runs than the average hitter). With Bonifacio out of town, Coghlan is cemented atop the Cubs lineup, and it's going to continue giving him plenty of run scoring opportunities.


Emilio Bonifacio – 2B/OF, Braves

I love that Emilio Bonifacio has a career AVG of .264 and has no less than 28 SB in the previous three years.  I also love that he is now on a Braves team that has a constantly struggling center fielder in B.J. Upton, who is now hitting only .212.  I can see the Braves making a big change this season, particularly if they stay in the playoff hunt late into the season. Be sure to jump on the train before it starts rolling.  If Bonifacio continues to get  alot of playing time, there is real upside here for your fantasy baseball playoffs in the BA, R and SB categories.


Carlos Beltran – OF, Yankees

Carlos Beltran has had a disappointing season until recently.  The last 14 days have seen him hit .396 (thanks to a .471 BABIP) with three HR and nine RBI.  It is no secret that Beltran’s .248 BA on the season is far below his career .282.  However,  Beltran is finally hitting his stride and will continue to play a big role if the Yankees make a push for the playoffs. His counting stats are also not too shabby if you look at his total ABs.  Bear in mind that it won't hurt Beltran to have guys like Chase Headley and Stephen Drew hitting behind him, considering the drek that populated the Yankees lineup before the arrival of these players.  Having seen more than his fair share of injuries this year, Beltran's value is still low right now even with his recent hot streak.  Acquiring him in a trade shouldn’t be a big problem if he's not owned by a Yankee fan.


Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Sell

Casey McGehee – 3B, Marlins

Casey McGehee Miami Marlins MLB NewsCasey McGehee saw his stock rise high enough to the point where 100% of ESPN leagues owned him.  Obviously that number is rounded, but the point remains.  The way he rose that high was all of the RBI he drove home over the first part of the season.  That well has since dried up.  In the last 14 days, McGehee has only two RBI.  As if that wasn't bad enough, his batting average during that span was .152.  That average is starting to reflect his 50.4% GB% on the year and his utter lack of power.

The time to jump ship is now, if you can get anything for him. I’d hate to advise dropping him outright, but that might be the only route to go even in deep leagues.


Desmond Jennings – OF, Rays

On the season, Desmond Jennings has hit near his career AVG of .248 and career BABIP of .296.  Like McGehee, Jennings’ GB% is sitting at a pretty high 50.2%.  This is not only higher than his career 46.3%, but it has lowered both his FB% and LD%.  That is an alarming trend for any hitter, especially for a hitter who isn’t displaying a lot of speed (only 14 SB).  He has also shown a decrease in power with a lowered .136 ISO compared to his career .154 average.

At four games below .500 and 9.5 games back in the AL East, the Rays aren't putting up much of a fight this season, and neither is Jennings.  Next year might be his year, but right now is the time to sell him and upgrade your team at the OF position if you can, as Jennings isn't showing many positive signs right now.


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