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Jose Bautista (3B/OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 8% of leagues

ANALYSIS: Jose Bautista is currently a very widely available asset to fantasy baseball managers due to a recent rough stretch in which he held a .203/.322/.365 slash line, yet still has three HR over his last 74 AB. In his time with the Mets in 2018 (132 AB) the 37-year old former MVP candidate has a solid slash of .235/.396/.432 with five homers and even two steals. So are his recent struggles just the result of a regular offensive slump, or are they the more telling signs of a career in it's twilight stage?

While Bautista's career is certainly in it's waning years, his peripherals demonstrate that he was packing reliable pop at the plate in the first few months of the season, and that he got better once he made the move to New York. He posted ISO figures of .172 and .286 in May and June before his recent posting of .132 during his July skid. His success in May and June was behind hard contact rates of 44.7% and 51.4% with just 15.8% and 10.8% soft contact on batted balls. Though he has only managed 32.4% hard contact and 21.6% soft contact this month, his average exit velocity of 92.1 mph on the year remains encouraging despite his recently stagnant bat.

His plate discipline also gives some encouraging, albeit mixed signals. Though his strikeout frequency has been high all year at 27%, it has improved month by month from 29% in May to 25% in July; while his walk rate has remained fantastic all season with a figure of 18.5% through the first half of the season. Joey Bats may be pushing 40 years old, but he hit 40 dingers at the age of 34, so we aren't talking about the average 37-year old ball player. He has been in a way smoother offensive rhythm since he began playing for the Mets, both from a power and plate discipline perspective. Based on his play earlier this year, he could quite easily snap out of this slump very soon and have plenty of offensive value in the season's latter months, even in the hardly intimidating New York Mets batting order.

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