Fantasy Baseball Week Six: Buy Low, Sell High
The following players shouldn’t necessarily be moved or traded for, but are mentioned because they are performing above or below their career norms. Each player is owned in at least 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Jason Kubel , OF, Minnesta Twins
Kubel isn’t known for his fast starts, and this year is no different. The Minnesota mainstay is hitting .209 with two home runs and 11 RBI, with a .641 OPS.
Kubel has underperformed. He’s had some tough luck so far, his .254 BABIP is about 45 points below the league average, but he still maintains a good eye at the plate (1.29/1 K/BB ratio).
Kubel struggles in April and May. While his statistics look bad right now, they will only improve as the season progresses. Ask around, and see if you can steal him, before Kubel goes on a tear.
Alcides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Escobar has three hits, no home runs, three RBI and a 2/1 K/BB ratio in his last 10 games. His average has plummeted from .284 down to .222. He’s “hitting” .105 in May.
Welcome to your first slump, Alcides. And welcome to your opportunity to snag a good player on the cheap, fantasy manager.
In 38 games last year, Alcides' stats looked like this: .304/1/11/.346 BABIP. In 27 games this year, his numbers look much worse: .222/1/11/.247 BABIP.
That’s a 99 point difference in BABIP, which is to say he was lucky last year. This year, though, not so much…yet.
Don’t let the numbers discourage you from prying Alcides away on the cheap. He can only improve from here.
Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
This one's a bit risky, but aren’t all trades?
McCann is having eye troubles right now, specifically with his right eye—the one he didn’t have Lasik surgery on during the offseason. The health issues should help explain his .241/2/9 line right now.
McCann’s fly ball rate (34.4 percent) and line drive rate (15.6 percent) are down while his ground ball rate (50 percent) is up, compared to his career norms. These numbers should balance out over the course of the season, which will eventually bring his power numbers up to where they ought to be.
For what it’s worth, he still has an excellent eye at the plate (1.5/1 BB/K). McCann's 22 walks rank fifth in the National League while his .401 OPB ranks 11th. You might as well kick the tires to see if anyone’s interested in dealing him.
Ty Wigginton, 2B, Orioles
Wigginton is playing out of his gourd. He's already hit 10 home runs, one short of his season total last year, and he’s halfway to his 2009 RBI tally. Wigginton has managed to do all this in just 28 games. He ranks among the AL leaders in home runs (2nd), OPS (6th), and SLG percentage (4th).
Abort! Abort! Abort! Wigginton’s stats will surely come back down to Earth, especially when Baltimore's everyday 2B, Brian Roberts, comes off the DL.
Perhaps you can pawn Wigginton off on some unsuspecting owner before Roberts returns, but it sounds like you have some time.
Livan Hernandez, SP, Washington Nationals
Who saw this coming? Hernandez is a shell of his former self, yet he sits at the top of the National League in five different categories: Wins, WHIP, Complete Games, ERA, and Win Percentage. Wow.
Did someone forget to tell him it’s 2010, not 2003?
Hernandez hasn’t had a WHIP under 1.50 since 2005 and his 5.31 average ERA over the past four years is, uh, not that good.
Here are some other numbers to chew on: His .187 BABIP is .123 points below his career average and he’s stranding an astonishing 97.6 percent of base runners—25 percent above his career average.
Well, it was fun while it lasted, eh? Run, don’t walk, to your computer and throw his name out there with the hope that someone bites before he does.
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