Fantasy Baseball Buy Low Candidates: Five Hitters with the Lowest BABIP

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Fantasy Baseball Buy Low Candidates: Five Hitters with the Lowest BABIP
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Entering Sunday there were five players who were carrying BABIP under .210.  That’s a lot of bad luck, but the question is if any of them are worth grabbing because they are due for a rebound?  Let’s take a look:

Jorge Posada – New York Yankees – .127

There’s been power (six HR in 96 AB), but that’s about it.  His strikeout rate is up (28.1percent), but it has been elevated for the past few seasons now (26.4 percent and 25.8 percent), so that number isn’t anything overly concerning.  However, it just further helps to reduce his potential for average.

He’s not swinging for the fences (43.5 percent fly ball rate), but he’s also not hitting the ball on the screws very often.  Thus far he has an 11.6 percent line drive rate, by far his lowest since 2002.  So now, the bottom line with Posada is if, at 39 years old (he’ll turn 40 in August), he’s simply on the tail end of his career.

Even if that’s true, you would expect the luck to improve dramatically.  He may not be a .280 hitter anymore, but he’s also not a .146 type guy.  With catcher eligibility and regular time in the lineup, Posada is going to continue to hold value.  Just don’t expect him to be the player he once was.  If you can get him for pennies on the dollar, he’s well worth it.

Jonny Gomes – Cincinnati Reds – .197

Here is the perfect example of a player that appears to be swinging for the fences, helping to reduce his BABIP.  On the year he is sporting a 62.7 percent fly ball rate, which certainly helps to explain his abysmal average (.189).  He strikes out a ton, currently at 31.6 percent, and has never really been a high average guy.  Sure, he could rebound, but he’ll need to stop trying to hit home runs and focus more on simply making contact.  If he can’t do that, and keeps looking for the long ball, the average could easily suffer all year long.

Vernon Wells – Los Angeles Angels – .200

His struggles are not overly surprising, considering his home/road split from 2010:

  • Home – .321, 20 HR, 54 RBI in 290 AB
  • Road – .227, 11 HR, 34 RBI in 300 AB

You take him out of the comfy confines of Toronto, where everyone hit in 2010, and we would be talking a lot more of his downfall (like we did in 2009).  However, he’s obviously not quite this bad.  He’s striking out more than ever (21.3 percent) and isn’t producing line drives (6.4%).

He may not be the player that he was in ’10, but he’s also not this bad.  Look for him to rebound, though keep your expectations in check.  He’s worth the flier if you don’t have to give up much (or grab him on the waiver wire).

Update: He’s now found himself on the DL with a groin injury, so the rebound is going to have to wait at least 15 days.

Miguel Tejada – San Francisco Giants – .206

Is it even worth wasting the space discussing him?  He no longer brings power or speed to the table, significantly hurting any potential value.  Obviously, the average is likely to rebound, but he’s a groundball machine that brings little else to the table.  Don’t bother.

Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers – .208

Remember 2009 when he hit just .253 with plenty of power?  His early season power surge may have gotten into his head.  Look at his fly ball rate over the past three seasons:

  • 2009 – 54.0 percent
  • 2010 – 41.6 percent
  • 2011 – 49.5 percent

He’s currently hitting .216, a number that shouldn’t continue, but he needs to stop trying to hit home runs and get back to what he does best.  He makes good contact and has a great eye at the plate.  If he stops swinging for the fences, the numbers should certainly fall right back into place (as long as he can stay healthy).  That makes him a good buy.

The next five:

  • Alex Rios – Chicago White Sox – .214
  • Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers – .214
  • Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies – .218
  • Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox – .218
  • Carlos Lee – Houston Astros – .219

What are your thoughts on these players?  Who is worth trying to buy low on?  Who would you ignore?

Make  sure to check out these other great articles from Rotoprofessor:

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