Fantasy Baseball: 10 "Buy Low" Candidates for Week 12

Shaun TobackCorrespondent IJune 14, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: 10 "Buy Low" Candidates for Week 12

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    DETROIT - JUNE 12:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners scores in the fifth inning and is congratulated by his teammates during the game at Comerica Park on June 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Seattle defeated Detroit 7-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Gett
    Leon Halip/Getty Images


    Mid-June is panic button time for the owners of struggling fantasy baseball teams.

    Under-performing players and disappointing draft picks will have many owners looking to right their ships before they sail out of playoff contention for good.

    However, for the savvy fantasy baseballer, a player’s poor start can be an opportunity to gamble on upside and benefit from first half slumps and second half surges.

    Without further ado, here are 10 MLB players who have struggled thus far but could bounce back to be difference-makers the rest of the way.

10. Carlos Pena

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    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 01: Carlos Pena #22 of the Chicago Cubs takes a swing against the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field on June 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Astros defeated the Cubs 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    You shouldn’t give up too much for Carlos Pena.

    Luckily, the way he’s been playing, you probably won’t have to give up anything.

    Pena has been awful in 2011. And while he may not be catapulting himself into another All-Star selection anytime soon, he certainly won’t continue to be this bad…right?

9. Troy Tulowitzki

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    DENVER, CO - JUNE 10:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases on his solo homerun in the second inning off of starting pitcher Chad Billingsley of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Tulo's been a beast this year. But his average is down, and although he won't be cheap, he is definitely worth pursuing via trade.

    Tulowitzki is a streaky player. Right now, he's starting to heat up. He will likely finish the season over .300 (he's currently hitting .274), and trading for him now will prove to be a savvy move, as his other numbers will stay consistently great.

    It will be difficult to pry Tulo away from owners who appreciate the power stats he puts up at a position generally devoid of power. But he is a worthwhile buy-low candidate as his average is likely to rise dramatically to coincide with his power numbers.

8. Madison Bumgarner

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 09:  Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at AT&T Park on June 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Even though he has struggled to collect wins, Bumgarner’s auxiliary numbers have been pretty darned good.

    However, the young lefty was likely drafted higher than he should have been in your league, which means that you are probably playing with a frustrated owner who will be willing to cut his or her losses and deal MadBum before the all-star break.


7. Adam Dunn

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    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 12: Adam Dunn #32 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Oakland Athletics on June 12, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Athletics 5-4.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
    David Banks/Getty Images

    Strikeouts and home runs! That’s what Adam Dunn does!

    I’ve never been much of a Dunn fan. He hits for a low average and strikes out a bit too much for my liking.

    But there is no denying that the dude gets his power numbers. He’s gone yard 40+ times in five of his eleven MLB seasons, and hasn’t dipped below 25 dingers since 2001.

    Currently, Dunn is hitting a paltry .180 with only six homers and 26 RBI. While his average may not rise enough to help your squad, it is reasonable to expect a second half power surge from one of baseball’s most prolific and consistent home run hitters.

6. Jayson Werth

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 05:  Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals looks to his bench as he bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on June 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nationals defeated the Diamon
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Let's not sugarcoat it: Jayson Werth has been terrible this year.

    Realistically, he has nowhere to go but up.

    I don't think anyone would expect Werth to finish the year hitting under .250 or finish with fewer than 25 home runs, but he is on pace to do both, and now would be a great time to trade for the Nationals' prized free agent—or more likely, grab him off the waiver wire.

5. Nick Markakis

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 27:  Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2011 in Oakland, California
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for Nick Markakis.

    He has saved my fantasy team more than once, and has consistently performed much better than expected for me.

    Obviously, I don't own him this year.

    Markakis is hitting a lame .242 with only five home runs and 26 RBI. But at some point this young Orioles roster is bound to figure things out, and Markakis will need to be a big part of it. He has consistently been a solid fantasy player in the past, and seems bound to break out of his slump sooner rather than later.

4. Delmon Young

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 9: Delmon Young #21 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the second inning of their game on June 9, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Young has been heating up at the plate lately, and now may be your last chance to grab him off the waiver wire.

    Despite an atrocious first two months of the season, Young is the type of all-around hitter who could be a valuable difference maker for fantasy rosters. There have been rumors that he will begin to lose playing time if his slump continues, but make no mistake; if he is raking, he will play.

3. Ichiro Suzuki

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    DETROIT - JUNE 11: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners triples to deep center field in the sixth inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Mariners 8-1. (Photo b
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Every season, Ichiro is drafted high based on his amazingly consistent batting average and hits totals. He has never hit below .311 in his MLB career, nor has he gone under 200 hits.

    This season is on pace to be his worst as a pro, as he currently stands at .258 with only 71 hits.

    Although he has started the season slowly, there simply isn't a more consistent hitter in baseball than Ichiro. In fact, there may not be a more consistent hitter in the history of the game.

    Although he is most certainly owned in your league, this may be the right time to try to swing a trade for Suzuki.

2. Alex Rios

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    SEATTLE - MAY 06:  Alex Rios #51 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 6, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 3-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    At this point, most people know what to expect from Alex Rios: decent-but-not-excellent stats across the board. But by anyone's standards, he has had a terrible 2011 season.

    However, in three of Rios' last four games, he has collected multiple hits and is hopefully working his way out of his slump. If you have room on your bench, grab Rios. The entire White Sox team seems to have nowhere to go but up.

1. Pablo Sandoval

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 22: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants in action against the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park on April 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Before his injury, San Francisco’s Kung Fu Panda was mashing like it was 2009.

    When he returns, he will be entering a lineup desperate for power, and will unquestionably be inserted into the heart of the Giants order.

    Between his long layoff and the decimated nature of the Giants already lackluster lineup, it shouldn’t be difficult to convince a rival owner that Sandoval is a player worth getting rid of.

    There have also been rumors that Sandoval will return to catcher when he's done rehabbing, which could make for interesting positional flexibility depending on your league's rules.