Fantasy Baseball Buy-Low Candidates: Hitters

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IMay 6, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays scores on a RBI single by Carlos Pena  in the top of the sixth inning against Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies during game five of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 27, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

We’re a month into the season, and some fantasy owners might start to get uneasy about their team's slow starts. 

But where there’s panic, there's opportunity. 

I’ve identified some players who are buy-low candidates because of their slow starts. 

C: Russell Martin

Martin is hitting just .230 with as many HRs as I have. May and June have historically been his best months. His average for those months is .301, compared to .272 in the other months. He takes a bit of a tumble in August, so he could be a sell-high candidate at the end of the summer.

C: Brian McCann

McCann struggled at the plate prior to his stint on the DL for blurriness in his left eye. He’s getting new glasses and should be back up soon. McCann also struggles a bit in April, hitting .274 compared to .299 in the other months.

1B: Lance Berkman

To say Berkman is struggling at the plate is a major understatement. Historically, April has been his worst month. His slugging percentage in April is 20 points below his career average.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

He’s not really known for his slow starts, like a Mark Teixeira, so it’s possible you could acquire him at a bargain. He’s still Lance Berkman, so you’ll have to make a solid offer, but he could come at a slight discount.


1B: Chris Davis

He was virtually everyone’s pick to break out this year, but he’s struggling to hit over .200. The book isn’t very extensive on him, but he did hit .306 with 25 runs, 10 HRs, and 20 RBI in 29 June/July games last year. Acquiring him would be a leap of faith.


2B: Brandon Phillips

He’s shown a little bit of power and a little bit of speed. The average has been brutal. Odds are if you own him, like me, you’ve already started other second basemen over him. April is usually a solid month for him, so you’re taking a little risk in hoping he turns things around.


3B: Garrett Atkins

April is usually solid for Atkins, which it wasn’t, and May is pretty brutal. He has just 36 May RBI in his career. The next closest month is April’s 63. His stock could go even lower, so keep him on your radar.

Snag him before June, because that’s one of his top months (.314 average and 90 RBI for his career). His best month is September (.321, 95 RBI), just in time for fantasy baseball playoffs if you’re in head-to-head leagues or to make that final push in roto leagues.


SS: Jimmy Rollins

J-Roll usually struggles out of the gate, hitting .266 before June and .281 after it. With his increased average, he sees an increase in runs, HRs, RBI, and SBs. He’s a big name, so it will likely take a decent offer to land him.

SS: Alexei Ramírez

Not a lot to go on, but he did struggle last April as well, hitting .138. Most of his power came in the second half. He had just seven HR and 29 RBI in 231 pre-All-Star at-bats compared to 14 HRs and 48 RBI in 249 post-All-Star ABs. There isn’t much of a book on him, so it may be easier to trade for him than a Troy Tulowitzki, who is known as a slow starter.

OF: B.J. Upton

Upton is the inspiration behind this article. He’s playing awful. I’ve heard people looking to move him and cut their losses. The only category he’s contributing in is stolen bases. His average is murdering teams. He’s a guy who has—in one season or another—hit 24 HRs and stolen 44 bases.

The bad thing is he plays better in April and May than the summer months. It’s a big risk taking on someone that is struggling as badly as Upton. If you can get him for a song and a dance though, why not give him a spin?

OF: Matt Holliday

The switch to the junior circuit hasn’t been kind for Mr. Holliday. I imagine he longs for some Coors Light and the thin Colorado air. He isn’t scoring runs, stealing bases, going deep, or hitting for average, but he is picking up RBI, which leads me to believe that once he gets his hitting on point, the numbers will take off.

OF: Magglio Ordoñez

Magglio is off to a slow start, but that’s typical. His career average in April is .282. He hits .317 in the other months. April is his top HR month with 51, so his two this year is discouraging. When he’s good, he’s great, and that upside could be worth the risk of adding him if the price is right.

DH: David Ortiz

Big Papi is hitting more like Russ Ortiz this season. April is one of his worst months though. He has hit .264 in April for his career, which is substantially lower than the .290 he hits in the other months.

It’s risky because he hasn’t shown signs that he’s the hitter he was before last year’s injury. When he’s on, though, he can carry a fantasy team.

Originally published at LestersLegends.com.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!