This week I decided to do a little buy or sell for the rest of the season, discussing players that my Twitter followers were interested in. Want to get in on the fun next time? Well, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter (@MichaelFFlorio) and submit a question. This will be useful to all owners as I discuss players that could be buy low options and some that may be on waivers in shallower leagues.
@Liberallincincy: Sell Conforto to Buy Puig?
This is a tough one for me. If you follow me, you know how high I was on Conforto coming into the season. However, after a great start it has been real ugly of late. Since May 1, Conforto is batting .157/.212/.321 with just a .174 BABIP and a .164 ISO. He has struck out 30.1 percent of the time during that stretch. However, as you can see he has been pretty unlucky, evident in the extremely low BABIP. During that same period he has a hard hit rate of 35.9 percent. While that is below what he did early in the season and last year, he is still due for some positive BABIP regression. Puig has struggled too, batting just .237/.283/.360 with five homers. He has a career low BABIP of .283, an ISO of .124 and is only making hard contact 31.5 percent of the time. If you are in need of a starter I would make this swap, as there are rumors that Conforto may be sent down to the minors. While we have seen Puig play at a high level, if this is an upside stash, I am still holding onto Conforto.
@Baseballin77: Buy Marcus Stroman?
On the surface there is not a lot to like at the moment about Stroman. He has a 5.23 ERA and has just 67 strikeouts in 96.1 innings. Do I think people were too quick to declare this guy an ace? Yes. While I think better days are forthcoming, I would not be offering any significant player in a trade for Stroman. Both his FIP (3.88) and xFIP (3.76) are well below his ERA. Additionally, his swinging strike rate sits at 8.1 percent, which is not great, but is higher than last year when it was 7.2 percent. Even his groundball rate, which is 58.7 percent, is higher than it was in 2014 (53.8 percent). However, there is one big red flag. His hard hit rate is up to 33.5 percent, when it was never higher than 23.5 percent in his previous two seasons. He is not a pitcher that can survive that, as he doesn’t miss enough bats. I would throw lowball offers at Stroman owners, but he’s nothing more than an upside flier at this point.
@Drupav: Buy or Sell: Wil Myers, 30 HRs, 20 stolen bases.
After a slow start to his career it is easy to forget that Myers is just 25-years-old and was a top prospect for years. He has gotten off to a great start in 2016, batting .292/.336/.535 with 16 home runs and nine stolen bases in just 69-games. I buy that he will hit 30 home runs, as I don’t see any signs of him slowing down. Some may see his .244 ISO and think it is unsustainable as it is his career high, but it is right on par with what he had done in the minors. While I will buy the power, I will sell the speed because I do not think he will steal 20 bases. His nine stolen bases are not only a career high in the majors, but it is one behind his season high mark in the minor leagues. If he never showed the ability to steal more than 10 bags at any level in his career, I am not going to buy that he will double that amount this year.
@NateRomb: Buy/Sell: Rajai Davis finishes with more steals than Billy Hamilton.
Davis has been awesome as of late, batting .317/.367/.439 with 10 stolen bases since May 27th. During that stretch he has a .122 ISO and a .375 BABIP. While Davis has always been a high BABIP player, that would be the highest of his career. His play at this level does not seem sustainable and his playing time could become murky when Michael Brantley returns. On the other hand, Hamilton has done a good job of hitting just enough to have a respectable average. His .300 OBP is still way too low, but it is an improvement for him. He only has 16 stolen bases, compared to Davis’ 21, but as we have seen in the past, stolen bases come in bunches, especially with Hamilton. With his playing time going forward not in question, I think Hamilton will finish with more, so I will sell this one. Just as an added bonus, now is a good time to buy Hamilton for owners in Roto leagues searching for steals.
@EnchantedSkillz: Jake Lamb ends up a top seven 3B?
I decided to attack this from both a Roto and points league standpoint. Currently, among the 25 players that qualify at third base, Lamb ranks 10th in batting average (.283), tied for seventh in home runs (14), 13th in runs (34), fifth in RBIs (45) and tied for 10th in stolen bases (3). In standard points leagues he currently ranks ninth. Looking at the position he is firmly behind Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant. Could he capture one of the three remaining spots? I like his chances better in points formats, as his plate discipline and every day at bats are sure to help. However, the field he is going against contains Matt Carpenter, Evan Longoria, Kyle Seager, Daniel Murphy, Todd Frazier, Maikel Franco, Anthony Rendon and Jung Ho Kang. I will sell this.
@JAC3600: Clayton Kershaw will break Pedro Martinez’s WHIP record of 0.74.
Okay, I know Kershaw is not available in any leagues, but this is a fun one. I will say that he will break the record. Why? His walk rate sits at 1.7 percent, the second lowest since 1950. With him issuing a near record low in free passes, I do not trust batters enough to actually hit him. Through half the season he sports a 0.67 WHIP. I wouldn’t expect that to jump much higher.
@NokieMan: Buy/Sell: Marcell Ozuna will lead the Marlins in HRs. What will his total be?
@Sangel076 Buy/Sell: Marcell Ozuna will finish with over 34 HRs and 100 RBIs?
Ozuna has been on fire and people are starting to get really excited. Ozuna is currently batting .322 with 15 home runs. However, the big question here is, are these numbers sustainable? Unfortunately, I do not think so. Now, I am not saying he is going to fall off of a cliff, but he is sporting a career high BABIP (.363) and ISO (.245). Yes, he has the highest hard hit rate of his career at 38.5 percent, but he is currently on pace for 35 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .322 average. While he certainly COULD reach those numbers, I will sell that he actually will. I think he is a great sell high now, if you could obtain a more proven, top OF, say like an Andrew McCutchen or Giancarlo Stanton. As for leading the Marlins, despite Stanton’s struggles, he is just two homers behind Ozuna with 13. I have to sell that as well.
@Kokonuts_sk: Buy/Sell: Sam Dyson 35 saves!
Dyson has been great in the closer role, pitching to a 1.98 ERA, 2.79 FIP and a 3.12 xFIP. Most importantly, he already has 14 saves. While he doesn’t miss bats at an elite rate (7.18 K/9) he does a good job of limiting free passes (1.98 BB/9). The one concern? The Rangers have a great bullpen. Dyson’s ERA currently ranks third on the team behind Jake Diekman (1.35) and Matt Bush (1.08). Both average more K/9 and Bush allows fewer walks per nine. Bush also has a lower FIP than Dyson. If he were to struggle, I have to believe the Rangers would be quick to try out other options. However, he has not given me a reason to believe that will happen, so I will buy this.
@xe_lag: Buy/Sell: Jarrod Dyson over 30 stolen bases.
Dyson missed time early on with an injury, but he has only started in 36 games this season. He is batting .244/.321/.303 with 11 stolen bases. There are a lot of reasons to be concerned here. He has a .279 BABIP, which is well below his career norm. Additionally, he has a career low hard hit rate, at 11.1 percent. Despite that, he has good plate discipline and is doing damage when he does get on base. The Royals could also ensure he has chances, by using him as a pinch runner. While he will hurt you in other categories, he should steal over 30 bases. He also is one of only 21 players that currently has double-digit stolen bases.
@sp_salas: Buy Danny Valencia ROS?
Valencia has raked so far, batting .326/.369/.541 with 10 homers, 32 runs and 27 RBIs in just 49 games. He is sporting a career high hard hit rate of 39.6 percent, as well as a career high BABIP of .366. While I do think the BABIP will regress, his power certainly seems legit. His .215 ISO is actually lower than last year’s mark of .229. Would I buy him as a Top 10 third baseman the rest of the way? No. But I do think there is value to be had. Many owners likely see Valencia and doubt him, as he is a 31-year-old who’s been more of a platoon or bench option throughout his career. An owner may not believe in him and think he is selling high, and end up selling short on Valencia.
All stats entering Tuesday, June 21st.
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