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Friday, May 18, 2007

Buying and Selling

Another Buy Low / Sell High day. This will usually come on Wednesday's, but I didn't get a chance to write it up this Wednesday.

Buy Low
Garrett Atkins - I'll run a full post on Atkins later today, but he is probably my favorite Buy Low 3B target right now.

Kenny Lofton - Fantastic Contact rate, good Walk rate, and a lot of speed. His LD rate is at 11%, which is a little worrisome, but I see Lofton as a cheaper Juan Pierre. He should hit .300 if the LD rate picks up, will steal a lot of bases (35 is a definite possibility... maybe more), won't hit many HRs (less than 5), will score a lot of Runs atop the Rangers lineup, and get a modest number of RBIs. If you need SBs or a quality CF in somewhat deep leagues, Lofton makes a good target.

Ian Kinsler - If his owner is panicking with the slow May, jump on Kinsler. Will be a starting quality 2B the rest of the way. 85% Contact and 10% BB rates are good, and his 16% LD rate should increase. A .194 BABIP will surely increase, and a BA around .290 seems likely. He's got a little bit of speed, and while it looks like he hit more than his share of HRs in April, he still has some power. He could hit another 15-20 the rest of the way.

Frank Thomas - Power last year looked legit using Hit Tracker's ND/PL/JE system, and he has been crushing balls this year. Hasn't hit any Just Enoughs yet, so expect his power to really pick up soon. Owners might be getting impatient, and his .236 BA doesn't help things. His BB rate is still fantastic and his Contact rate - like last year - is above 80%. LD percentage is down a little, but I'd still bank on Thomas putting it back together. Hits in a good lineup. Now with him sitting during Interleague Play might be the best time to pounce on angry owners.

Jeremy Bonderman - 5.71 K/BB rate is fantastic and his 43% GB rate is pretty good. Much better than his 4.20 ERA indicates. His recent injury might be just the push his owner needs to trade him. While I am no medical expert, a cut on his pitching hand doesn't sound like it will have any long-term effects.

Dave Bush - Mentioned before on here, but his ERA is still over 5.00. A K rate just under 7.00 and a K/BB of 4.75 deserves some credit. Buy on Bush before he starts putting up the surface numbers. He should be a Top 25 SP in 2007.

Don't Buy Low
Carlos Zambrano - I feel obligated to continue putting Zambrano on here. His BB/9 is still 4.47 and this just won't do. Keep away.

Dontrelle Willis - The D-Train won't improve too much with a K/BB under two. His K rate has always been mediocre, and his BB rate is at the worst point of his career. It's likely it'll improve a little, but Dontrelle isn't the pitcher a lot of people think he is.

Chien-Ming Wang - I mentioned him in this spot when he came off the DL, and I'll put him here again. Strikes out too few players to be a very good pitcher, and the lack of Ks will kill you in most Fantasy Baseball formats. BB rate has improved, and his K/BB is over 2.00, but the 3.48 K/9 is just too much to overcome

Josh Barfield - The 7th 2B taken, on average, in preseason expert drafts, Barfield has seriously underproduced these expectations. He didn't hit a single No Doubt HR last year, according to Hit Tracker, so his lack of power so far is no surprise. His BA might increase a little, but all of his vitals are down from last year. Contact rate is at 75%, BB rate is at 3.7%, and his LD rate is at 14.3%. These should improve a little, but don't expect a repeat of 2006... at least not in 2007.

Sell High
Matt Cain - Surface numbers are starting to catch up to his peripherals, but his 0.35 HR/9 and .233 BABIP are both much lower than they should be. Sell while you can.

Tim Hudson - Hey, Tim Hudson is back to his old A's self! You might here this from one of your leaguemates, but you won't from me. His 1.77 BB/9 is the lowest of his career, and it is unlikely to last. He's never had a great K rate, and once the walks increase he should fall back into mediocrity. His 0.27 HR/9 and .243 are too low as well and will surely increase. Get rid of Hudson.

Brad Penny - The 57% GB rate is much higher than his career average and will probably drop a good amount. His K/BB is just 1.83, and while this may increase I don't see it getting to a level that can sustain his peripherals. He hasn't allowed a HR yet (partly as a result of the high GB rate). Not a good bet to keep up these kinds of numbers.

B.J. Upton - While I like the BB rate, his Contact Rate is so low it makes it nearly impossible to keep a BA above .260-ish. Power should slow down a little bit too, but he could hit 20-25 HRs. Pretty good lineup will allow him to get some RBIs and Runs, but his value right now exceeds his skill level. Sell on him.

Don't Sell High
Ian Snell - Has a chance to regress, but it is equally as likely Snell is the real deal. His 2.89 BB/9 rate is lower than previous years, but third year starting pitchers are known for improved stats. He has a solid K rate (7.30) and if he can keep his BB rate up he should be a useful pitcher. His 45% GB rate is good, although he hasn't allowed as many HRs as he should. Might be overacheiving a bit, but Snell is a keeper unless you can rip someone off.

Dan Haren - He's getting lucky, but he is still a very good pitcher. I had him ranked Top 15 in the preseason and I stand by this assessment. A 3.43 K/BB is very good, and his 41% GB rate should even see an increase. Like with Snell, keep Haren unless you can rip someone off.

Torii Hunter - Power seems legitimate, even if his BA is not. 25-30 HRs is a good possibility. Matains a Contact rate above 80%, but his BB rate is down to 3%. That should increase, though, back to his usual 7-8%. LD rate is in line with his career average, which is below average. SBs could have been predicted preseason if you knew that he got over a leg injury that had plagued him for a couple of years late last season and stole 6 bases in September (or at least that's what my friend who's a Twins fan told me). I expect him to keep stealing bases.

Orlando Hudson - He has a good Contact rate, a good Walk rate, and a little bit of speed. Should keep up his BA. He's hitting in the middle of a great lineup, and has a little bit of power (though he is overachieving in that department so far in 2007). Should be good for maybe another 8 HRs from here on out. Will get his fair share of RBIs and Runs if he can keep his lineup spot.

Prince Fielder - This man has some serious power. Don't expect him to slow down much in that area. His Contact Percentage isn't great and his LD percentage isn't either, but his BB rate is pretty good and he could wind up posting a pretty solid average (which will be based a decent amount on his HRs).


Anonymous said...

You list Wang as a guy to not buy low on. I am interested in what you think of Fausto Carmona and if you see similarities between the two. To me at least both appear similar with hard (92-95 mph) sinkers that induce a very large number of ground balls. Both pitchers also get very few strikeouts.

Derek Carty said...

I have very similar opinions of Wang and Carmona. Neither are very valuable in 5x5 leagues, and neither are particularly good pitchers. Allowing that many balls in play is a recipe for disaster.