It is that time of the year for owners to come to grips with the reality of their team. Your guys have either performed at or above the level you expected when drafting them, or have fallen short of reaching your expectations. But even if you might have flopped on draft day, chances are you have at least a couple of guys on your roster that other owners would love to have. If you only have a couple guys worthwhile on your roster, it’s probably time to make some moves and expand. Turn your one stud into a couple of players that allow you to upgrade at multiple positions. If you are an owner that currently has a hard time fitting everybody into the lineup on a daily basis, it is time to consolidate and bring in that one stud that will help ensure your team reamins in the top tier of your league. If you refuse to make a move now, you might find yourself dwelling in the cellar for the rest of the season, and that makes for a miserable summer.
We have also had enough time to start taking the sample sizes seriously. Are certain guys for real? (Jose Bautista, anybody?) Who seems to be living up to their preseason hype? (negative or positive.) And who is out there that can be stolen right from under another owner’s nose for a bargain. If there is anything I have learned from dating my girlfriend over the last four years, it is how to shop…and how to shop successfully. (Author’s note: This coming Saturday is actually our four year anniversary so I want to take this time to give Jenna Glidden the shout-out she deserves. Love ya babe!) Again, I cannot express the importance of constantly emailing or texting other owners and reading their pulse on certain players. The best time to strike is as soon as an owner feels totally let down by his/her player. If you don’t set the hook quickly you may miss out on grabbing a steal of a deal.
Finally, I have another trade to report on in the Denslow Cup. And to be quite honest I was pretty pissed off to find out that this trade went through, for a couple of reasons. Reason 1: I was working on putting together a deal to get one of the guys involved. Reason 2: I felt like the trade was obviously won by The Vinegar Strokes, and by a hefty margin. Here is the trade.
Vinegar Strokes win and it is not close. Reyes is the more quality SS here. While Bailey is on the shelf, his stuff is better than Rodriguez’s. I see the closer swap as a push and Reyes for Rollins is a big upgrade.
Guys I’m Getting
1. David Wright:
His HR/FB rate sits less than 1% under his career average, and he is actually hitting fly balls at a greater rate than he has for his career. Sure his strikeout rate has risen, but he is also walking more than he ever has in his big league career, so that makes him a stud in OBP leagues. Top it off with a BABIP that sits nearly 70 points below his career rate and you have me hook, line, and sinker. David will finish the year hitting in the .290 range, with 28 homers, 95 RBI, and 11-12 stolen bases. Go get him while the getting is good.
Editor’s note: The news that Wright may potentially land on the DL with a stress fracture in his back only increases his value.
2. Hanley Ramirez:
Here are two shortstops to compare, one of them being HanRam.
Player A: 17 R, 1 HR, 17 RBI, .277 AVG, .328 OBP, .345 SLG
Player B: 20 R, 2 HR, 14 RBI, .213 AVG, .302 OBP, .298 SLG
Player A is Angel Sanchez, the shortstop for Houston. Player B is Hanley Ramirez. If there were ever a time to score a 1st rounder at Wal-Mart pricing, this is it.
3. Ubaldo Jimenez:
Maybe it’s because the Rockies are the closest thing I have to a home team, living in the Land of Enchantment. Maybe it is because Ubaldo is currently still striking out more than nine batters per inning. Maybe it is because his strand rate is super low. Maybe it is because his stuff is downright filthy. Whatever it is, I have a gut feeling that there is no way Ubaldo continues to go out there and serve up long balls on a silver platter after an appetizer of walks to the previous hitters. See how cheap you can acquire this sleeping bear and wait until his extended hibernation is over. I promise it will be worth it.
Instead of listing guys I am getting rid of, I would like to switch it up some this week. I want to take a look at ownership rates of guys on the waiver wire and help you find a few diamonds in the rough.
1. Jake Peavy:
Currently owned in less than 47% of ESPN leagues, he is a guy you are gonna want to have in your rotation. In his first outing he had four strikeouts over six innings, to go along with zero walks. Grab him now, stash him on the bench until he gets two more starts under his belt, and watch as his stock continues to rise.
2. Homer Bailey:
This is not the same Homer Bailey we have seen in the past. He has added a splitter and a slider to his repertoire, and it is paying huge dividends. He is striking guys out at eight per nine innings. He has also showed maturity in the fact that he is hardly walking anybody. His K/BB ratio sits at an astonishing 12. Now I know that he has only had a couple of starts (both of those coming against my paltry Astros offense), but that hardly diminishes what Bailey is doing. There is a reason that he was one of the highest rated pitching prospects when he was drafted out of high school in 2004. If you are looking to bolster your rotation and get some strikeouts in the process, Homer Bailey is your guy.
3. Cameron Maybin:
Maybin has always had potential and has always been hyped as a five-tool stud. He just might be showing that he is deserving of that tag. Currently, he is owned in only 44% of ESPN leagues. This is way too low, and here is why. He is walking more and striking out less than ever, helping him hit .272 on the year thus far. He has always had speed, stealing 20+ bags in the minors on multiple occasions. This year he already has six SB’s and with his OBP sitting at .348, I see him easily swiping 25 bags. Remembering that the kid just turned 24 this past April, and realize that he is just now starting to gain his man strength, I see him having 20-25 homer potential, easily.