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Adam Dunn and Mark Teixeira, Back to Being Useful

They both have five home runs and have wRC+ of 151 or better. These two veteran sluggers seem to be getting back to their old ways of power and patience leading to success offensively. For that reason, I am advocating either picking them up, holding onto them, or acquiring them in leagues that have excess UTIL spots or CI spots.

The days of these two being primary fantasy first baseman are in the past, specifically in batting average leagues. In On Base leagues you may be able to get away with it if you are able to stock up on great bats in the middle infield and at catcher, but the best time to own these two are as UTIL or CI spots.
Dunn’s average will drop and his OBP will come down, almost solely due to his BABIP being much higher than we have seen in a number of years. Even so, his walk rate is back up to 18.3% and he has actually cut down his strikeouts a bit this season to the tune of a 27.8% rate – the first time he is under 30% since 2009. His power is a bit down for now in terms of home runs but his ISO is still .228. I’m expecting a bit more homers if he is able to keep command of the strike zone as he has for the first 26 games of his season.

For Teixeira, it is all about health. He’s a risk to acquire because he has had difficulty staying on the field – he already has one DL stint this year. If you have him though, he’s a guy I would be happy to have on the roster. He probably still comes pretty cheap in trades too due to the health risk, so he isn’t a terrible option to target if you can stomach paying a bit for him. Much like Dunn, his walk rate is up. His current 15.3% rate would be the highest he ever posted and while his strikeout rate is up as well, it probably means he is headed closer to the Three True Outcome stage of his career. As a power hitter who historically has had a lower strikeout rate, with his advanced age gearing up and swinging for the fences might not be a bad thing. Being patient and working deep counts for a guy like Teixeira is something I advocate, so I am not too concerned about the uptick in strikeouts as long as the walks stay high.

The key with both of these guys is to have tempered expectations. They are valuable due to their price and their power skillset, but they are not competitors with the top tier first basemen. Even so, these guys can help your roster, specifically in on base leagues. Right now I am starting Dunn over Brandon Belt in my utility spot, and the added depth of Dunn has certainly been a positive. Keep an eye on these guys and be willing to acquire or hold onto them despite being on the tail end of their careers.