While a month still isn’t the greatest of sample sizes to cast judgment, now is when you have to start making some of the tougher decisions as to whether or not it’s in your team’s best interest to give up on certain players and start picking up guys who can help you in specific categories or if you should just continue to grin and bear it through their hard times. The decision of whether or not to cut someone is a little easier to make (or not make as the case may be) in deeper leagues as the waiver wire is far from flush with talent, but in leagues more shallow, there’s plenty still from which to choose. Here’s a look at two who, based on ownership percentages, could be available in your league…
Jedd Gyorko, SD |2B| Ownership: ESPN – 38.7% Yahoo – 31.0%
A few weeks ago, our own J.P. Breen asked where Gyorko’s power was after he opened the season with a middling average, a strong walk rate and a healthy OBP, but with only a .073 ISO through his first 50-odd at-bats. After all, power was supposed to be a big part of this kid’s game based on his minor league totals during the two previous years. Well, ask and yes shall receive, Mr. Breen. If a little bit of patience was exhibited with what could be one of fantasy’s better second basemen of the future, then you’d now be sitting on an infielder who owns a .153 ISO and is batting .360 with three home runs and two doubles over his last seven games. Obviously we’re trading in one small sample size for another, but we’re actually looking more at the gradual change than we are looking at the time periods as individual instances. Gyorko has virtually the same ground ball rate over these last seven games as he did through the first month, but has seen a dramatic increase in his fly ball rate as he lifts more balls out of the yard. A 37.5-percent HR/FB isn’t going to be sustained, but as he levels off, it appears as if he should still maintain a similar ground ball rate and the fluctuation we see will be in his line drive rate again. That should mean a continued display of power but also a maintenance of a strong BABIP since most line drives fall in for hits. If he’s available on your wire right now, he should make for a fantastic play in your infield and depending on your league’s position eligibility requirements, he could even more valuable with both second and third base eligibility.
Juan Pierre, MIA |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 35.9% Yahoo – 29.0%
As I pointed out when hyping up fantasy’s newest flavor of the week, Dee Gordon, we’ve learned that stolen bases are down this season in comparison to recent years. And as I look through the standings in my rotisserie leagues, I’ve noticed that there are, on average, less than 10 stolen basses separating roughly eight different teams in each league. Do you know how fast you can change your situation just by adding in Pierre who leads the league with a dozen swipes and has seven in his last nine games? Come on. Yes, the .237 average sucks, but with what you immediately gain in points in steals, you’re never going to see any difference in your place in the batting average category and if you do, the difference is likely to be negligible. In all honesty, it doesn’t even matter what Pierre does in other categories, so long as he continues to steal at such a rapid rate. If he’s out there and you can move up quickly in the steals category, pick him up for a little while and see how fast you start to climb in the standings.
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