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Selling High on Jonathan Lucroy

I drafted Jonathan Lucroy in the staff ottoneu league, but if it were a different league with a different players and a different set up, right now is when I would be trying to move him.

It certainly think that Lucroy is good and relatively undervalued to the every day fan, but I also I think his performance to date is inflated and that with catcher being a relatively weak hitting position with not many high average hitters, he can be moved for more value than he was originally acquired for. Lucroy is currently owned in 56% of Yahoo! leagues, which is rather criminal, but that means he’s on squads in most competitive leagues and good owners should be looking to acquire a high average, high RBI catcher.

The traditional regression metrics all point to Lucroy’s numbers coming down, but nobody expects him to maintain a .349 average throughout the season. ZiPS has him at .269/.327/.410 for the rest of the season, which I think is a rather fair estimation of what to expect from him going forward. His season ending numbers would look very nice even if his performance drops that much, but you are holding onto him for his value for the rest of the season and not his end of year totals. I think there is great potential to get more value in a trade of Lucroy than .269 average with nine home runs for the rest of the season, as ZiPS suggests. Of course, ZiPS is not perfect and Lucroy could easily outperform or underperform those projections, but in looking at his career averages they do look at least fairly accurate.

Trading Lucroy obviously depends on team need and availability of other players. Swapping Lucroy for a Miguel Montero and another player who fits a small need on your team could give you near identical production from the catcher position for the rest of the season along with the additional production of the other player. ZiPS has Montero at .264/.337/.420 for the rest of the season with the same nine home runs that it projects for Lucroy.

Again, Lucroy is a solid catcher and may make the All-Star team if he continues to produce at a relatively comparable level as he has for the first two months of the year, but for a fantasy team he is the perfect candidate to trade and get maximum value for right now. He may build more over the next few weeks and an All-Star bid would likely improve his value at least a bit to certain owners in weaker leagues, but waiting to move him could also prove to be holding on too long as his average and home run per fly ball rates dip. Look to move him if you can find a suitable trade and replacement, as his value right now is at an all-time high.