Here are seven players for your consideration to either acquire or send packing.
Zack Greinke – Last Player Picked has Greinke’s 2010 season valued at $0 so far this season, the same as Brandon League and Hisanori Takahashi. Clearly, that is not what owners expected when they spent a second or third-round pick on him. He is underperforming in every category, especially Wins, where he really has a chance to turn things around from here on out. Many fantasy owners abhor chasing Wins but with Greinke we have a player with a .200 winning percentage who has an outside shot to finish above .500 for the season. (R) ZiPS sees him going 8-6 and while that won’t get him to .500 it will make him a much more valuable pitcher going forward.
Pablo Sandoval – Coming into 2009, most fantasy owners thought Sandoval would hit for a good AVG but not give much in HR. Then he went out and put up a .330-25 season and expectations went through the roof for 2010. Sandoval has not met those expectations, instead putting up numbers more in line with preseason 2009 projections. Currently, Sandoval is struggling on the road, where he has a .261 BABIP and a .100 ISO. He is also scuffling versus LHP, with a .229 AVG. Last year Sandoval hit .379 versus southpaws. Sandoval is not going to revert to 2009 levels but there is room for growth in both power and especially AVG.
Matt Wieters – Subjectively, Wieters looks terrible at the plate. Objectively, Wieters has been similar to what he was in 2009 except for poor luck on BABIP. His ISO of .115 is right in line with the .124 he put up last year. His BB/K of 0.38 is similar to last year’s 0.33 and his HR/FB rate of 9.1 compares favorably to last season’s 8.4 percent. But last year Wieters had a .356 BABIP while this year it checks in 90 points lower. Any owner who has watched him play will be happy to trade him. Anyone who believes in regression could see him being a serviceable fantasy catcher the rest of the year.
Cole Hamels – One of the most common questions asked in these columns is “What could I get for Player X in trade?” That’s an impossible question to answer because there are so many variables involved, not the least of which is an individual owner’s trading skills. But since he was listed as a “buy” above, how about trading Hamels for Greinke? Here are the current numbers:
CH – 6 W, 3.75 ERA, 85 Ks, 1.31 WHIP — $3
ZG – 2 W, 3.94 ERA, 83 Ks, 1.20 WHIP — $0
And here are the (R) ZiPS projections:
CH – 7 W, 3.98 ERA, 109 Ks, 1.23 WHIP
ZG – 8 W, 3.41 ERA, 121 Ks, 1.18 WHIP
Kevin Kouzmanoff – After a slow start, Kouzmanoff has been raking in the month of June, with a .402 AVG, 5 HR and 13 RBIs, and a week still to go to pad the counting numbers. Kouzmanoff has a good chance to reach 20 HR but he has never been very good with his BABIP, which currently sits at .320 for the season. His current AVG seems inflated and this feels like the right time to execute a sell-high move.
Ty Wigginton – Perhaps a bit past the peak time to sell high, Wigginton still has good overall numbers. He has additional value due to his position eligibility. He has played over 20 games at both 1B and 2B, which combined with his eligibility at 3B from last season, makes him available to fill multiple holes for potential owners. While the forecast is not pessimistic for Wigginton going forward, owners have to be concerned about playing time. He is a butcher in the field and with the Orioles going nowhere, he could easily lose ABs down the stretch to younger players.
Alfredo Simon – Earlier in the year it looked like Simon was grabbing hold of the closer’s role. But an injury put everything in flux and the Orioles have David Hernandez and Mike Gonzalez as immediate and future competitors for the position. But I like Simon’s chances to nail down the role. (R) ZiPS really can’t be used as a comparison in this case, as it sees him making some starts the rest of the season. But Simon has 7 Saves currently and has a shot to finish the year with 20.