Here are seven players for your consideration to either acquire or send packing.
Ian Kinsler – An ankle injury kept Kinsler out of the lineup early in the year. It is unclear if that injury has led to his decline in power. Kinsler has just 3 HR in 201 ABs after hitting 31 HR in 2009. He is suffering from hitting fewer FB and hitting fewer of those FB out of the park. But in his last eight games, Kinsler is batting .412 with 2 HR and 3 SB. It could be a small sample fluke or it could be evidence that the ankle is finally not bothering him anymore. I lean towards the latter and expect Kinsler to exceed the 10 HR (R) ZiPS projects for him.
Shane Victorino – Preseason projections had Victorino batting between .283 and .290, making his .249 AVG particularly annoying for his owners. A .227 BABIP in June has been especially troubling for Victorino. But the rest of his fantasy numbers are on pace or better than what was expected from him coming into the season. He is still a good source of SB and has displayed more HR power than anticipated. A comeback in AVG would make his fantasy season complete.
Barry Zito – After starting the season 6-1, Zito has cooled off considerably. In his last eight decisions he is 1-3 with a 4.80 ERA. But Zito has 5 Quality Starts in that span and could easily have a few more wins to his credit. Overall his FIP (3.78) is right in line with his ERA (3.43). Zito’s xFIP is considerably higher, but he has posted a lower ERA than xFIP in the eight previous years, each season for which xFIP data is available. With a solid WHIP (1.23) and an acceptable K rate (6.26), Zito remains an above-average pitcher if he keeps his ERA at his current FIP levels.
Adrian Gonzalez – Heading into the final day of June, Gonzalez has a .363 AVG with 7 HR and 23 RBIs in the month. He will not maintain either the AVG or RBI pace going forward. Gonzalez is a great player, one of the top sluggers around. But if you have the depth to trade him, now is the time to move him at the height of his value.
Carl Pavano – Raise your hand if you thought Pavano would have 9 W and a 3.33 ERA at the end of June. Last Player Picked has him at $15, making him one of the top 20 pitchers in all of baseball. But his K rate collapsed in June. After posting a 6.32 K/9 the first month of the season, Pavano was down to a 3.83 mark this month. Only a .187 BABIP and an 84.5 LOB% has kept his numbers so strong. Because people remember the injury-prone Pavano of a few years ago, it may be hard to find much trade interest in him. But his owners owe it to themselves to find if anyone is willing to gamble on a top-20 pitcher.
Buster Posey – Trade recommendations are for redraft leagues. Posey is one of the top prospects in the game but in 2010 his name value far exceeds his production. So far he has shown a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone (31.4 O-Swing%) along with having significant trouble versus fastballs (-3.59 wFB/C). Posey has not hit for much power and has a nice AVG thanks to a .310 BABIP. That is at the upper limit of normal levels but catchers as a group tend to have lower BABIPs than other players. Look for Posey’s AVG to fall without having a lot of power to make up for the drop.
Clint Barmes – The injury to Troy Tulowitzki has given Barmes a new lease on life as he takes over as the starting shortstop for the Rockies. After struggling through BABIP nightmares in April (.222) and May (.234) Barmes has turned it around in June to get his mark up to .269 for the season. He’s not going to hit for much of an AVG but at least now it is high enough to be a major league regular. Since taking over at SS, Barmes is hitting .316 with 2 HR, 7 RBIs and 7 R in 11 games. The real question is if he can get back to the power numbers he showed in 2009. I like Barmes to exceed his (R) ZiPS total of 7 HR for the rest of the way.
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