Hopefully you were able to pick up Brett Cecil and J.J. Hardy last week. But even if you stood pat there are still plenty of acquisition targets and trade bait guys out there for you. So, here are five guys to pick up and five guys to move.
Ramon Hernandez – Throughout his career, Hernandez has delivered solid HR totals for a catcher. In his last three seasons, he averaged nearly 16 HR per season. So far this year, Hernandez has only one homer. The Great American Ball Park is the sixth-best park for HR this year, according to the single-season park factors at ESPN. Hernandez is not hitting as many fly balls as he has recently, but the falloff has not been dramatic (only 1.5% below last year) and he should deliver more power going forward.
Matt Harrison – After giving up 15 ER in his first 14.2 IP, Harrison has allowed just six ER in his last 30 innings. It would be nice if he struck out a few more batters, but his BABIP is .301, he gets groundballs (1.40 GB/FB) and he has a 0.81 HR/9. The big lefty averages nearly 91 with his fastball, throws four pitches and his FIP is almost identical to his ERA.
Billy Butler – In his first 18 games of the season, Butler had a .193 AVG with zero HR and three RBIs. Since then he has a .348-3-15-15-0 fantasy line, also in 18 games. Butler arrived in the majors with a reputation of being a good hitter with limited defensive value. He has found a home at first base and the bat may be finally coming around. Butler probably won’t hit enough HR to be a starting first baseman but should have a good average and double-digit HRs.
Brian Tallet – A reliever at the beginning of the year, Tallet moved into the rotation on April 24th and has pitched very well as a starter in four of his five outings. The lone bad start was a meltdown, in which he allowed 10 ER in four innings, and that is keeping his overall numbers high. Tallet is owned in less than two percent of ESPN leagues and is a nice pickup for the back of your rotation.
Matt Holliday – Overrated at the beginning of the year with an ADP of 12, Holliday compounded things by getting off to a terrible start. But the average is starting to pick up and he has hit three HR in May after posting zero in April. Clearly, he is not going to be the fantasy stud that he was in Colorado, but ZiPS projects him to hit .284 with 19 HR and 77 RBIs the rest of the season.
Russell Branyan – A near lock to post career highs in every single fantasy category, Branyan is unlikely to keep up his current rate of production. No one ever doubted his power but his .368 BABIP and .333 ISO are unsustainable over a full season. A platoon or bench player throughout his career, Branyan has done it for six-plus weeks now as a full-time player and there should be a market for his bat, especially from an owner light on HR.
Jered Weaver – In his last six games, Weaver has five Quality Starts. But he’s been the beneficiary of some good fortune. Overall, he has a .228 BABIP and an 84.1 percent strand rate. Weaver has had an ERA within 0.50 of his FIP the past two seasons but this year his FIP is 4.10 compared to a 2.59 ERA.
Pedro Feliz – He has never been a good hitter for average because his BABIP has never topped .300 in any season in which he played more than 10 games. This year it sits at .343 which has led to a .308 AVG. Feliz used to be a consistent power source. He hit between 20-22 HR in four straight seasons but saw his power output drop to 14 last year. His FB% is in decline and he will need to reverse that trend (and hope for a regression in his HR/FB rate) just to match 2008’s output.
Wandy Rodriguez – One of the top fantasy pitchers so far in 2009, Rodriguez has flown somewhat under the radar due to the fantastic starts by Zack Greinke and Johan Santana. Most of Rodriguez’ numbers do not scream out regression but they are all better than career norms, which has a nice overall effect. The one exception is that he has not allowed a single HR this season in 52 IP, despite playing half his games in Minute Maid Park, which is the third-best park for HR this year.
Fred Lewis – Last year Lewis proved he could handle a full-time role and he opened the year in the coveted third-spot in the Giants’ lineup. Since then he has hit for a solid average but not produced much in other categories. Lewis has also bounced around in the lineup, batting every slot in the order except cleanup. That makes it hard to predict his R, RBI and SB going forward. ZiPS does not see him improving on last year’s numbers and even sees him falling off in AVG. Trade him now while his .294 AVG still looks good.