AL OF Stock Watch

Today marks another installment of American League Outfield Stock Watch.

Bullish:
Cody Ross – After missing over a month of the season with a broken foot, Ross has finally returned to action. Though it has only been 24 plate appearances, Ross has already smacked three home runs and three doubles. His RBI chances should continue, as he has hit either fourth or fifth in four of the six games he has played in. Even if he is hitting from the seventh spot, he should be able to gather RBI’s. Boston has the fifth best team OBP  and have scored the second most runs. There should be no shortage of available runners on base to drive in for Ross, regardless of where he hits. With a seasonal line of .277/.349/.581, he has been one of Boston’s top hitters. Expect him to have very solid showing in the July rankings. For now, his Yahoo! ownership is at 34% and climbing and his ESPN rate is already 56%. If he is available, I’d pick him up immediately.

Quintin Berry – Our very own Howard Bender pointed out Berry almost month ago, but despite this, Berry still remains undervalued and under owned. Berry now has 112 PA on the season, and while his BABIP is up in the stratosphere at .439,  I’m not too worried about it. With his speed and batted ball profile, I’m confident in saying that Berry’s true talent BABIP is way above average. Berry has blazing speed and so far has hit over 50% ground balls. Ground balls have a higher BABIP than fly balls, so this is a good thing for Berry’s average. His triple slash is a very impressive .309/.396/.423 and he has 11 steals to zero caught stealing. I would keep an eye on his strikeout rate, but other than that, I feel very confident in picking him up. If you need cheap steals, they don’t come much cheaper than Berry. He is only owned in 7% of Yahoo! formats and 9% of ESPN leagues.

Bearish:
B.J. Upton – Over the past two weeks, Upton has hit .180 and only stolen three bases. His BABIP is still high, but his contact rate is the lowest it has been since his rookie season. His O-swing% is also the highest of his career. Basically, he is swinging at more pitches outside of the strike zone and making contact on all swings at a lower rate than ever before. If that sounds bad, that’s because it is bad. Actually, that is a recipe for disaster, and his past 30 day average of .210 is a testament to that. No one expects a .300 year out of him anymore, but hitting just above the Mendoza line is a tough pill to swallow, especially for a full month. ZiPS has him stealing 21 bags the rest of the way, and I hope he does. It looks like steals will be the only thing that Upton will really contribute to your team. Perhaps you can swing a trade based on Upton’s name and reputation. His trade value is better represented by his name than by his numbers so far.

Nolan Reimold – After battling a neck injury much of the season, Reimold has made the personal decision to undergo surgery to removed a bulging disc in his neck. After providing an early streak of power never before seen, many people were optimistic about Reimold this year. Unfortunately, it seems probable that we won’t see him back until next year. I’ve officially dropped him off of my fantasy radar. I suggest you do the same.



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lester bangs
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lester bangs

Great time to sell Cody Ross. He’s a masher against lefties but mediocre against RHPs (career split is almost 200 OPS points). He might not play every day if both Ellsbury and Crawford return in July.

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