At some point this season Evan and B.J. will blink and cure their BABIP
Photo Credit: Keith Allison
It's the end of the month which means two things: tomorrow we bump Bone and today we review players to target via trade. Buy-Winning includes Buy Low targets, but also players who may be difficult to acquire. Sometimes paying full price is a sneaky play. If there is room for profit to be made, there is room for that player to be included here. Some of the following twelve players are Buy Low, some are Buy Medium and some are even Buy High, but they're all Buy-Winning. To the jump!
Mark Teixeira 1B NYY It will be very difficult to pry Tex from his owner's hands, I'm not going to front. I just want to point out that even though Teixeira is having a banner season, it's only going to get better. He's been trying to get back into the 40-HR club ever since his career year in 2005, it will happen in 2011. Teixeira is making plenty of contact (16.9% K% vs his career 19.9% K%), he's launching more Fly Balls (46.9% FB% vs career 40.7% FB%) and a higher percentage of those Fly Balls are clearing the fence (21.4% HR/FB% vs career 18.5% HR/FB%). Not only will Mark make it back into the club, he's likely to surpass the 43 HR he hit in '05. So how does Buy-Winning work here? Teixeira is rocking a fugly .243 AVG because of a terrible BABIP. His AVG of Balls in Play was .214 coming into tonight's game, his career mark for BABIP is .298. All those missing Base Hits will translate to even more Runs scored and Runs Batted In. If his BABIP were .297 Mark would have been hitting .306 coming into tonight's game. Teixeira currently ranks as a mid-late Rd 2 player, but he should produce first round results going forward. There's a little wiggle room here.
Evan Longoria 3B TB Yeah you probably won't find anyone willing to deal Longo, but you never know. People do strange things. He is hitting .249, was injured for part of the season and has only one Stolen Base to his credit. Evan's BABIP is nearly 65 points below his career norm, his LD% is down a percentage point. That's quite the penalty for a few missing Line Drives. A normalized AVG of Balls In Play would make his Batting Average (.249) much more tolerable (.291).
Nelson Cruz OF TEX is killing the ball (18 HR, 22.5% HR/FB%), but he is having some issues with his K% (30%) and BABIP (.260 vs his career .302 BABIP). Nellie's LD% isn't pretty (17.3%), but it is half a percentage point better than his career average. It's possible you can get in here at a discount price due to the .241 AVG and recent injury woes (quadriceps).
Adrian Beltre 3B TEX Another tough buy, Beltre is ranked 56th among all players at Yahoo. We'll make this quick, I just want to point out the improved K% (8.9% K% vs his career 16.6% K%) and low BABIP (.247 vs career .292 BABIP). If Adrian's BABIP was at his career norm his .262 AVG would be 35 points higher (.297). He's better than his rank suggests.
B.J. Upton OF TB Bossman Junior has proven his worth thus far (78 o-rank , 74 rank), but he could be much better. His .222 AVG is pretty bad, but his K% and LD% are fine (for him). Despite his LD% being the highest it has been in three years his BABIP is down 55 points. If his AVG of Balls In Play was at a normal level his .222 AVG would actually be 40 points higher (.262). It's not a pretty number, but it far less damaging than what it is now. Expect improvement going forward.
Ichiro Suzuki OF SEA has shown signs of life lately, but his BABIP is still 50 points below his career norm. He's getting older (37) and his LD% is down a few percentage points so it's understandable that his AVG of Balls In Play is down, but not 50 points. His 128 rank still suffers from the month of May (.210 AVG, 3 SB). Speed/AVG starved managers should make a play here.
Aaron Hill 2B TOR I've mentioned Hill before. The guy was a Buy Low target coming into draft season and he's still here. The problems lie in his BABIP and HR/FB% (3.2% vs career 8.2% HR/FB%). His LD% has return to normal levels after the disaster that unfolded in 2010, but his BABIP hasn't recovered. It's about 40 points below where it should be. This and the bad luck with his Fly Balls has hurt the Batting Average (.239). Those who have Hill on their team may think this is an extension of last season's problems, but it's not. Hill is playing well, the large uptick in Stolen Bases only adds more value to this Buy-Winning target. His roto line should be closer to .285-9-10 rather than the .239-3-10 it was coming into tonight.
Geovany Soto C CHC Geo is lacing Line Drives left and right (23.4% LD%), but his BABIP isn't following suit. In 2008 he posted a .332 BABIP (with a 21.% LD%) and in 2010 he posted a .324 BABIP (with a 24.4% LD%); this season he's pushing a .259 BABIP. If his AVG of Balls In Play were on par with these two previous seasons his Batting Average would be .267 instead of the .220 it sits at now. Geo started slow, but he's starting to pick up the pace (especially in the power department).
Alex Rios OF CHW I wrote about Rios not long ago [Don't Give Up On Alex Rios] as a Buy Low target, citing his improved K%, solid LD% and horrific BABIP. Since then he had a nice little hot streak (9 of 20), but he's gone without a hit his past three games. I'm still backing Rios, the bad luck has to end some time.
Deep leaguers take notice...
Magglio Ordonez OF DET is another player I mentioned as a Buy Low target [Doing the Unthinkable] because of his low K%, high LD% and low BABIP. Maggy has a Mendoza-like .200 AVG, but since I plugged him (hey now) he's gone 10 for 33 (.303) with a HR. He still has the skills to hit for a good Batting Average, he just needs the ankle to hold up.
Kurt Suzuki C OAK is having another one of his early season battles with his BABIP. He pulled this move last season and picked up the pace over the course of the year, he should do the same in 2011. Kurt's LD% is fine (it's a little bit over his career norm), but the BABIP is down 30-40 points. He's hitting .217, but his AVG could be as high as .255. He doesn't pack much power, but people in two-catcher or AL-Only leagues who need help at the position may want to send out a low-ball offer.
David DeJesus OF OAK Black Baby DeJesus has been more Old Dirty Bastard this season. His Batting profile looks strikingly similar to Magglio Ordonez'. David is hitting .222 in the face of his career .285 Batting Average. He's 31-years old now so it's understandable if his stats slip a little bit, but the BABIP (.242 vs career .317 BABIP) is holding him back. If his BABIP were .302 (still down 15 points from his career norm) he'd have a .270 Batting Average. The K% is up a percentage point, the LD% is down two points and Oakland Coliseum isn't helping matters; David is for AL-Only leaguers who want to gamble (he could be traded out of the league).
Tomorrow we'll talk Buy-Winning Pitcher - grease out - @andrewakamds