Photo Credit: Marianne O'Leary
Although baseball is well underway and the season is chugging along as usual, there are a number of absolute studs that have been seriously underperforming. Obviously everybody and their mother knows of Albert Pujols’ struggles, but Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano are also putting up duds on the regular nowadays. Moving down the totem pole a bit, guys like Jose Reyes, Ben Zobrist, Brandon Philips, and Nelson Cruz are also punishing owners for taking them early in the draft. Find out what the future holds for these dudes.
More after the jump:
Albert Pujols – The $250 million man finally went yard, but that still doesn't make up for a month of futility. Few self-proclaimed fantasy baseball experts predicted that the change in scenery would really affect the machine all that much. However, it’s starting to get ugly and who knows when the slide will stop. On paper, he moved from one pitcher's park to another, but clearly he misses home. Considering Big Al set career lows in average, OBP, and SLG last season (and can’t hit a curveball in 2012 if his life depended on it), Pujols owners should be a bit nervous. I’m sure he will settle down, but even if the batting average improves, Pujols might finish with less than 30 bombs. Do not sell low on the guy, but I would definitely think about trading Poo-poo for sticker price if he gets hot for a stretch.
Jose Bautista – Joey Bats is currently hitting below the Mendoza line and might be starting to heat up. He is rocking 19 walks to 17 K’s so far and is primed to turn it around. Granted he looks pretty crappy at the plate, but Bautista is still one of the elite hitters in the game and there is no reason why he should collapse this season. I have been sucking off the Toronto lineup for months and once all these dudes get hot, Joey Bats will absolutely rake in the three hole. He is not struggling against righties or lefties in particular, but his BABIP is sitting at a paltry .171. So to make a long story short, I wouldn’t look into his struggles too much and just try and buy low while you still can. Mr. Bats has already cranked out two taters in May so the time to potentially buy is passing. Maybe you won’t be able to buy low, but if you can get your hands on him without giving up another certifiable top five player than go for it.
Robinson Cano – Robbie is seeing the ball alright, but it seems like his issue at the moment is his sub-par slugging. Realistically, he probably just isn’t comfortable at the plate quite yet and is taking a bit off of his swing. I wish I could pull out one glaring number to explain it but in the end it is a long season and in the end you will get what you paid for. My man has as a solid K/BB rate and is locked into the heart of the potent Yankee lineup. I’d say approach Cano the same way you would Bautista, try like hell to trade for him while you still can.
Jose Reyes - Last year the kid won a batting title and now he’s hitting a measley .235. Jose’s modus operandi is that he kills it when he’s healthy, but leg troubles have derailed monster seasons before. He already has seven stolen bases and thirteen walks to only nine Ks, so it’s not all bad news. It appears that Reyes is another dude dealing with poor fortune as his BABIP is sitting at a career low .256. I expect him to settle down and really get at it this season. Giancarlo Stanton is heating up and Hanley Ramirez's bat will almost certainly improve. Owning Jose is always a high-risk/high-reward deal though, as a pulled hammy will absolute crush his value. Those with any testicular fortitude should buy low.
Ben Zobrist – Well I unknowingly pulled out another beast currently rocking a shit BABIP. In an effort to not sound like a broken record, just buy low boys. The only issue is he has sniffed .300 but also hit below .250 in his short time in the bigs, so you don’t really know what to expect from him in terms of BA. Regardless, the Rays have a decent lineup and he is in a nice spot to drive in copious amounts of runs.
Brandon Phillips – With Rolen struggling, Dat Dude is hitting in the four hole nowadays, but his numbers are still shit. Granted he had some hammy problems, which are supposedly behind him, but I really just don’t love him. He is a big time name, but I think he is flashier than his numbers. Assuming he is healthy and pulls it together, you are hoping for like 15 bombs and 15 stolen bases while hitting .290 with solid run and ribeye production. Yeah that would be nice, but I really don’t like to see my guys dealing with bum muscles so early in the season and I think you can get nice value in return for B-Phil. Trade away next time he gets hot, and in terms of value for your dollar, I would much rather have Howie Kendrick and Jemile Weeks. The Angels will turn it around and Howie will kill it assuming the groin tightness isn’t serious. Jemile will assuredly pick it up and I absolutely love him this season.
Nelson Cruz – Poor Nelly was cracked in the hand earlier in the season and recently got rocked in the elbow. That blows for him but I doubt it will be a problem moving forward. Anyway, he isn’t doing so hot this year and regardless I hate Cruz. Nothing personal, but he is not someone you want to own. He is never healthy throughout the season. This dude mashes when healthy, but that’s simply evidence for you to use to dish him off on some other poor soul. Nelson owners should beg the baseball gods to grant him a hot streak so that you can get rid of this bum.
Good luck you fuckers. Get at me on twitter @HisDudenessOfNY and I’ll be hitting you with some more straight truths soon enough.