Every Wednesday, Dapinder joins Pitcher List to outline the best position player buys and sells of the week. He’ll outline the hitters to trust in your lineups and who to shop while their price is high. Make sure to stay ahead of the curve and use the market to your advantage.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS, Toronto Blue Jays) – There are plenty of concerns with Troy Tulowitzki. From the injury concerns, to a career high strikeout rate, to the decline of his ability to hit fastballs, Tulowitzki is not the player he was three years ago. However, Tulowitzki has managed to hit five home runs with a below career average ISO. The biggest culprit of his poor performance thus far may be the line drive percentage below 8%, which is sure to improve as the season continues. This has impacted his batting average on balls in play. The Blue Jays shortstop also has improved his walk rate from last season. There are legitimate concerns with Tulo, though you should be able to get him for a cheap price and return a solid reward.
Adam Duvall (OF, Cincinnati Reds) – There are few players who have the power potential of Duvall on the waiver wire. The 27-year-old has ample playing time, responding with 6 home runs so far. Throughout his minor league career, he has repeatedly posted seasons with an ISO above .200. With an above baseline BABIP and his pull heavy tendencies, Duvall won’t have a good batting average. He will, however, have a good power output.
Matt Holliday (OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – The Stillwater, Oklahoma native has a .235/.322/.431 line through 31 games. While his power output is what one should expect at this point, Holliday’s average and OBP have been disappointing. Looking at contact rates, Holliday’s zone contact is elite at 94%. The BABIP is below his career average and with his all field approach, Holliday’s average should be on the way up in the coming weeks.
Howie Kendrick (2B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Kendrick missed spring training and that may be the reason for his slow start. He has hit over .290 over the past three seasons. Kendrick’s BABIP is well below his career average. While the strikeout rate is up, the good news is that his swing percentage outside the zone is lower than average. Kendrick is a player who should be able to turn it around especially with one of the best infield flyball rates.
Pedro Alvarez (1B, Baltimore Orioles) – Alvarez has been batting primarily against right handed pitchers. The HR/FB% and ISO are both below career averages in a batters’ park. Pedro’s BABIP against right handed pitching is also due for a positive regression. Lastly, his strikeout rate is down and the contact rates up dictating that Alvarez may be in for good rest of season.
Aaron Hicks (OF, New York Yankees) – Hicks will get additional playing time with Alex Rodriguez out for the near future. Hicks batting average on balls in play is .111 and is responsible for his sub-Mendoza line batting average. Hicks also has the speed to swipe 10-15 bags. He has kept the gains he made last season in plate discipline. Hicks gets an extended audition for a starter’s role and has the tools to grab it by the horns.
Anthony Rendon (2B/3B, Washington Nationals): The strikeouts are down as the Nationals third baseman is has his highest contact rate since his breakout 2014 campaign. Rendon’s .211 average is due for a regression as his .238, BABIP is nowhere close to his career BABIP at .307. Rendon’s batted ball profile is more similar to his 2014 in terms of hard hit contact rate and type of ball in play. And let’s not forget that he still has value on the basepaths – he has three stolen bases under his belt already. Stick with Rendon who should improve as the season progresses.
Yan Gomes (C, Cleveland Indians) – The Brazilian’s batting average on balls in play is .190 leading to a poor batting average. His Isolated Power and HR/FB% are both somewhat below his career average. Expect Gomes to get a boost in pop and average moving forward, presenting a good buy low opportunity at the catcher position which is always a tough one to nail down.
Jonathan Villar (3B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers) – Villar has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers. The gains in contact ability from 2015 have carried over to 2016. While his BABIP is really high, with his minor league track record, speed and all field approach illustrate Villar is capable of carrying a BABIP around .330. Villar’s walk rate is also a career high. His biggest asset is speed and he could very well challenge for 35+ steals, presenting good value and a thin position.
Joc Pederson (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Let’s get this out of the way: In a redraft, explore sell options. In a keeper or dynasty league, depending on league settings, take more caution as his potential is still very good. With that said, Joc Pederson is a sell candidate because he is being platooned. He has 84 plate appearances against right handers and only 11 against southpaws. His strikeout rate has increased from last season as he is chasing more. His .288 ISO is also due for a small regression. Pederson has lots of potential but if he is getting opportunities against left-handed pitchers, his value and progression is limited.