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Buy & Sell 5/18: Identifying Which Trending Hitters You Want To Own

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...

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.

BUY

Joey Votto (1B, Cincinnati Reds) – The Canadian first baseman is off to a poor start but there are positive signs on the horizon. His BABIP and ISO are both currently career lows while Votto ranks fifth in hard contact percentage. His walk rate has also increased this month and this may be the last time you can buy Votto a discounted rate.

Kevin Keirmaier (OF, Tampa Bay Rays) – Keirmaier has done many things right this year. He’s cut down on the strikeouts and improved his walk rate and he’s running more. He’s already nabbed six bags; stealing twenty or more is likely at this point. Kevin’s BABIP at .233 can only go up from here. Arguably the best defensive player in the game, Keirmaier has added some additional pop in his bat. He’s hit 10 home run in each of the past two seasons. With four home runs through one-fifth of the season, Keirmaier will likely set career highs in this category. 

Mark Reynolds (1B/3B/OF, Colorado Rockies) – In deeper leagues, Reynolds is a solid player with positional versatility. Reynolds BABIP is an unsustainable .456 but you won’t be picking him up for his average. Reynolds has hit at least 20 bombs in seven of his last eight seasons. Now at Coors, Reynolds has first base locked down and ample playing time. He could very well challenge for 25+ home runs and put up solid counting stats. 

JD Martinez (OF, Detroit Tigers) – Martinez has struggled to produce well at the plate this year, however; there are many positives. The strikeout rate has decreased and his walk rate is up. Martinez’s batting average on balls in play is due for a positive regression; the batting average will be higher. From 2014-2015, Martinez’s ISO is .245. This year he sits under .200. Martinez will be a wrecking ball in the future. 

Derek Dietrich (2B/3B/OF, Miami Marlins) – Dietrich comes with multi-positional eligibility and has been batting leadoff since Dee Gordon’s suspension. He’s got the power to hit 15 home runs and have a respectable batting average. Dietrich has a good walk rate and is a solid source of runs. He’s not flashy, and he doesn’t do anything particularly great, but Dietrich is versatile and can do a decent job atop the Marlins lineup. 

Derek Norris (C, San Diego Padres) – The second Derek on the list, Norris had a .260 batting average from 2014-2015 to go along with 24 home runs. Norris’s .228 BABIP is low relative to his career .299. He’s a catcher on the way up. 

Evan Gattis (OF, Houston Astros) – Gattis has hit 70 home runs over the course of his first three seasons. He struggled early which may have been due to his injury. Reports are that Gattis will get some reps at catcher behind Jason Castro. This will immensely improve his value as there are few catchers who can legitimately hit as well as Gattis. Playing time will be an issue early on, however; Gattis is a good enough hitter to make the lineup most days in the outfield or as catcher. 

Jose Bautista (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – Bautista is one of the league’s premier power hitters currently struggling. The batting average on balls in play is below his career average. He’s not pulling the ball as much as he has in years past and Bautista has increased his walk rate. The Blue Jays right fielder has his highest contact rate since 2013. In a potent Jays lineup, Bautista is in a great position to play his best baseball of the season in a contract year. Oh and Rougned Odor made Bautista angry. Never make Bautista angry. 

SELL

Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, Boston Red Sox) – JBJ seems like one of the streakier players in baseball as he has been on a tear over the past few weeks. While JBJ has cut down on his strikeout rate, his swinging strike rate still remains high and slightly above his career average. Bradley Jr.’s BABIP is approaching .400 which will not last. Considering he never posted an ISO over .200 in the minors, his .257 ISO is a mirage. JBJ may not be batting high in the order when he comes crashing down, thus losing more value. 

Travis Shaw (1B/3B, Boston Red Sox) – Shaw’s got the tools to hit 15-20 home runs but keep up a .317 batting average, I doubt it. The Red Sox infielder’s batting average on balls in play is approaching .400, highly unsustainable. Shaw’s swinging strike percentage is up and he’s making less contact than last year. He’s a good player, just not this good.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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