Buy & Sell 6/2 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop

Ben Pernick analyzes this week's most intriguing hot and cold hitters.

Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where we heard you like injuries, so we got your injury replacement injured so you can suffer while they suffer. While I am proudly in first place in the Pitcher List Legacy League (which I say now because I’m about to get walloped this week), in another league, I managed to have four consecutive injury replacements get injured. So get ready to do some barrel-scraping, but maybe we’ll scrape a barrel of gold and avoid the barrel of monkeys. On to the list!

BUY

10-team

Tyler O’Neill (OF, St. Louis Cardinals)

Tyler O’Neill has provided a TON of value for those who continued to roster him, hitting .438/.471/1.250  3 HR with 7 RBI in his last 16 AB, raising his season line to .272/.306/.623  11 HR 4 SB   114 AB. For those recklessly extrapolating at home, that’s close to a 50 HR/18 SB pace in 500 AB. While he’ll remain a K risk, he’s not much different from Adolis Garcia and simply offers too much power/speed goodness to ignore in 10-team batting average leagues. In OBP formats, his inevitable slumps will be harder to take with his lack of walks to cushion it but remains a strong buy anyway.

Austin Riley (3B, Atlanta Braves)  

Although Riley has cooled off this week, hitting just .143, he’s a guy you want to roster. Riley was a draft day bargain this year despite showing marked improvement in his contact and plate discipline in 2020. He’s been out of his mind lately, hitting .421/.489/1.079 with 7 HR in his last 38 AB, with 3 more HR this week, raising his season line to .313/.409/.546 with 10 HR in 163 AB. While Statcast believes he’s benefited from a good deal of luck, the masher’s evolution combined with a great supporting lineup (despite it being likely to lose Ozuna) makes him a must-add in all formats.

12-Team

Austin Slater (OF, San Francisco Giants)

Slater should be in detention for hitting these Mr. Beldingers. He has 7 HR and 7 SB and a 7% roster rate in Yahoo. Come on! He’s in year two of being one of baseball’s most underrated power/speed players, largely due to his lacking prospect pedigree and being almost 30. While he’s batting .230 on the year, he’s heating up with a .444 AVG and 2 HR in 9 AB this week. However, he has been showing some regression this year, with a 55% GB% leading to his unsustainable 41% HR/FB and a 7-point drop in Contact to 69%. Still, he can finish the year close to a 20/20 pace, and I think he can hit .240 the rest of the way, which is plenty valuable with the shortage of speed. Start with a Clean Slate in 15-team and deeper average-based 12-team formats.

Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, Miami Marlins)

With how elite he’s been, not many hitters can hang with Mr. Cooper. He’s hitting .467 with three homers this week and hitting .457/.525/.857 over the past two weeks. This raises his previously ugly season line to a healthy .265/.337/.429 with five homers, and he’s been getting plenty of reps in the outfield in light of Aguilar’s resurgence. Statcast loved Cooper last year, and I believe he still has the ability for a .280/25 HR season, so he’s a solid addition in 15-team formats or as an injury replacement streamer in deeper 12-team average formats.

15-Team

Edward Olivares (OF, Kansas City Royals) 

He got one cup of coffee in the majors, but Olivares said, “Please, sir, I want some more.” After a lackluster debut, he’s back to the majors after hitting .395/.473/.654 with five HR and seven SB in 93 PA in Triple-A. More intriguing to me is that he managed to do this with a 12% BB% and 14% in the minors, which gives me optimism that he will have a higher floor than people expect. The Royals seem to believe in him, as they batted him 6th and have played him every day since his call-up. He’s more of a 15/15 upside guy than a 20/20 threat but should provide all-around production.

Patrick Wisdom (1B, Chicago Cubs)

The hot corner has also been handing out injuries like hotcakes, and Wisdom is your hot hand. It’s not every day you see a major leaguer amass a half-Win Above Replacement (WAR) in 16 Plate Appearances, but with Wisdom’s two-homer game with a stolen base as well he made it happen. His modus operandi is intriguing power/speed but too many whiffs. However, with 3 barrels already and a 111 mph max eV, he might hit hard enough to make up for his sub-par 67% Contact%. He should shortly have much more useful 3B eligibility, so f you need power/speed at all costs and can stomach a potentially painful stretch, take out the Wisdom tooth in NL-only formats and 15-team leagues.

Deep Leagues

Billy McKinney (OF, New York Mets)

Beware, here’s the return of Billy McKid. McKinney was cut by the Brewers after not being good enough to hang in a major league lineup, but fortunately, he was still good enough for the Mets. Despite a ho-hum season line of .210/.263/.410 with 5 HR and 1 SB in 105 AB, he likely deserved better with a .262 xBA and .454 xSLG. He’s already popped two dingers this week and should get plenty of run in a decimated lineup. The former first-round pick should be rostered in all NL-only formats as well as deeper 18-team OBP formats.

Jose Godoy (C, Seattle Mariners)

My favorite play has always been Waiting for Godoy. I’ll admit I can’t say I waited for him because when he arrived, I was like, “Uh, who is this guy?”  Yet he’s been a solid catcher for the bat-starved mariners, to the extent that they even have played him at DH, though this mostly just reflects the sad state of their offense. For a catcher, Godoy has displayed a strong overall offensive package with a solid 81% Contact%, 47% HardHit% and a league-average 106 mph max eV. He could easily take over as the M’s top catcher the rest of the way but is hardly owned. Capitalize on that and scoop him in AL-only and two-catcher formats.

SELL

10-team

Raimel Tapia (OF, Colorado Rockies)

Lately, he’s been flopping around like a Raimel Tilapia. While he became a so-called must-own with his hot start, he’s among the most dropped non-injured hitters after hitting just .162/.247/.221 with a homer and a pair of stolen bases in his last 68 AB. I still think it’s encouraging that he set a great new max exit velocity at 110 mph, and he has an improved 14% K% and 8% BB%, but his launch angle is an exact 0. There are actually a fair amount of power/speed threats this year, and I think Tapia’s three times caught stealing and high grounder rate limit his upside for what you need to compete in 10-team leagues.

12-team

Yasmani Grandal (C, Chicago White Sox)

Maybe he needs a spa day so we can get the Yasmanicure. Those in OBP leagues might not notice anything is wrong, as his healthy .385 OBP is nearly triple that of his astoundingly bad .131 AVG, with a .091 AVG this week. While he does have six homers, Statcast thinks he’s earned this poor performance due to badly hit balls. He still has a solid strikeout rate (28%) and exit velocity (a career-best 93 mph on average), as well as a career-best 13% Barrel%. So he very well may turn this around, but with the still-strong Yermin Mercedes in the picture at catcher as well as a young and possibly not terrible Zack Collins in the mix, Grandal is at risk of losing full-time at-bats at the hands of the notoriously wise and disciplined Tony La Russa. In 12-team AVG formats, you’re simply taking on too much pain and are better off cutting him out until he turns things around. In OBP leagues, though, hold him dearly, and hope he keeps playing to get you those glorious walks.

15-team

Enrique Hernandez (OF, Boston Red Sox)

Kiki (as he is now sometimes known to avoid incidents for people who don’t understand accents) is back, but not with a vengeance. He’s hit just .056/.105/.056 in 18 AB in his return, which drops his season line to a mediocre .239/.202/.400. Sure, there’s worse, but Statcast also has him all kinds of blue with a .219 xBA. While most of his hype and value has been from his placement in the leadoff spot, he doesn’t deserve to remain there with his lack of speed and OBP. Even though Jeter Downs is struggling in Triple-A, him or Chavis may return to bump Kiki onto a deserted island with Lori Beth Denberg. Cut in 12-team and 15-team leagues with three outfielders.

Deep Leagues

Danny Jansen (C, Toronto Blue Jays)

Cam Jansen wishes he didn’t have a photographic memory of his at-bats this year. The good news is that he’s better than Reese McGuire. The bad news is that he accomplished this just by not getting arrested for exposing himself from his parked car. Both 26-year-olds have taken turns being sub-par hitters, and while Kirk is likely out for a while longer, there’s just no value to be had here, and you’re probably better off taking your chances on a part-time catcher with pop, so you don’t torpedo your average. He’s a first-round pick in big goggles leagues but a cut everywhere else.

Ben Pernick

I've been writing for Pitcher List since the beginning, and have been a fantasy baseball addict now for 20 years. I grew up as a Red Sox fan in New York, but now I declare allegiance only to my fantasy teams.

  • Avatar Mike Honcho says:

    In a 12 team roto mixer, single C. Would you drop Narvaez or G.Sanchez?

    • Ben Pernick Ben Pernick says:

      I would drop Sanchez and it isn’t even close. Really liking Narvaez this year, and believe he can keep hitting the ball harder than in years past.

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