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.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF, Miami Marlins) – Stanton has been underwhelming thus far. While his trademark power is still there evidenced by his 12 home runs, Stanton is hitting .214. This is due to a poor batting average on balls in play well below his career average. Stanton has top five upside especially with Christian Yelich and Marcel Ozuna hitting as well as they have been.
Maikel Franco (3B, Philadelphia Phillies) – Franco had a good 80 games of major league ball last year before injuring his wrist. At 23, it is rare to see the contact ability Franco possess. While his power numbers are close to what one should expect (albeit they could be a bit higher), his batting average is on the upswing as he has a .264 BABIP. Franco stands a good shot at reaching 90 RBI as he continues to bat in the third in the order.
Billy Burns (OF, Oakland Athletics) – Billy Burns is a cheap source of stolen bases and a batting average that won’t kill your lineup. For a speedster like Burns, a .284 BABIP is a tad low. He has also cut his strikeout rate almost five points from last season.
Melky Cabrera (OF, Chicago White Sox) – Melky is nothing flashy. What he’s doing know, is what to expect. Cabrera has a career best strikeout rate and his walk rate is his highest since 2008. There is upside for a slightly better average. Melky just gets the job done.
Yasmani Grandal (C, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Grandal is a player who is better in OBP leagues because of his career 14% walk rate. He currently owns a .188 batting average which is not indicative of his skill. After a torrid start in April, Grandal has been in a month long slump. His .218 BABIP is well below his career .277 mark. Part of this can be explained by his career high pull rate. Regardless, Yasmani’s power numbers are in line with his career and he has a 35% hard hit rate (6th best among catchers with 100 plate appearances). Grandal will be something in between his great April and horrendous May for the rest of the season.
Adam Jones (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – The free-swinging Orioles outfielder is struggling at the plate. He may be playing around with a slight change in approach. Jones’ outside the zone swing rate is his lowest since 2009 leading to a career high walk rate (7.4%). Much of his struggles have come against left handed pitching (.414 OPS). With a batting average on balls in play and Isolated Power at career worst rates, based on Jones history, both will be on the way up as the season progresses. He also continues to hit the ball hard (34% Hard Contact Rate). Jones is in a good position to play his best baseball of the year as he is underperforming his career benchmarks and is in a good offensive lineup to acquire counting stats.
Byung-ho Park (1B, Minnesota Twins) – The former KBO star has enjoyed a decent start to his MLB career. Park is your prototypical low average, high strikeout slugger. He stands a good shot at reaching 30 home runs with his pull heavy approach and his strength. He currently has a .259 BABIP making it likely he hits higher than .214 for the rest of the season.
Byron Buxton (OF, Minnesota Twins) – Buxton has been called up by the Twins as he earned a second look in the Show. Through 29 games in AAA, Byron hit.336 with 6 home runs and 4 stolen bases. With a little more refinement, it is unlikely Buxton hits as poorly as he did earlier this year. He also has massive stolen base upside; at the very least, Buxton should be able to contribute in that department with potential to breakout.
Cesar Hernandez (2B/3B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies) – In deeper leagues, Cesar Hernandez is worth a look. He has multi-positional eligibility making him an intriguing addition. Hernandez’s batting average isn’t good but isn’t bad either, and he’s going opposite field more often than he pulls the ball. He has no home run upside, but he very well could steal 15 bases the rest of the way with a respectable average.
Ian Kinsler (2B, Detroit Tigers) – With a higher strikeout rate and one home run away from his total from last season, it is clear Kinsler is hitting for more power. This has led to his highest Isolated Power and HR/FB% since 2011. The batting average is being propped up by a .333 BABIP, well above his .288 career mark. While Kinsler sells out for more power, his batting average will take a hit. He’s currently ranked 11th on Yahoo’s player rater, and he won’t be there come October.