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.
Angel Pagan (OF, San Francisco Giants): Pagan is batting .297 this season and .356 over the past two weeks. He has seen his walk and strikeout rates return closer to career norms after last season’s marks trending in the wrong direction. With 7 SB, Pagan also has some speed left in the tank. He’s worthy of a flier, even if it is only short term.
Melvin Upton Jr (OF, San Diego Padres): Somehow, Upton Jr. is still going strong. He’s always has had the speed and now looks good to nab 30 bags. The batting average is not supported by an outrageous BABIP so we look good there too. His .163 ISO is right in line with his career .158 meaning his power shouldn’t wane too much. All in all, Upton Jr. is looking good to finish 20/30 with a decent batting average.
Alex Gordon (OF, Kansas City Royals): Fresh off the disabled list, Gordon will attempt to find his bat. He was hitting poorly when he went down but it is hard to expect it to continue. For one, his BABIP was at .289 which is low compared to his career .319 mark. Gordon struck out 30% of the time; his previous career high was 22.8% way back in 2009. Gordon could have a pretty good second half.
Lonnie Chisenhall (3B/OF, Cleveland Indians): Chisenhall is an intriguing case. For one, you should pick him up if you need a hot hand. Over the past two weeks, Lonnie is batting .359 with 2 HR and a stolen base. He’s been a tad lucky this year with a .331 BABIP (to be fair, he did have a .328 in 2014). What’s intriguing about Chisenhall’s performance this year is his walk rate being up and strikeout rate being down. In addition to this, Chisenhall’s Isolated Power is closer to pre-2014 levels where there was 15-20 HR potential. Chisenhall is worth a flyer while he stays hot. He very well could become a mainstay in deeper leagues.
Coco Crisp (OF, Oakland Athletics): The man with the best name in baseball is hitting .364 over the past week. He’s hot so he’s worth a shot. Not much in long term value. Let’s be honest: You know you want a guy with an incredible name like that on your team.
Franklin Gutierrez (OF, Seattle Mariners): In deeper leagues or in leagues with deep benches where you can use a platoon strategy, Gutierrez is worth a look. He’s poor against right handed pitchers (Career 78 wRC+) so you really only want to start him against southpaws (Career 129 wRC+). He’s hitting .301/.383/.570 against lefties this year. Seth Smith gets the majority of at-bats vs right handed pitching but Gutierrez makes for a solid platoon bat.
Jay Bruce (OF, Cincinnati Reds): On one hand, Bruce is likely to be traded at the deadline to a better team. On the other hand, Bruce is playing over his head. For one, his BABIP is .299. From 2013-2014, his average BABIP was .260. This is aided by a slightly above average line drive rate. Bruce’s Isolated Power is close to .300. He’s never been in this territory. For a career .249 hitter, Bruce’s .278 average is likely to regress in the coming weeks.
Todd Frazier (3B, Chicago White Sox): Frazier looks like he’s trying to hit a home run every time he is up to bat. He’s got 19 this year with a batting average below the Mendoza line. Frazier has historically been a first half performer. His career wOBA during the first half is .356 and .311 during the second half. He generally falls of a cliff after the all-star break. Will this year be any different? Hard to say but there is some potential for a bounce back in the average department. His xBABIP from Statcast data courtesy of Andrew Perpetua is .219 and his xBABIP from FanGraphs Alex Chamberlain’s formula is .247. His current .186 BABIP is likely on its way up and will likely finish above .200. Even with this information, it is hard to ignore Frazier having a below average wRC+ throughout his career in the second half.