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.
Joe Panik (2B, San Francisco Giants) – Panik is a guy who floats under the radar. He does nothing flashy but gets the job done. He’s on pace to hit 12-15 HR with good run scoring stats. Panik’s batting average on balls in play at .254 is below league average. Despite a slightly higher strikeout rate, Panik has increased his zone contact percentage to elite rates which will help him gain points on batting average. He’s swinging less and becoming more selective, all good signs for the 25 year-old Giants second baseman.
Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – After a terrific April, Conforto cooled down hitting .169/.242/.349 in May. It’s likely he finds the middle ground as the season progresses. Conforto has the raw power to hit 25+ home runs while being in a good position in the Mets lineup. With an elevated strikeout rate, his batting average will likely hover around .250 although his swinging strikeout rate is barely above last season’s mark. Conforto will make his adjustments; fantasy players should pick him up and reap the rewards.
Rajai Davis (OF, Cleveland Indians) – Rajai Davis has playing time. Rajai Davis has speed. He has a HR/FB% above his career average; the home run totals will go down (likely finish with 10-15). Davis is striking out more but also walking more this year. He’s still got speed to steal 20+ bases for the rest of the season. If you need SB, Davis is your guy.
Nick Hundley (C, Colorado Rockies) – Hundley is back from injury and is the Rockies primary catcher. He was terrific last season and so far in limited appearances, he’s been better by wOBA. As long as Hundley’s home park is Coors Field, he will continue to bat well.
Hyun-Soo Kim (1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles) – Over the past couple of weeks, Soo-Kim has been getting more playing time in left field as the Joey Rickard magic wears off. While his current rate of performance is highly unsustainable, Kim has good contact skills hit for a solid average while chipping in 10-15 HR. He hit well in the KBO and now in the majors has very impressive 0.8 BB/K.
Carlos Santana (1B, Cleveland Indians) – The best part about Santana’s season thus far are the ten home runs and it looks like he will be back over 20 after hitting only 19 last year. The OBP beast, Santana has seen his walk rate tumble but it was back up to career norms in May. Santana is rocking a career best 12% strikeout rate; he’s not necessarily making more contact as a whole, just laying off outside pitches more often. This is a good sign for the 30-year-old. More good news? Well, Santana has a below average BABIP at .218. Santana should have some better fortune as the season progresses. His line drive rate is a measly 14%, much lower than his career 18.6%. He’s been batting atop the lineup more often than not, making him an intriguing add for some power and runs.
Tyler Naquin (OF, Cleveland Indians) – This one is all about riding the hot hand in deeper leagues. With Michael Brantley on the DL and Marlon Byrd suspended, Naquin has the opportunity to force himself into a playing spot. He’s hitting .338 on the season and .429 over the past seven days with three home runs. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Jurickson Profar (2B/SS, Texas Rangers) – The biggest question mark for Profar will be playing time. He’s a former top prospect and he’s getting another shot at the majors. Profar has the tools to hit for a solid average and contribute in the SB department. He’s never had a big strikeout rate for an extended time in the minors. The Rangers will try to give him at-bats; Profar has the skills to grab it by the horns.
Matt Wieters (C, Baltimore Orioles) – The Orioles backstop is enjoying a good year at the plate however it’s being propped up by a .357 BABIP. The last time he posted a BABIP this high was back in his rookie year during the 2009 season. Wieters walk rate has also regressed and the career high strikeout rate from last season has carried over. The production at the plate won’t last.
Mike Napoli (1B/OF, Cleveland Indians) – Napoli is simply just looking to hit home runs. He’s riding a career high 35% strikeout rate (2nd in Majors), while his walk rate has dropped to his lowest since 2009. Napoli’s HR/FB% is the highest since 2012 and the ISO is his highest since 2011. Napoli’s a prime sell candidate.