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.
Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – Conforto has been called back up after a disappointing first half. His April was amazing as he hit 4 HR batting .365. Since he hit well below the Mendoza line ultimately leading to his demotion. Conforto struggled mightily against lefties( -23 wRC+). Despite this, Conforto has 30+ HR potential. He has an ISO greater than .200 again this year. Part of Conforto’s struggles also resulted from poor luck (.189 BABIP in May, .135 in June). There are few players on the waiver wire with the upside of Conforto.
Yuliesky Gurriel (3B, Houston Astros) – The biggest Cuban free agent signed with the Astros this past week. He is not expected to be up until mid-August. Why is he a buy now? Gurriel terrorized pitchers in the Cuban league hitting .500! He had 38 walks and 3 strikeouts! The upside here is tremendous. Here’s a good article on Gurriel that I highly recommend.
Kenny Vargas (1B, Minnesota Twins) – Vargas is another hot hand. He’s got 3 HR with a .379 average over the past two weeks. With a .444 BABIP and an ISO over .500, Vargas’s performance is unsustainable but great in the short term.
Juan Lagares (OF, New York Mets) – Lagares is a deep league outfielder to pick-up while he’s hot. He’s batting .333 with a home run and a stolen base over the past week. On the season he is batting .269/.315/.437.
Pedro Alvarez (1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles) – Alvarez is another hot hand as he has 2 home runs and a .375 average over the past week. With a .243 ISO and 11 HR, Alvarez has the power to potentially be in your everyday lineup. With a .250 average and a normal BABIP, Alvarez could very well hit for the same average with 15 HR rest of the season. He is getting platooned though and will rarely start against lefties. Luckily, 3 of his next 4 starts are against right-handed pitchers.
Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – That multi-position eligibility is a decent reason to consider Kendrick. He doesn’t give you much power but his average of .270 isn’t bad. The walk rate is up and he has 7 stolen bases already.
Adam Eaton (OF, Chicago White Sox) – How much stock do you put into first/second half splits? Eaton owns a career 98 wRC+ in the first half but a much more impressive 127 wRC+ in the second half. He’s brought his strikeout rate closer to pre-2015 levels while retaining some of the power he gained last year. He also leads all qualified hitters in hits that go opposite field. Eaton is also on pace for 20 SB after stealing 15 in 2014 and 18 in 2015. He’s owned in 75% of Yahoo leagues but is a good trade option if you need AVG, SB, and Runs.
Kevin Pillar (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – Pillar is a decent all around contributor. Being in the Jays offence, he will bat fifth or lower for the most part. This puts him in a good position to attain RBI or Runs. Last season his runs minus RBI was 20, this year it is 3 (Hope that further explains what I’m getting at). With 7 HR this year with a career average HR/FB% and ISO, Pillar should see 5-7 more HR this year. He is stealing less this year and doesn’t look like he will surpass 20 SB but 15 is definitely reasonable.
JT Realmuto (C, Miami Marlins) – This is a tough one because Realmuto provides stolen bases at a position where they are extremely scarce. Since 2007, there have been only four seasons in which a catcher had more than 9 stolen bases (3 of those belong to Russell Martin!). The issue with Realmuto is that his hitting is due for a cold streak. Realmuto has a .367 BABIP despite having a below average line drive rate and the ninth highest popup rate. If you don’t need those stolen bases, selling is the best option with JT. The batting average is unsustainable and his power is mediocre at best.
Danny Espinosa (1B/2B/3B/SS) – Espinosa has had good power throughout his career. He’s overachieving this year. With a .213 ISO the highest of his career and 20.5% HR/FB, yea Espinosa is overachieving. The counting stats are nice and shiny which will help with moving out Espinosa for a better player.