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.
Jorge Soler (OF, Chicago Cubs) – With Kyle Schwarber done for the year, Jorge Soler will get an opportunity to prove he can rediscover the swing that made him such a tantalizing option coming into 2014. While he has struggled to start the season, Soler is being restrained by a .118 BABIP, more than 200 percentage points below his career average. In addition, Soler held a Top 30 hard hit rate last season and his strikeout rate is currently back to 2014 levels. Soler should come cheap, while the potential for 25 home runs and a solid average is there for the taking.
Wilson Ramos (C, Washington Nationals) – The catcher position is always a difficult one to nail down unless you have Buster Posey. Ramos might just be the saviour. Forget about his 2015 where his career low batting average was a product of a career low BABIP. He’s been on a tear since the season began after receiving LASIK eye surgery and he could put together a top ten season at catcher.
Ketel Marte (SS, Seattle Mariners) – Marte hit .283 last season with a .341 BABIP. This year Marte is batting .160 with a .190 BABIP. With his strikeout rate the same as last year, Marte is a good buy low candidate as he offers good upside in the stolen base department, average, and runs as he is batting atop the Mariners lineup.
Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Puig is currently raking giving credence to the idea that it might just be the year he puts it all together. After a injury mired 2015 season, Puig is currently striking out less and making harder contact. While the BABIP will go down, Puig has the capability of sustaining a high BABIP that will help him hit above average. He has the tools to be a top 15 outfielder if not higher.
Joe Mauer (1B/DH, Minnesota Twins) – Through 31 plate appearances, Mauer has a career high walk rate thus far and has shown signs of his old self. Don’t bank on Mauer turning back the clock, but he could be a nifty source of runs as he will be a mainstay atop the Minnesota Twins lineup. Mauer very well could hit 10 home runs from here on out and attain a .365 OBP which is nothing to scoff at.
Marcell Ozuna (OF, Miami Marlins) – Ozuna has batted second in each of the games he has started putting him in a good spot to either drive in Dee Gordon or score a run thanks to Yelich and Stanton behind him. Ozuna’s second half last year was similar to his 2014 season. His .191 ISO was slightly ahead of his .186 mark in 2014 and his wRC+ was exactly the same. Ozuna is on the verge of breaking out. His .188 BABIP won’t last, meaning his average will go up. Lastly, he has already hit a home run this year and his flyball percentage is up. Ozuna is on the upswing.
Colby Rasmus (OF, Houston Astros) – Rasmus is off to a good start batting .333 with 3 home runs in 7 games. His average from 2013-2014 was .232 and with MLB teams shifting more, his 52.5% pull rate won’t do him any favours. Rasmus is good for one thing: Hitting 20 home runs. His walk rate is low enough that it does not aid in OBP leagues and with Evan Gattis coming back from injury, that will cut into his RBI opportunities and force him lower in the lineup.
Jean Segura (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks) – Segura had a solid 2013 season but ever since he has been lackluster. His hot start with the Diamondbacks is an anomaly. He hit six homeruns last year and is already halfway there this year. His ISO is more than 4X his career average and a BABIP over .400 won’t last. Moreover, Segura never walks and his average from 2014-2015 was .251 making him a liability in most leagues. Segura does steal bases, but the power output and average are anomalies.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – Piscotty is off to a hot start leading many to believe that 2014 was no fluke. Some will argue with his .372 BABIP pace from last year is sustainable due to his ability to make hard contact and the fact that it is at .381 thus far. A BABIP that high is largely unsustainable making it more likely he hits closer to .280 than .310 for the rest of the year. As a sophomore, it is unlikely he puts together a 20 home run season as well. Piscotty is sell high candidate.
Starlin Castro (SS/2B, New York Yankees) – Castro’s new home at Yankee stadium looks like it has paid off thus far. He’s making more contact and has hit 2 home runs in 5 games. It won’t last due to the high BABIP (.438) and the inflated ISO (.400). With Ellsbury and Gardner batting first and second respectively, Castro won’t be in a position to score many runs and he’s only stolen 18 bases over the past three seasons making him a liability.