Buy & Sell 5/9 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop

Ben Pernick recommends the hottest and coldest hitters to add and drop.

Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where this week is mostly still recovering from last week’s FAABapalooza, though it’s entirely possible more call-ups this weekend will kick it off all over again. After getting burned from the short-term returns of Loperfido, I want to focus this week on the “boring” veteran guys whose production has been anything but. Speaking off, also add Tommy Pham, he’s still pretty good y’all. Onto the list!






Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets)

His greatness may be more quiet than Silent Hill, but his ascension will become because he is The Nimmolator. Maybe it’s because of all the time he spent working on his swing in the cage. …I don’t actually play the game but the character looks cool, okay? Nimmo’s season line looks classically Nimmo-esque, hitting a decent but unspectacular .229 with 5 HR and 2 SB in 131 AB. And as usual, his .377 OBP does the heavy lifting. But one look at his Statcast page suggests he’s not the same old Nimmo, as his Statcast Page is redder than Rothko’s “(Untitled)”. Oh dear lord, I promised last week not to rant about how much I hate when artists don’t name their artwork, and see, this is why. IT’S VERY VERY RED AND VALUABLE, OKAY?

Statcast is shouting that Nimmo may have deserved much better, with a .301 xBA, .562 xSLG and a .429 xwOBA that is 98th percentile in the league. Amazingly, every single line item in his profile is above league average, with everything other than sprint speed, K% and Whiff% 86th percentile or higher. The big catalyst seems to be a jump in his barrel rate, which has cleared the double-digit mark for the first time and then some at 14%. There aren’t any huge changes under the hood (such as a new MaxEV) but he’s hitting the ball very hard (50% HardHit% and 92 mph average eV) with a career-high launch angle of 13 (just by a smidge). Although Statcast is just descriptive, I believe a good amount of this will stick, as this would actually be the FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR he has raised his barrel rate and expected slugging.

Odds are he’s rostered in your 12-team formats, but it’s possible he’s dawdling around on 10-team wires due to his reputation of being the Toby of hitters with a high floor but low ceiling. Balloons are strapped to both and they’re raising, and I expect him to be even more ungodly this year in OBP formats as his 16% walk rate could get even higher as his surface production catches up and pitchers get more intimidated by him. Target with fair but aggressive offers in all leagues, especially OBP but I did mean all leagues.

Honorable Mention: Luis Garcia Jr. (2B, Washington Nationals) – I was in early on him, and while he won’t be this good, he can still finish the year hitting .290+ with 15 HR and 20+ SB on his way to becoming a household fantasy name. Still just 23!

Honorable Mention: Christopher Morel (OF, Chicago Cubs) – That .217 average might be hard to stomach, but trust the process, as Statcast says he’s been very unlucky with a .273 xBA and .522 xSLG. The hot bat will return.




Josh Rojas (2B/3B, Seattle Mariners)

I’ve been about as anti-Rojas as anyone for years ever since I stuck out my neck for him as a rookie due to his awesome Minor League numbers and getting a Major League burn. But I can’t help but be intrigued with JoRo’s new look, which is very much like Rojas himself, as under the hood he’s improved a little bit of everything.

This year he’s raised his launch angle to a career-high 14 degrees, which perhaps has helped him get a career-best 50% SweetSpot% (previous best was 40). He’s bringing the raw power too with the second-best MaxEV of his career at 108 mph (it’s impressive for him, okay?). Naturally, you’d expect him to sell out contact, but he’s been better there as well, with a career-best 90% Z-Contact% (career 85% Z-Contact%). Of course, it’s still early, but given his versatility, spot at the top of the Mariners’ admittedly bewildered offense, and the fact he can nab a few bags too, he’s well worth at least adding in 12-teamers as a short-term add while we see what happens. I’m in the minority on this, but I think I’d rather have him than Andres Gimenez at this point. Ro, Ro, Ro, your jas, for gents who are down to stream.

Honorable Mention: Vinny Pasquantino (1B) His expected wOBA rolling chart has been climbing steadily and quickly, and his xBA of .278 and xSLG of .470 suggest bad luck as he’s both making tons of contact (10% K%) and Hard Contact (48%).

Honorable Mention: Tyler Stephenson (C, Cincinnati Reds) – Don’t look now, but the formerly injury-prone and weak-hitting catcher is rocking a 100th-percentile barrel% of 21% and is showing off better strikeout and walk rates as well. Oh, and he also has that home park.




Trevor Larnach (OF, Minnesota Twins)

He’s now the big cheese, so grab your Larnachos. In TGFBI, in which I’m currently in 11th place out of 420 teams, I splurged with Larnach being my top-priced hitter and won him completely uncontested. So I guess it’s just me on board. I get why, as despite the fact he’s sporting a career-best 19% K%, his overall contact rate is still dangerously low at 68%. But at least the fact that he has a career-best 84% Z-Contact% means that he’s getting to the best pitches, and boy is he doing damage.

He’s sporting a superb 54% HardHit% and 94 mph average eV, with an also-great 10% Barrel%. While he started hot last year too, it was never as supported by the numbers, and this year there’s a reason behind the improvement. He adopted a new more open stance that has improved his mechanics to help him drive the ball, and it matches his prospect pedigree as a 30+ homer masher (they also called him a “bit of a lug”, which I bet he took umbrage to). Statcast fully supports his small sample of .354 with 2 homers in 54 AB with a .345 xBA and .598 xSLG, and while he’ll certainly end up below .300, if he can keep up this kind of hard contact he can end the year with 20-25 homers and a .260-.270 average, though I’d still expect regression to the .240-.250 range if pitchers can take advantage of his poor contact on pitches off the plate. He’s a must-add in 15-team formats as long as he’s playing, and with the Twins’ injury-prone team, I think he will.

Honorable Mention: Michael Massey (2B, Kansas City Royals) – He’s making way more contact than ever this year (94%) and I think that’s more important than his power numbers being down. Could easily outproduce Arraez, Gimenez and others with last year’s power.

Honorable Mention: Shea Langeliers (C, Oakland Athletics) – Barrel rate is sky-high at 18%, with a career-low 22% K%. Even with the bad home park, could still hit .240 with 25-30 dingers, which could outproduce Cal Raleigh.


Deep Leagues


Jonny DeLuca (OF, Tampa Bay Rays)

If you’re looking for the next potential Isaac Paredes, Jonny is the deep leaguer you have been DeLuca-ing for. He was part of a trade package and was considered likely a short-side platoon bat, but he’s been facing righties now and I’m intrigued. He’s off to a great start with a .389 AVG with a homer and 2 SB in just 20 PA, and so in his case it’s way too early for things to be stabilized. But hey it’s good to know he runs.

He’s showing strong contact skills with a 10% K%, which has been backed with a superb 20%. It’s not that he makes elite contact at a merely good 85%, but he also is very aggressive on the plate with an 80% Z-Swing%. He’s had a career of high pull rates and this year is no exception with a 60% pull%, so if he can volume more fly balls he can use the Paredes Method (TM) to flip the balls over the left-field fence too. With some speed to boot, I think he’s a must-add in all AL-only formats but could be a sneaky 15-team spec add, though on the Rays you can never be sure about playing time, especially with Lowe back in the fold and Palacios also hitting well.

Honorable Mention: Otto Lopez (2B, Miami Marlins) – People keep talking up Vidal Brujan in the wake of the Arraez trade, but I’m more intrigued (relatively) by the slap-hitting Lopez as batting average play with his 16% CSW%.






Yandy Diaz (1B, Tampa Bay Rays)

He’d be a home run king if only the ground did not exist. He’d be my top pick to play in a spherical space dome. You’ll never be able to convince yourself to drop him even in 10-teamers if you keep anchoring to his amazing 2023 in which he hit .330 with 22 homers, but you should remember his 2022, in which he hit .296 with 9 homers. Because if you ask me, that’s the more likely outcome. Not so fine and dandy, Yandy.

The most jarring part about his season line thus far is the near-total lack of barrels, as his current mark of 1.6 is less than a quarter of his 9.5 barrel% from 2023. A QUARTER! But if you think of it, his barrel rate last year didn’t make much sense process-wise, as he was still grounding out 52%. This year, it’s an insane 66%. And tell me, are you still expecting double-digit homers here on out? Of course, he can change this, just like he teased last year with launch angle improvement in spurts. But in 10-team formats, the time you spend waiting for it to get together is leaving you far, far behind the competition. Cut in all 10-team formats and maybe the shallowest of 12-team AVG-leagues.

Dishonorable Mention: Jorge Soler (OF, San Francisco Giants) – It’s not the home park, but the precipitous drop in barrel rate that could drag down his power and overall numbers.




Daulton Varsho (OF, Toronto Blue Jays)

His surface stats may seem alright, but the peripherals haunt me while I sleep like a creepy Daul.  Behind his .227 with 6 HR and 4 SB, Statcast nods disapprovingly with a .197 xBA and .344 xSLG. Surprisingly, the former catcher who was praised for his power/speed abilities really hasn’t been hitting the ball with much authority with a 36% HardHit% and a league-average barrel rate. While it’s possible he’ll still have good totals from hitting lots of cheapies, I still see too much batting average downside and would prefer a troubled Jackson Chourio, maybe even the enigmatic Jack Suwinski. Cut in 12-team formats.

Dishonorable Mention: Jackson Merrill (OF, San Diego Padres) – He’s holding his own, and I’m proud of him, but if you’re in a redraft format, you simply should not be rostering the young Merrill as his upside at this age is low.




Jose Siri (OF, Tampa Bay Rays)

He has some pop. He has great speed. But he’s starting to look like Esix Snead. A+ name though. His 41% K% is 1 percentile (AKA worst percentile) in the league (and so is his 41% Whiff%), and way beyond the point of fantasy viability even if he hammered every pitch he didn’t whiff at. He may still play because of defense, but that doesn’t mean that you should. There are other speedsters out there who will do far less damage to your team’s batting average.

Dishonorable Mention: Vidal Brujan (2B, Miami Marlins) – If you roster him, I’d flip him now while the batting average and perceived value are higher because he still makes very weak contact and isn’t nearly as fast as he used to be (44th percentile sprint speed).


Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@kurtwasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram)

Ben Pernick

I've been writing for Pitcher List since the beginning, and have been a fantasy baseball addict now for 20 years. I grew up as a Red Sox fan in New York, but now I declare allegiance only to my fantasy teams.

One response to “Buy & Sell 5/9 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop”

  1. Jack says:

    Rothko sucks regardless of what/whether he names his paintings.

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