Buy & Sell 6/14- 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: A virus knocked me and my family on my butt but I’m still hanging on and trying my best edition! There have certainly been some interesting call-ups, the most surprising and exciting of which is, at least for the hitters, Adael Amador, though even in the Colorado confines I’m not so sure we’ll see the immediate fantasy impact that many are expecting, at least not for the shallower leagues in which he still may be available. But there are still some deeper league players, and with trade season picking up, some buy lows and sell highs added in for good measure. Anyway, onto the list!



Josh Naylor (1B, Cleveland Guardians)

Naylor isn’t exactly a buy-low, given the fact that he’s a front-runner for AL All-Star at first base, but that’s only because the AL first base competition has been laughably horrid, and you could arguably find better production at catcher. You could consider this a buy-high but I do also think he’ll be better than he’s been, at least in terms of his batting average, which has fallen like the quality of Spongebob Squarepants episodes after the first three seasons. While his power numbers have been a career-best, those rostering him are probably getting frustrated about his batting average which started in the .300s in April and is now down to .226, and just .176 the past 21 days (although with 5 homers).

Now, it is true that his rolling 100 PA xwOBA has been in a downward trend if you look at the chart, but it’s actually been one of the most improved over the past 50 PA with a .406 xwOBA mark crushing his previous .227 mark. And in any case, he’s still been quite unlucky, with an xBA of .278 and xSLG of .509,, with Pitcher List’s xAVG of .269 suggesting direction hasn’t been a major factor in the discrepancy. Offensively, he doesn’t succeed with league-leading contact or gargantuan power, but rather with an above-average mix of both, with an aggressive approach that keeps his K rate low at 17% yet he’s still managed a solid walk rate of 10%, with the 50th-best Hard Contact% in the majors. With the Guardians being the surprise elite offense so far, I expect his batting average going forward to be more in the .260-.270 range with roughly similar power, which would greatly increase his value. While it may have been tough to get people to buy the dip before, it’s now been long enough that you can capitalize on some understandable frustration. In all leagues, acquire now and be the anti-hero, because you’ll see the results with Naylor Swift.

Honorable Mention: Matt Chapman (3B, San Francisco Giants)

Rocking a 97th percentile bat speed and 32% Hard Contact% (52nd in MLB) plus a much-improved 23% K%, plus some bonus SB makes him sneakily about as valuable as many of the Draft Day 2nd tier 3B, with still no hype. Also the biggest improver in MLB in rolling xwOBA in his past 100 PA (.439 from .261, for a gain of .178). 

Honorable Mention: Brent Rooker (OF, Oakland Athletics) – He’s been striking out like crazy (30 K in last 62 AB (9 BB)), but his merely poor 30% CSW% and 66% Contact% are better than last year, so expect better times ahead.


David Hamilton (SS, Boston Red Sox)

Seems like Hamilton decided he was not throwing away his… shot. C’mon, it’s still relevant he’s got a mustache like Lin-Manuel, and Miranda’s cousin plays hot corner for the Twins, okay? It’s true this might seem like a bad time to recommend Hamilton, as his xwOBA has fallen into the toilet lately with a .262 50PA xwOBA compared to his previous .372 xwOBA a .110 point drop. But you sure wouldn’t know that from the surface production, as he’s surged to a .367 with 2 HR and 8 SB in his last 60 PA over the past two weeks, and .385 with both homers and 4 of those SBs coming just this past week. Almost like the ghost of Adalberto Mondesi possessed a new body (sorry he’s still alive I think, but you sure wouldn’t know it from the lack of updates).

While you could call this a prime example of a sell-high, and you wouldn’t really be wrong in one sense, the thing is Hamilton still hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves in shallow fantasy circles, despite the fact that with his current season line of .296 with 4 HR and 13 SB, he’s outperforming many other middle infielders like Andres Gimenez. Hamilton has managed all this in 125 AB. What’s more, he also has a low 20% chase rate, which should result in more walks as pitchers feel less comfortable challenging him. While he still represents a rather risky pick, the fact that he has 80-grade speed and has maximized his launch angle to hit some dingers makes him a must-add for 12-teamers for the awesome upside. Grab in 12-team AVG and OBP leagues and consider as a spec in 10-team formats.

Honorable Mention: J.D. Martinez (UT, New York Mets) – Martinez has finally hit his stride as his .463 50PA xwOBA is one of the best in baseball, and his Barrel/PA (10%) and xBA (.271) are the same as last year. Trading off his extreme high hard-hit rate for some more contact downgrades the power projection a bit, but he’s still great in 12-team formats.

Honorable Mention: Miguel Andujar (OF, Oakland Athletics) – As fun as it was, his contact has regressed to a merely mortal 86% with a 7% SwStr%, but he’s hit the best eV since his rookie year (111 mph) and batting cleanup, making him a fine batting average/runs stream in 12-team AVG formats.


Tyler Soderstrom (1B/C, Oakland Athletics)

There’s no better way to wash down a hearty maelstrom than with a cool refreshing Soderstrom. Don’t look now, but the 2023 prospect bust is hitting .232 with 4 dingers in just 69 AB (82 PA). It’s almost as if maybe it wasn’t the best idea to promptly discard of a top prospect who struggled and is still just 22. He still has his flaws, to be sure, and he might be getting a bit lucky with a .207 xBA (and getting lucky isn’t easy in Oakland). But he’s still showing us why we liked him earlier, with a strong 92 mph eV and 15% barrel% supported by a plus 74 mph bat speed.

The team seems to be increasingly comfortable giving him regular reps, especially given the plummeting batting average of Shea Langeliers and a bit of a vacuum at first base. Speaking of which, part of the reason he’s 15-viable is that the first base position has been so bad, and given his 30-dinger campaigns in the minors, I think he’s worth taking as a spec before he really heats up and people remember that he can be valuable both as a catcher and as a first baseman this year. But of course, the best outcome in redraft is if he has dual 1B/C eligibility but in actuality plays mostly 1B. Turn the gas on your SodaStream and add Soderstrom in 15-team formats, and this year it seems he may be OBP league viable too.

Honorable Mention: Paul DeJong (SS, Chicago White Sox) – It’s hard to believe, but DeJong is up to 13 homers now in 221 PA, and while he’s probably rostered in most 15-team AVG leagues, the power, role safety and friendly home park makes him worth the pain in OBP leagues too.

Honorable Mention: Otto Lopez (2B/SS/3B, Miami Marlins) – His xwOBA has fallen, but he’s playing regularly, has maintained great contact with speed and surprisingly decent pop, and he batted leadoff once, which would give him a big value boost if it became a regular or semi-regular thing.

Deep Leagues

Adam Duvall (OF, Atlanta Braves)

People may think he’s singing his swan song, but those white wings are just so he can ascend to Duvalhalla. He’s certainly less exciting than the young guns, but I think people are too quick to dismiss him for his struggles (.177/.264/.333 with 6 HR in 159 PA) when he still has the same elite 12% barrel% and has the best combined K% (26%) and BB% (9%) of his career since 2015. He’ll have more time to turn this around with Acuna out and other hitters also floundering, and there are no signs of deterioration in the sturdy vet despite all the narratives to the contrary. Buy low in NL-only and deeper 15-team AVG leagues while you still can.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Locklear (1B/3B, Seattle Mariners) – Given his slower start, he hasn’t gotten the attention of Spencer Horwitz, but he’s held his own in the small sample and has a decent runway with France’s heel injury. Hit at every level in the minors and is still just 23, and thus far, despite boring 23% K%, has a better 91% Z-Contact% and strong 24% CSW%.

Honorable Mention: Kyle Stowers (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – He doesn’t play enough to get run even in most AL-only formats for now, but when he does play he’s a DFS monster and is a viable dynasty stash with elite hard contact and launch angle metrics. And for what it’s worth, surprisingly decent sprint speed (82nd percentile). Sneaky long-term stash.



Isaac Paredes (1B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays)

Well, it’s trade season, is it not? Then let’s get Parede to sell high. I’ve already shouted this from the rooftops a few times, or at least the laptops, as people now went from underrating him due to Statcast to overrating him due to collectively shrugging at Statcast. But the facts are that last year, he hit .250 with his 30 homers, and there’s nothing he’s currently doing that suggests that he should be any better than last year so that .286 AVG is still far better than he deserves (note a few month ago I said you’d sell him at the high water mark when his batting average was above .300.

This year, while he did perhaps manage to squeeze a bit more power out by dropping his GB% to a career-low 27%, with a rise mostly coming in a career-high 24% LD%, we know line drive rate is not sticky, and there are some consequences to such an extreme approach. For one, his IFFB% is a career-high 25%, and his Soft Contact% is also at a career-high of 26% with a hard contact of 25% (last year he had a soft% of 17% and a hard% of 36%). It’s true that Pitcher List’s xAVG, which weighs in direction, gives him a better xAVG of .270, but remember that this is descriptive and not predictive. A player who hits a ton of flyballs and very few grounders, especially in an environment where flyballs are not traveling as far, should expect to have a low BABIP. Last year, his BABIP was .257 (.253 career). This year, it’s .320.

This week, I managed to trade him with Bichette and Reese Olson for Vladito, Maikel Garcia, and Paddack. I’d much rather have Maikel’s more balanced approach with hard contact you can count on, plus more runs produced. That’s just an example of the kind of return you can expect, and in this depleted environment for both the hot and cold corners, perhaps you can do better than I did. But as a longtime rosterer of Paredes, I will warn you that the cold streaks will leave you feeling like Paredes is more of a Double Bogeyedes. Sell high in trading leagues, but do not drop.

Dishonorable Mention: Shea Langeliers (C, Oakland Athletics): I took a chance on him early and now I’m not quite depressed, but I’m Shea Languishing. I got excited with his early season improvement in K% combined with his elite barrel rate, but everything’s gone tumbling down in a barrel, with a 100PA .304 xwOBA compared to a .396 mark in his previous 100 PA.


Riley Greene (OF, Detroit Tigers)

Kermit was right, it’s not easy starting Greene. Greene may have made some improvements this year, with a higher barrel rate, but his contact still hasn’t made the rainbow connection as he still has the same mediocre 27% strikeout rate as last year, which simply gives all of his plus quality-of-contact metrics less room to play. His .288 100 PA xwOBA puts him among the 15 biggest 100PA xwOBA fallers in the league, and with the team not producing runs (and Tork now in the minors), there’s simply not enough juice to be worth the squeeze in 10-team formats. A month ago someone asked me if I preferred Greene or Ward, and I picked Ward, and I stand by it.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, Greene has stolen just 3 bases. This idea we have of Greene in our heads was maybe closer to a peak Austin Meadows, or some other guy who hit .290 with 25 homers and 15 SB, but Greene simply doesn’t look like he’s developing into that player as much as he’s shaping up to be a .250 25 HR homer 8 HR type, which is basically waiver wire fodder in a 10-team league, especially in batting average leagues where Greene can’t make up the difference with his high walk rate. Cut in 10-team leagues and consider as a cut in shallow 12-team AVG leagues.

Dishonorable Mention: Anthony Rizzo (1B, New York Yankees) – Aside from his strikeout rate and walk rate, every single statcast metric of his is 20th percentile or lower, even sprint speed (just 3rd percentile!). He doesn’t hit the ball hard at all, and with a less optimized launch angle, he doesn’t hit enough homers even with Yankee Stadium to be better than a Carlos Santana-type waiver wire 1B.


Danny Jansen (C, Toronto Blue Jays)

He may truly be my fantasy kryptonite as he teases in small samples, and then something always goes wrong. This time, it’s just his batted ball quality going in the tank, and in leagues where I can still swap him out for Patrick Bailey, I’m doing that in a heartbeat.

Dishonorable Mention: D.J. LeMahieu (2B, New York Yankees) – The body is still on the field chewing the fat, but in terms of fantasy production, he’s probably doneion rings. But it’s still spring training for him, so I’d hold in the deepest of AL-only formats.

Deep Leagues

Blaze Alexander (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks)

He’s essentially Josh Smith but worse at everything other than his name. He’s one of the biggest overperformers, with his .280 AVG and .402 SLG% belied by a truly terrible .214 xBA and .314 xSLG, and that blaze is going to peter out soon. What’s more, Lawlar’s impending return makes it likely a demotion is in his near future. If you’re in a trading league, sell for what you can, but don’t let that stop you from dropping if you can’t.

Dishonorable Mention: Chas McCormick (OF, Houston Astros) – Chas has had a big long fall after his injury-riddled start, and is now seeming to slink back into the shadows as a role player and part-time accountant.


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.

2 responses to “Buy & Sell 6/14- Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop”

  1. Formosa says:

    Saying 12 teamers should consider DROPPING riley greene is wild.

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