Buy & Sell 6/27 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop

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

Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where it’s important to note that many teams are throwing in the towel around now. That means you have better odds to climb ahead of them in the standings, and in keeper leagues, to actually get needed upgrades in exchange for keeper talent. Fortunately, there are still some stars available at a relative discount, and some decent mid-range guys too, so on to the list!






Jonathan India (2B, Cincinnati Reds)

India has been hotter than summertime Delhi. He’s been riding an eight-game hit streak to the tune of a .571 OPS with a 1.654 OPS over the last 7 days, making him the best hitter of the week, and I don’t think it’s just a fluke either. His early season numbers drag down his overall line so he’s still getting ignored in too many shallow leagues with his 5 HR, .268 AVG and 8 SB in 250 AB, but his second half is shaping up to be a heck of a lot better. His rolling 100PA xwOBA is up to .399 compared to his previous .306, and in the past 50 PA it’s an even better .432.

One big thing that has me bullish is that his trademark elite batting eye is back, with an 100th percentile chase rate giving him an excellent 13% walk rate, while keeping his strikeouts down with a career-best (by a hair) 21% K%. It seems he’s also avoiding bad flyballs more, as he has a career-high LA Sweet-Spot with a reduced average launch angle of 10 degrees. Although the power and speed numbers won’t wow even with the help of playing half his games in “Coors Lite”, the fact he’ll provide both moderate pop and speed with elite OBP from a keystone position that lacks OBP assets makes him a must-add and target in all 10-team OBP and 12-team AVG leagues.

Austin Riley (3B, Atlanta Braves)

He’s obviously not on your wire, but you may still have a small and rapidly shrinking window to acquire him for 95 cents on the dollar, and given his peripherals all suggested he hadn’t changed, you need to at least try even if you have to pay full price.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B, Toronto Blue Jays)

He’s finally starting to perform like the Top 50 pick he was, as his hot week (.370 with 3 homers) brings him up to .288 with 10 HR and 2 SB in 306 AB this year. Even with the launch angle of 5 degrees, his excellent K/BB combined with a career-best 59% HardHit% and 88th percentile barrel% makes him a primo trade target in all leagues, as I think he’ll hit at least .300 with 15+ more dingers the rest of the way.




Mark Vientos (3B, New York Mets)

Vientos knows that chicks dig the long ball. His game and his value rely pretty heavily on his ability to do just that, given his lack of speed and defensive value, but, as he showed with a double solo-jack game earlier this week, he’s got it on lock. Vientos is now up to an excellent 9 homers in just 118 AB (129 PA) and he’s managed to do it with a high batting average of .297.  Muy Bientos.

While I don’t think he’ll continue to hit .300 and produce like Vladdy in less than half the plate appearances, I do think he’s at least had an improved plate approach in his sophomore campaign that should keep his average high enough to let the power do damage. The 68% contact% and 77% Z-Contact% suggest his 21% K% is bound to regress, but I at least like that he is aggressive on strikes with a 71% Z-Swing% that gives him more chances for homers and at least fewer called strikes. He could be somewhat similar to Candelario this year in terms of stats with an unreliable batting average but enough power to help fantasy teams despite less-than-stellar run production. Add in all 12-team formats in which he’s still available.

Yandy Díaz (3B, Tampa Bay Rays)

If you can’t get the Candyman, you can still get the Yandyman. He’s quietly turned his season around in a big way despite a lack of homers, hitting .382 with 3 homers this week to bring him up to .272 with 7 homers on the year. Weirdly, his walk rate is down this year, not because of a career-worst-yet-still-elite 23% chase%, but because he’s making contact with a ton of pitches off the plate for a career-best O-Contact% of 82% (career 66%). Is that good or bad? Hard to say for sure, but his K% should be lower than it is, and I expect a much higher batting average going forward.

Patrick Bailey (C, San Francisco Giants)

His surface numbers with a .290 AVG and 6 homers don’t jump off the page, but Statcast loves him to pieces and thinks that the real breakout is still upon us, and I’ve been on board. He’s had a truly elite xwOBA that keeps going up, with a .391 xwOBA over his past 100 PA and a .398 xwOBA over his past 50 PA. He doesn’t have league-average bat speed and has a rather poor 5% barrel% (21st percentile), so how is he doing this?

Well, I’ll keep it snappy since I’m pretty sure I called him a buy several weeks ago, but a combination of plus strikeout rate, walk rate, and exit velocity all help, and his 45% LA Sweet Spot, which is 100th percentile, is the icing on the cake. Given his defence is elite, he’s going to be playing more often than most catchers, and in a league where I roster him and Sean Murphy, I’m benching Murphy and probably looking to sell him because I love Bailey that much. I think going forward, it’s pretty safe to expect a .290 average though it could be higher (his current xBA is .304) and that coming with league-average catcher power makes him similar in value to non-peak Joe Mauer without any of the hype. He’s still on the wire in too many 12-team formats, and I’d even consider having him over someone like Yainer Diaz if it’s an OBP format.




Hunter Goodman (C/1B/OF, Colorado Rockies)

Who cares if he’s under the Mendoza line, in Yahoo leagues, this rare combination of eligibility alone makes me interested! He was a popular late-round draft sleeper given his lofty 30-homer projections that quickly fell flat when he didn’t make the team as a regular, but he’s showing the power that made the Rockie intriguing with 5 dingers and a .263 AVG in 38 AB over the past two weeks. That’s Good, man.

Of course, the floor is quite low and even that spell of hot hitting did come with a mediocre 11/1 K/BB, but Goodman has been doing two things I think are very important for Rockies hitters: hitting the ball in the air (47% FB%) and hitting the ball hard (44% HardHit%, and a more impressive 39% Hard% (a different metric that includes soft% and medium%). He’s not great for walks with a 37% O-Swing% but I actually love that he maximizes contact with his 76% Z-Swing%, so even though his 72% contact% is no great shakes and 16% SwStr% is even worse, his 28% CSW% is actually league average. There’s obvious bust potential, but I think the 30-homer upside is still very much here and could definitely manage something like a 2023 Nolan Jones without the SBs if he hits his stride. That upside is worth adding in all 15-team formats, and I’ve even added him in a 12-team AVG format as a Yahoo streamer.

J.J. Bleday (OF, Oakland Athletics)

He may not be flashy, but his xwOBA keeps going up, he popped 5 homers over the past two weeks, and his playing time is the safest it’s been all year. He’s borderline 12-team viable as a streamer but should be added and held in 15-teamers.

Cedric Mullins (OF, Baltimore Orioles)

He’s turned his abysmal slump around with a .356 rolling xwOBA over his past 50 PA, and his playing time security and speed make him worth buying back in on for now, since he still can rack up 25-30 bags.


Deep Leagues


Otto Lopez (2B/3B/SS, Miami Marlins)

I’m still conducting the Lopez hype train, since some people have been manually shifting gears on him, I’ve stayed on Ottomatic. Even though he didn’t maintain the superlative contact skills of his first few weeks, he’s balancing quality and quantity of contact, and his .284 xBA is more indicative of what he deserved with good speed and some power to boot. Heck, he might be more valuable going forward than Jake Burger. Yeah, I said it. He’s a must-add in NL-only but he’s still plenty viable in 15-teamers.

Jorge Mateo (SS/OF, Baltimore Orioles)

He was cut and ignored in my AL-only home league, which I get, given the lack of playing time recently. But I think he’s a spec add and hold, since unless the O’s acquire someone soon (and frankly, they should), Ramón Urías hasn’t been any better and isn’t even so good defensively, and I think Mateo’s the next Mullins as a guy who will heat up. He’s still 99th percentile sprint speed, but his K rate and hardhit% are actually better than last year and the batting average should tick up.

Mickey Moniak (OF, Los Angeles Angels)

In deep leagues, playing time is king, and he’s been one of the ugliest playing time guys out there. A real Worstball candidate. But if the Halos were committed to playing him through his worst stretch, they’ll likely continue now that he’s rocking a .393 xwOBA over his past 50 PA, making him the 2nd biggest improver in 50PA rolling xwOBA to only Austin Riley. He does have decent bat speed and a strong (and lucky) 2023 so he could get a decent deep-league power/speed thing going.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, Pittsburgh Pirates)

He had an awful start to the season, but his peripherals are more or less the same as last year. With Connor Joe falling off the face of the earth, Tellez still has the opportunity for a summer surge to fantasy relevance, as he still has elite exit velocities and a relatively low 20% K%. If only he could turn that lovely combination into barrels, something that has long eluded him for some strange reason.






George Springer (OF, Toronto Blue Jays)

I think it’s time to call in the bodyguards to break up this ugly mess of a Georry Springer episode. His homer the other night was his first in a looong time, and he’s still hitting just .143/.217/.222 with that homer and one stolen base in 63 AB over the past few weeks. That gives him a total average of .196 with just 6 homers and 8 homers, which makes one wonder why he didn’t get the same kind of hate that other struggling outfielders like Arozarena and Mullins got.

On the one hand, it’s not like he’s striking out at a crazy rate, as he’s actually morphed into the total opposite of the volatile 40/40 high-strikeout threat he was as a rookie. But his contact is just pretty weak, as the 34-year-old has a career-worst 35% HardHit% (23rd percentile), and I don’t think that’s a fluke as his raw power has fallen off a cliff. Last year he had a MaxEV of 116 mph,  and this year, it’s just 111 mph, which is still above league average but his career-worst, and 3 mph slower than his previous career-worst 114 mph from 2022. Even though Statcast argues he’s been very unlucky with a .254 xBA and .377 xSLG, take note that the expected power is still under .400 (last year it was .422), and with the lack of flyball carry combined with the hitter-unfriendly home park, I just don’t see the upside to make him 10-team relevant anymore, and I’d even be willing to part ways in shallower 12-team AVG leagues.

Sean Murphy (C, Atlanta Braves

Maybe I’m not being patient enough. But Murphy, despite his awesome 4-for-4 day with 2 homers, just really hasn’t been very good, with a 74 wRC+ earned from a .194/.260/.358 line. Sure, the sample is small, but per-pitch metrics stabilize around 50 PA, and his contact% of 68%, O-Swing% of 31%, and Z-Swing of 58% are all career worsts by a large margin. Add them together, and he has a horrific 36% CSW%, compared to a 26% CSW% in 2023. Given the fact that D’Arnaud is cutting into his playing time anyway, he’s one I’m willing to sell “low” on before people realize there may be real problems here, and I like enough other catchers in 10-teamers and even 12-team AVG leagues to risk being wrong.




Jake Burger (3B, Miami Marlins)

I guess I should’ve been more skeptical of a hitter with big power but terrible plate discipline since that kind of player having long-term success is rare. So rare, in fact, that this Burger gave me Salmonella. After 34 taters last year, we’re nearly at the halfway point and in 238 PA he has… 6. His bat speed has decreased but is still good at the 91st percentile, he actually has a better K% of 25% and his HardHit% is decent at 41%, so why has his bat been so wet-noodle-y??

It looks like the main culprit is his LA SweetSpot%, which at 25% is just 2nd percentile. That means 75% of his contact, regardless of how hard it’s been hit, has been at suboptimal launch angles, which results in lots of pop-ups, can o’ corns, grounders, etc. Sure, that could be a timing issue and maybe a month from now he’s over it. But even at a thin position, I think it’s okay to jump off for now for one of the various utility kinds of third basemen who can at least provide you with some batting average like Yandy Díaz, Mark Vientos or maybe even Otto Lopez.




Mitch Haniger (OF, Seattle Mariners)

Many assumed that if he could just stay healthy, he could be in for an easy 25 homers, but the reality is he just hasn’t been good at all since his fluky resurgent 2021 season in which he hit 39 long balls. The weird thing is his HardHit% of 48% is actually the best in years, and his K% are all similar to the past few years, but he also hasn’t been good the past few years. Part of the problem is too much passivity at the plate, with a 62% Z-Swing% that has his CSW% at a poor 30%, and he doesn’t hit for good enough launch angles (40th percentile) to compensate. Cut in 15-team formats, and consider it as a drop in AL-only to take your chance with a hot hand.

Gavin Sheets (1B/OF, Chicago White Sox)

He was one of my favourite players the past few weeks due to the White Sox having lots of games and Sheets having stronger expected stats and a great BB/K ratio. Of course that blew up in my face, and now with Eloy back (for as long as that lasts), he’s gone from strict strong-side platoon to true part-timer as he’s blocked (even if by scrubs) at every position. I’d rather take my chances on a Trevor Larnach type who at least is hitting the ball with more thump and has better avenues to PT.

Lenyn Sosa (2B/3B, Chicago White Sox)

Due to his youth and strong start, he got some waiver wire buzz, but just like last year, quickly turned into a pumpkin. Even AL-only relevance is questionable. On any team other than the White Sox, he probably wouldn’t still be earning regular PT.


Deep Leagues


Connor Joe (1B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates)

He started the season so good, with a surprising amount of power and average (extremely lucky of course) despite the fact he was no longer in Colorado, that it’s easy to miss just how awful he’s been lately. He’s been hitting just .087/.176/.196 with 1 HR in 46 AB the past three weeks, bringing his AVG from the .290s all the way down to .247. Yet he’s still rostered in nearly 50% of CBS leagues, and it’s time they stop sleeping at the wheel. I mean, the Pirates have noticed and he’s been so bad that Rowdy Tellez and others seem like upgrades over him. Probably anyone on your wire you’re thinking of adding would be an upgrade at this point.

Kevin Pillar (OF, Los Angeles Angels)

I really didn’t believe the Angels’ manager Ron Washington when he said that the red-hot (at the time) Pillar was seriously going to be benched for Mickey Moniak, and I held firm that Pillar’s stolen base ability and general all-around-decentness would win out in the end. Sorry y’all, guess I was wrong. Washington promised he wouldn’t get “stale”, because apparently, Pillar is day-old-popcorn, but he’s just not playing enough despite the pretty surface numbers to be relevant, and since the Angels’ are attempting a rebuild, he just doesn’t really fit into their picture, so we shouldn’t fit him into ours. Drop in all formats until the team announces a philosophy change or Moniak gets an ice skate to the knee. Yes, all the young people will get the Nancy Kerrigan reference, Ben. Pillar’s my generation, he’d get it.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login