Buy & Sell 7/11 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop

Ben Pernick recommends which hot and cold hitters to add and to drop.

Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where this week’s theme is… It’s All-Star Game time, y’all! Holy hot dog on a stick, yeah we’re past the halfway point already. The truth is it’s a great time to get sneaky since lots of people are not paying attention to their leagues given the break, but given your league rules, you can take advantage with some savvy pickups on the wire as players who get dropped who may normally get snatched up by someone else may go unseen and unclaimed. So let’s get on to the list!





Jose Miranda (3B, Minnesota Twins)

The cousin of Lin-Manuel is now In The Heights of his fantasy value. Yeah, I know, there’s probably not a big crossover from fantasy baseball to musical theatre, other than that we’re all nerds. It brings me no joy to say this, as I just dropped him during Sunday’s FAAB in the 12-team On the Wire Podcast listener league, and dropped from 1st to 3rd (still neck and neck though). In any case, he’s gone from bananas to a full-on Worms Armageddon Banana Bomb in terms of damage he’s done to the ball, hitting an outrageous .492/.529/.738 with 2 HR in 61 AB over the past 3 weeks, but over the past week, and an INSANE .714/.735/1.095 in 21 AB this week. Oh, and he’s also hit 19 RBI over those past 3 weeks, nearly half of his season total, which is over 3 months (43). He’s now gone from a fringe Opening Day roster inclusion to hitting .322/.373/.534 with 9 tanks and 2 SB, suddenly making him one of the most valuable 3B in the game. Talk about turning the world upside down.

The crazy thing was, until Royce Lewis went down, his strong production was still not in an everyday role, as the suddenly talent-packed Twins offense didn’t quite have room for him with the previously surging Santana at 1B, small-sample MVP Royce at 3B, and Correa at short (not that Miranda could ever field shortstop, but Royce could’ve moved), so he was cycled in for less than 20 PA a week (AKA why I dropped him (still stupid though). It’s true that he’s still overperforming his Statcast metrics, but it seems he may be in the Isaac Paredes mold of being far better than Statcast indicates, as Pitcher List’s metric, which factors in directionality (and is therefore superior IMO), gives Miranda an xAVG of… .322. Talk about “on the nose”! That’s the best in all of baseball right now, and his .399 xwOBA ranks 6th.

Now, I still think it’s impossible that he keeps this kind of production up, but he scores strongly in both of Pitcher List’s contact metrics, with an IPA% of 32% that ranks 25th in the majors and a Hard Contact% of 33% that ranks 33rd. Now, we shouldn’t get too carried away as those don’t mean everything… there’s another player who has a similar 14% K%, a 32% IPA and a 30% HC%, and that’s Willie Calhoun. But it does matter that although he doesn’t draw walks, he’s managed to improve his strikeout rate, which was 19% when he made his debut splash and is now down to 13%, and he’s also reduced his groundball rate and Oppo%, which helps him hit more pulled flyballs. In many ways, he’s similar to Alec Bohm, except for the fact that right now he’s so red hot, with a 6/6 BB/K over his last 61 AB (67 PA), that there’s always a possibility he’s cracked a code upped his game to a new level where he’s like a fusion of Luis Arraez and Isaac Paredes. Either way, you simply have to add him if he for some reason is still available in any format, ride this out, and hope he helps you win some Hamiltons (Hey, you hypothetically could get your big fantasy payout in 10-dollar bills, okay?)

Honorable Mention: Brooks Lee (SS/3B, Minnesota Twins) – You basically need to add him everywhere after starting so white-hot, but while he’s made exceptional contact thus far (91% contact%, 4% Swinging Strike%), note that this is far beyond his minors rates ( 75% Contact% in Triple-A) and the raw power is still limited (105 mph MaxEV). But then again, his Triple-A sample was small due to injury, and he still popped 7 homers in just 94 PA (85 AB), so it seems he could pull a Paredes (after all, he is rocking an extreme 57% Pull%) but with even better contact skills. In other words, there may be warts, but buy anyway.

Honorable Mention: Brenton Doyle (OF, Colorado Rockies) – The brief buy-low window on him after a small slump has emphatically slammed shut, as he’s gone .395 with 7 homers, 14 RBI and 2 SB over the last two weeks, bringing his season total to an improbable .279 with 13 homers and 20 SB in 315 AB. Glad I scooped him in the Pitcher List Legacy League… Doyle Rules!


Cal Raleigh (C, Seattle Mariners)

He may not be on the Angels or have even been in the majors when this reference was relevant, but I’m getting amped up for the Raleigh Monkey. If you don’t know what the Rally Monkey was, just… think of Grimace Mets but with the Ace Ventura capuchin. Why? Does anyone know, who cares, why not? In my 13-team OBP league was just dropped twice over the past several weeks and I was happy to scoop him. Why? Well for one, because Big Dumper, despite the down-in-the-dumps batting average, is still one of the best sluggers at the catcher position.

Yes, I know the strikeouts are a problem with a 33% K% that’s the worst since his rookie year, but I’m optimistic, nay, CONFIDENT it’ll improve. You see, as crazy as it sounds, he should have perhaps the best K% given his peripherals, as his contact% of 74% is actually the best of his career, and most of it has been fueled by improvement in his Z-Contact%. In fact, his Z-Contact% has risen every year he’s been in the majors, from a dodgy 74% in 2021 all the way to a strong 83% this year. His biggest plate skill issue is a bit more passivity on strikes with a career-low 69% Z-Swing%. Still, his SwStr% is a career-best 13%, and despite taking more called strikes his CSW% of 26% is also a career-best (just by a smaller margin).

As if that weren’t enough, his quality of contact has arguably been at a career-high, with a career-best 55% HardHit% that crushes his previous high of 44%, and a career-best 16% barrel%. This begs the question: Okay, well then why then have his expected metrics still been garbage? He has a .225 xBA, and Pitcher List gives him an even worse .216 xAVG. And I’ll tell ya, I don’t really know! With his pull% and FB% a bit less extreme but in line with years past, I’d blame the run environment and bad luck, but I trust the process. Also, for the less analytically minded, he seems to always have a homer surge in the second half, with a .245 ISO in the 2nd half compared to a .210 ISO in the 1st half over his career. Oh, and also this year, he has a realistic chance of stealing double-digit bags. This dump’s got wheels. I’d add in all 12-team leagues and 10-team OBP, and even though he’s now tied for the lead in catcher homers, I still consider him a great buy-low in trade leagues.

Honorable Mention: Ben Rice (C/1B, New York Yankees)He’s been moved to the leadoff spot, offering him very rare fantasy value as a catcher, and although the true buy-low window has passed after his thRICE homer masterpiece, his .327 xBA and .466 xwOBA (1st in MLB) make him perhaps still a buy-low as a potential Joe Mauer-type but with OBP (small sample warning, obviously). Potentially. I consider him a totally viable spec add in 10-team OBP formats as well. 

Honorable Mention: Ian Happ (OF, Chicago Cubs) – In a relatively quiet fashion, Happ has been amazing lately, hitting .500 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and a 4/2 BB/K this week and a .378 AVG with 5 HR in 37 AB over the past 2 weeks. Looking like a strong bet to replicate his underrated solid 2023 line but with added pop.

Honorable Mention: Colt Keith (2B/3B, Detroit Tigers) Keith may finally be making the graduation from 15-team add to 12-team add after hitting .414 with 4 homers this week, suddenly doubling his season homer output to 8. That said, it came with 10 K (2 BB) in 30 AB, so there could be some (more) growing pains as he seems to be selling out more for power (though we all approve of the strategy shift).


Ángel Martínez  (2B/SS/3B, Cleveland Guardians)

The Guardians have long been known as a pitching factory, but perhaps they should be known as a super-utility factory. I mean, hey, I still remember when Jose Ramirez was just a raw but flawed tweener second base prospect. Schneemann was the last guy I wrote up, who has slumped since (but I still like his power), but I think Ángel should be even better, and still is getting mostly ignored in fantasy circles. Well look to your better Angels and change that (he’s better than the Angels in Anaheim, at least)

He entered the year as the team’s #9 prospect, being touted as a future regular with a strong overall game and great bat-to-ball skills, but concerns about the power. Well this year in Triple-A, he helped quell those concerns by hitting a career-best .316/.416/.537 with 5 HR and 2 SB in 116 PA and a 146 wRC+. Not bad for a 22-year-old. Given he was the #9 prospect after he had hit just .268/.320/.401 in his previous stint at Triple-A, and his ISO rose from 134 in Triple-A (and 146 in a larger sample at Double-A, I’d say his 2024 minors ISO of .221 is a notable improvement, and it came with a delectable 13% BB against a 12% K. What’s more, he’s been a king of contact and OBP since arriving to the majors as well, with a rather hilarious BB% of 23% to a K% of just 6% over 35 PA (an 8/2 BB/K).

While that crazy number is unlikely to last, he is displaying a great eye with a stingy 23% O-Swing% and an elite 91% Contact%. That gives him a 4% CSW% even better than Brooks Lee. Similar to Lee, the power in the majors hasn’t really shown up with a 106 MaxEV, no barrels, and a 36% HardHit%, but with a plate profile like he’s displayed, he should continue to find regular playing time and get occasional homers and maybe a steal every once in a while while qualifying all over the diamond (if you play in a league in which minor league games count, he already qualifies at 2B/3B/SS/OF). Even in leagues in which he’s just an SS for now, I’d spec add knowing that he’ll be more expensive or gone by the time he gets that eligibility. Despite playing time concerns (he was supposed to only hit lefties), I’m more optimistic about his chances of still being a worthy 15-team add in OBP formats. And just to put this out there, I’d rather have him than Gleyber Torres ROS. Boom.

Honorable Mention: Rece Hinds (OF, Cincinnati Reds) – He gives me Aristedes Aquino debut flashbacks. He’s made a huge splash, hitting 5 for 8 (.625) with 2 homers already, and in he’s in an ideal situation in Cincy in summertime. That said, while his power is 80-grade and his tiny sample contact% is solid at 77%, I doubt it lasts as his contact% was a terrible 61% in Triple-A. But in the meantime, he could help stream some big small sample power before the collapse comes like an early-career Keston Hiura… oh yeah, or Aquino. Hiuraquino.

Honorable Mention: Rafael Marchán (C, Philadelphia Phillies) – With Realmuto out, he’ll continue to play in a great lineup, and while the lack of bat speed suggests his current higher barrel rate and hard contact% are somewhat of a mirage, his excellent 94% Contact% and 6% SwStr% give him a high floor. Also, he hasn’t been “lucky” since his .357 xAVG and .557 xSLG suggest if anything he’s been unlucky. Drop Jansen & Fermin types in 15-teamers for him and stream the hot streak. Those are Marchán orders.

Deep Leagues

Matt Wallner (OF, Minnesota Twins)

He hit a wall, and now he’s hitting the ball over them. After a horrible small sample debut with a 50% K% in 30ish PA got him demoted, he hit .259 with 19 HR in 297 PA in Triple-A. The more impressive thing about that is that he was lost at the plate for about a month after the demotion so those minors homers have come in a hurry. He homered shortly after his call-up, and it seems the team is ready to ride the hot bat versus righties. Here’s something else crazy: despite his current line of .167 with 2 HR in 39 PA, his season wRC+ already sits at 120. He’s a must-add for the upside in AL-only formats and could quickly become the next big thing in 15-team formats.

Honorable Mention: Lawrence Butler (OF, Oakland Athletics) – It seems Butler has finally started providing good service, hitting .258 with 3 HR and 2 SB in 31 AB over the past two weeks and cementing himself as a regular for Oakland. I still have some concerns as his 1/11 BB/K isn’t pretty, but he still provides enough run production with power/speed to be a must-add for AL-only formats, anyway. His raw power is still excellent.

Honorable Mention: Justyn-Henry Malloy (3B/OF, Detroit Tigers) – Malloy has quietly performed better as of late and more of what he had hoped for, hitting .258 with 3 homers and 1 SB over 31 AB the past two weeks, though the mere 4 RBI reminds us of the downside of hitting for the Tigers. Still, the offense is slowly waking up and he can stave off a demotion if he keeps this up, as 5 dingers in 82 AB ain’t too shabby (surely better than Tork).




Bo Bichette (SS, Toronto Blue Jays)

Say it ain’t so, Bo. I’ve waited and waited, and the short IL stint certainly didn’t help, but the reality is he seems to be suffering from Yoan Moncadaitis, the wasting disease in which a 5-tool-player gradually sheds his tools one by one until you’re left wondering what you really have with him. Without the once-elite stolen base potential (despite preseason promises he’d steal more), he was dependent on his combination of power and average, which frankly has been usurped this year by others like Carlos Correa. Still, it feels wrong to call him a drop, doesn’t it. He’s Bo Bichette! …Bo Bichette of the .222 AVG, .322 SLG%, 4 homers and 5 SB in 302 AB. For a top-five-round pick, that looks way too much like Ernie Clement’s numbers.

Sure, his .261 xBA suggests some bad luck has been at play, maybe. His Pitcher List xAVG is a more sobering .253. And I should add that this goes strongly against the Hitter List recommendations by Scott Chu where he still ranks Bo the 51st hitter overall. Look, this is for 10-team formats. The season is half over. And Bichette’s xwOBA only went down this week. Pretty much the only reason to hold him is hope that he’ll have one of his classic Bo-splosions and have an MVP month that brings the numbers back to normal. But with a lousy 5% barrel% that’s half his usual rate, a MaxEV down by 2 mph, and thoroughly mediocre peripherals this year, there’s no guarantee that’ll happen. And it’s a strong year for middle infielders, so the opportunity cost is high. If you drop him, someone else will probably scoop him immediately, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be better off.

Ezequiel Tovar (SS, Colorado Rockies)

Well, we warned he wouldn’t keep being this good, but boy did it fall apart in a hurry. He’s hitting a Tov-orrible .122/.137/.143 with no homers or steals over 49 AB the past two weeks, and it’s not just bad luck with a cringe-inducing 0/19 K/BB over that span. Given that 12 dingers in 372 AB isn’t anything too special and his batting average is down to .264 with added downside and surprisingly little speed (4 SB), move on in 10-teamers and 12-team OBP. Honestly, 12-team AVG leagues could be cut too, depending on the alternatives. 


Heston Kjerstad (OF, Baltimore Orioles)

Given the excitement on him when he was crushing dingers like crazy for Triple-A, plus his Yandy-esque physique, he’s packing a lot of hype, which can be exchanged for trade values. I actually initially had him as a buy given his recent performance until I looked under the hood. He’s a tough pick as he’s hit .417 with a homer this week, but still a part-time player in only 12 AB. But despite the strong .304 AVG and 3 HR in the small sample, the 30% K%, ho-hum 107 mph MaxEV and .221 xAVG suggest this might be a great time to sell high… especially since he still hasn’t earned guaranteed regular PT.

David Fry (C/1B, Cleveland Guardians)

The sudden return to viability of Bo Naylor (even if I’m still rather skeptical of it) as well as the emergence of multiple interesting utility infielders crowds Fry out of the regular playing time he needed to still be 12-team viable, outside of OBP formats or those with deeper benches that can plug and play him. Still a fun story, but the xwOBA has crashed down to earth, and his .267 xBA and .412 xSLG seem more like what to expect moving forward.

Connor Wong (C, Boston Red Sox)

Yes, he’s still the regular catcher for the Red Sox, playing more than Fry, and yes, he’s still hitting over .300. BUT he’s also hitting just .182 with no homers over the past two weeks, with the average slipping fast and only 5 homers and his expected stats think he’s been very lucky so far (.248 xBA, .373 xSLG). This may be your last chance to get something decent for him in trade leagues, and I wouldn’t waste much time, since if you think he’ll turn it around, you’re Wong.


Jake Meyers (OF, Houston Astros)

If you’ve been starting him like I have in some leagues, you’re grouchy as an Oscar Meyers Weiner. He’s hit just .150 with 1 HR and 1 SB over 40 AB the past two weeks, and just .118 with nothing in 17 AB this week. He’s still a strong defender, but this seems like a case of “He is who we thought he was” as a defence-first 4th-OF type with only moderate power and speed and middling average, and it’s possible that when Tucker comes back, he could lose playing time to Loperfido (if he can hack it in CF) or someone else, perhaps a trade acquisition.

JJ Bleday (OF, Oakland Athletics)

The 11 homers may look nice, but Bleday has been bleeding his owners dry as he’s hit just .097 with a homer over the past three weeks and an even worse .054 with no extra-base hits over 37 AB in the last two weeks. With other hitters like Butler, Soderstrom and Schuemann getting hot, Bleday’s blegh days are numbered.

Deep Leagues

Jorge Polanco (2B/3B, Seattle Mariners)   

He’s still playing mostly for now, but the team has already given the warning by benching him three times that they’re running out of patience for his awful production since his return, in which he’s hit just .200/.263/.229 with no homers and 1 SB and a 1/17 BB in 35 AB over the past 3 weeks. He can’t get much worse, but you can do better by a Polangshot.

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 7/11 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop”

  1. Warren Shinnamon says:

    As a Giants fan, how dare you bring up the Rally Monkey.

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