Buy & Sell 7/7 – 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’s theme is in with the sizzling speedsters, out with the trudging Tobys. Yes, I know that’s a term for pitchers, but there are too many players being rostered in most leagues that simply lack upside, and are valued due to the idea they’ll contribute in batting average. Not talking about you, Luis Arraez, you keep… uh, doing what you’re doing. But the rest of you, if you haven’t shown something by July, it’s time to toss you like a stocking full of sand (which I assume is what goes to naughty kids during Christmas in July. On to the list!



Tommy Pham (OF, New York Mets)

He’s the feast while the rest of the Mets are in Phamine. I’ll admit I’m late to the game with this one despite long being intrigued when he was on my waiver wire, but the good news for those in shallower or less savvy leagues is he’s still fairly available, as he’s only 47% rostered in Yahoo. For about a month now he’s rather quietly been one of the hottest hitters in baseball, hitting .377/.427/.594 with 3 HR and 3 SB in 69 nice PA over the past three weeks, though most of it is buoyed by this past week in which he hit a ridiculous .522 with 2 of the dingers in 23 AB. That raises his season batting line to a .287/.354/.516 with 9 HR and 9 SB, as he’s clearly got a chip on his shoulder and trying to hit his way into an escape from New York.

He actually has been hotter than the season numbers reflect, as he’s had an outstanding .417 xwOBA over his past 100 AB, and his xwOBA chart from 2022 has continued to rise and rise like the tasty bread I can’t eat on this stupid low-carb diet I’m on. He’s also been quite unlucky, as his expected stats reveal a true stud with a .303 xBA and .547 xSLG, which is perhaps even more significant as a rather speedy guy who should be outperforming expected stats. His power is still being underrated, as despite the single-digit homer total, his combination of all-fields power and the fact that he set a new MaxEV of 114 mph and the second-best barrel rate of his career (15%) at age 35 makes him a must-roster, but also a buy high in trades.

Jarren Duran (OF, Boston Red Sox)

Take pretty much everything I said about Pham and make it faster but also more raw and volatile… kind of like switching from Pikachu to Pichu in Super Smash Bros. You can electrify, but you could hurt yourself in the process. While Duran lacks Pham’s ability to walk, barrel, and shake off nightclub stab wounds, Duran was looking beat, with his rolling xwOBA down to .179, his June has been wicked pissah, raising that xwOBA to .373 since he turned the cornah (with no blinkah).

Over the past 3 weeks, he’s surged to the tune of .413/.438/.717 with a homer and 5 SB in 46 AB, and this week has hit a blinding .625 in 16 AB. It’s rather shocking he’s slugged .717 given that he’s only hit 1 homer over that span, though you can largely thank the Green Monster for that, as he’s hit 7 doubles off the wall, some of which would likely be hit out of other ballparks. While his lack of plate discipline makes him vulnerable to another cold snap, he makes enough high-quality contact at 47% HardHit% to get away with it and has the raw power with a 112 mph MaxEV and an improving launch angle to translate it into barrels. Of course, his baserunning is what makes him worth taking a chance on, since he has serious wheels with a 95th percentile sprint speed and a team that’s giving him the green light. Add in 10-team AVG leagues in which you need SBs. I cut my simply daft Starling Marte for him in my 10-teamer once I realized Duran is like that punk, but just hottah, bettah, fastah, strongah.

Honorable Mention: Yainer Díaz (C, Houston Astros)

The plate discipline may be lacking, but he’s the top power hitting catcher in the game since June, with 5 dingers in 73 AB over the past 3 weeks and I think he’s a starter for good. Gee, imagine where the Astros would be if they played him in April instead of Martin flippin’ Maldonado.


Carlos Santana (1B, Pittsburgh Pirates)

Look, let’s not do it this time. I’ve written him up enough times over the years that I’ve exhausted references to the legendary guitarist of the same name. So instead, why don’t you and I consider why he’s so great. Even though he doesn’t have double digit homers (9) as a first baseman, he’s quietly been valuable all year (especially in points leagues). He’s been a rock who plays every day with his solid .242/.322/.411 9 HR line supplemented with 37 R, 43 RBI, and most shockingly, 6 stolen bases. Really.

He’s been hotter as of late, hitting .297 with 5 HR over the past 3 weeks, and .333 with 2 of those homers in the past week. I predicted preseason that he’d outearn Rhys Hoskins, and while that will unfortunately end up coming true on a technicality, my reasoning for being bullish on him at his post-400 ADP was the fact that he’s so consistent and still has the same exit velocity and plate discipline rates. Although the walk rate and hard contact have taken a step back this year, he’s still in a prime spot in the lineup and should be a high-floor accumulator in 12-team OBP leagues, and statistically speaking, one of the top stolen base options at the position. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

José Abreu (1B, Houston Astros)

Father time may be finally winning the war on Abreu, but it looks like Abreu still has some battles left in his bat. It’s rather easy to overlook given that he’s still hitting just .243 with 7 homers on the year, but he’s kept the hot streak going, hitting .366 with 3 HR and 12 RBI in 41 AB over the past two weeks. This improvement is supported by an increased rolling xwOBA, raising it from .303 to .403 in his past 50 PA. That’s something to believe in.

When it comes to a legendary hitter like this who still hits in the middle of the Astros lineup who plays half his games in a bandbox in the summer, you need to grab him in any 12-team leagues in which he was cut, though 10-teamers or shallow OBP may still have superior options. But if you are taking dice rolls on the likes of Votto, the slumping Rizzo, and possibly-still-vertigoed Mountcastle on the week of July 4th, it’s time to ask José if you can see him bopping dongs with burly might.

Honorable Mention: Colton Cowser (OF, Baltimore Orioles)

Given the early success of Westburg, Cowser’s call-up was inevitable, and though he surely won’t replicate his Triple-A success of .330/.457/.537 with 10 HR and 7 SB in 257 PA, he could be Austin Hays-esque but with much better OBP. Impossible to know but at least worth a 12-team OBP spec add for now.


Mickey Moniak (OF, Los Angeles Angels)

He seemed like a poor investment at first despite inflated surface stats, but lately he’s just been printing Moneyak. Granted, his surface stats of .302 with 9 HR still don’t appear sustainable given his terrible 33% K% (331st in MLB) or 3% BB% (344th in MLB), which just screams regression louder than Billy Idol screaming Moni Moni. But he has at least been smacking barrels lately, bringing his rate up to 17%. Since last year, his xwOBA has continued to steadily rise, and with Trout hitting the IL and several other Angels ailing, he should get full-time reps to fight his way into regular playing time. He’s an upside add in 15-team batting average leagues, but unless you need power in the worst way, the risk is still too high in OBP formats.

Willi Castro (2B/3B/SS/OF, Minnesota Twins)

Free Willi! No, he’s not in captivity, I’m saying that Willi is free on your waiver wires! He’s rostered in just 15% of leagues, meaning he’s free to pick up in 85% of leagues, which may sound reasonable to you given that he’s Willi Castro. But, if the above parentheses didn’t clue you in, he’s quadruple eligible, which is still very valuable (especially now as injuries pile up and in a pre-ASB week in which playing the schedule is everything). And what’s more, he has 17, count’em, 17 stolen bases on the year (just 3 times caught) in just 189 AB. He also has 17 RBI, and before yesterday’s one-RBI game, had more SB than RBI. That’s just silli, Willi.

What I like even more is that now, at long last, he seems locked into regular reps with Polanco hitting the IL, and while the 5 HR power may not be much, he is finally walking more and striking out less, with an excellent 8/7 BB/K in 52 AB over the past 3 weeks. A guy who is running at every opportunity and isn’t great with batting average definitely benefits from getting on base for free, and he’s a prime sleeper for a 30 SB, perhaps even still a 40 SB season off your waiver wire. Add in the fact that he still has elite MaxEV and if he could just get to it more often, could also be a power threat, and he’s well worth adding in all 15-team leagues but also entirely viable for 12-team formats as a utility speedster who can be this year’s Jon Berti with potential for more.

Honorable Mention: Nick Gonzalez (2B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates)

The double dingers start is nice, but his contact rate and lackluster peripherals make me skeptical he’ll be 12-team viable, but for now he’s still plenty worth trying in 15-teamers at some thinned out positions.

Deep Leagues

Mike Ford (1B, Seattle Mariners)

The journeyman is nothing much more than a hail mary play for homers, but now with 7 dongs in 68 AB, he has as many as Ty France hit in 322 AB. Yes, I’m saying a Ford is worth 4.74 Francs. He’s not a good hitter in any way other than the fact he’s hitting barrels, but he still does that well with a 17% Barrel rate, though it’s less impressive as a 11% Barrel/PA. With France being day-to-day and the All-Star Break fast approaching, the team may opt to give France a recovery nap and let Ford take the wheel. So if you need power off the wire, add in AL-only or stream in 18-team and hope he pops a few tires.

Jared Triolo (3B, Pittsburgh Pirates)

Everybody is cheered up by the Triolololo guy. Triolo hit to the tune of .293 with 1 HR and 8 SB in Triple-A, and is keeping it rolling hitting .292 and .393 OBP so far in 28 PA in the majors. Of course, it’s unlikely to last, as he’s not hitting the ball hard (101 mph MaxEV) and has a 32% K%. Still, he entered the year as the team’s #18 prospect and did show more power in previous years (he hit 15 HR in high-A in 2021) so there’s hope that he can still unlock the pop.

And while the batting average will come down, he did have a recent history of high BABIPs in the minors, racking up .358 in ’21, .333 in ’22, and then .538 (small sample) and then over .435 this year, thanks largely to his plus speed. He’s not flashy, but he is playing with Hayes out, making him a decent deep league play in teams looking for volume with a touch of average, OBP and speed. Though if you’re looking at him beyond NL-only, your team’s situation is laugh out loud, laugh out loud, laugh out loud. That’s Trio lol.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Jeffers (C, Minnesota Twins)

In a small sample, his barrel rate is the lowest in years but hard hit rate is the highest, and I opt for the bullish route given the fact that he set a new MaxEV of 117 mph, over 4 mph higher than his previous best. That’s a heck of a tiebreaker. If he overtakes Vazquez, he could pull a Jake Burger at catcher.



Ty France (1B, Seattle Mariners)

He’s much like French cuisine, in that on draft day he was expensive and overrated. If you’re stuck with him as your first baseman, well, that’s your croissant to bear. He’s playing every day and, as usual, has his fans raving about him when he’s on a heater but eventually goes ice cold, and you’re left with something rather mediocre in every category other than batting average (where he’s just okay). He’s hitting a very mid .267/.334/.401 with 7 HR and 1 SB in 322 AB. That’s a lot of at-bats for so little power!

Of course, as usual, the peripherals tell us he’s mostly the same guy as he always has been. But compared to last year, that’s a problem. This year, while batting averages didn’t rise from the BABIP shift as much as expected, there are more stolen bases (where France still being almost a zero hurts more), and with no dead ball, his power, or lack thereof, suffers more in comparison. The optimist take is pointing out he did set a new MaxEV of 113 mph this year, up 2 mph from his 111 mph mark in 2021, and his average launch angle is up a bit. Then again, his 17% is his worst since 2020, and his walk rate of 5% is also a career low. I don’t hate him, I just don’t get how he’s rostered in 75% of leagues even after last week in which he hit just .143. You’d be better off taking a shot in 10-team on someone like Josh Naylor, Isaac Paredes, and even in 12-team OBP formats you could try hanging with Mr. Garrett Cooper. Because if you stick with such a middling option like France in a shallow league, your team will escargot nowhere.

Dishonorable Mention: Jeff McNeil (2B/OF, New York Mets)

I would’ve called him a 12-team drop, but he’s still being rostered in 69% of ESPN leagues and 56% of ESPN leagues. He’s hitting .256 with 3 HR and 5 SB on the year. Sometimes it’s better to just let the numbers speak for themselves.


Geraldo Perdomo (2B/3B, Arizona Diamondbacks)

The Road to Perdition’s sequel, the Geroad to Perdomo didn’t have much murdering of baseballs. I called him a sell high early in the year, and he made me look bad for a while by defying every statcast metric that implied he was rather mediocre. But while the regression monster took his time with him, he’s feasting now, as Perdomo has hit just .230 over 61 AB over the past 3 weeks and just .059 this week. On the season his line still looks decent, hitting .278/.383/.421 with 5 HR and 9 SB in 216, but those overall stats are why his massive slumps can be so easily overlooked.

The crazy thing is that even with this slump, baseball savant implies he’s been one of the luckiest players in the league, with a horrible .206 xBA and .276 xSLG. Pitcher List’s version of the stat, which accounts for direction of the ball is a bit more optimistic at .233, but is still quite bearish on him, with an 18% Ideal Plate Appearance rate that is 345th in the MLB, and a Hard Contact% of 13% that is so bad it is literally off the charts (in the opposite direction). At best, he’s a Josh Rojas clone with less position eligibility as a guy who can take a walk and make lots of weak contact with some stolen bases. But in 12-teamers you can do better, and maybe you can still get something for him in 15-teamers.

Tim Anderson (SS, Chicago White Sox)

He’s not this bad, okay? If you look at his expected stats, you’d see he’s closer to his typical year than you’d expect given his zero homers. But with shoulder health questions, an uber high groundball rate, and declining impact of his speed (especially given its inflation across the league), he’s simply outshined by other 12-team options, especially in OBP. If you can still flip him for the name value and a relatively good week and can upgrade or even get a Maikel García type for it, it’d probably be worth it to dodge the bullet from Mr. Anderson.


Jorge Mateo (2B/3B/OF, Baltimore Orioles)

Here’s one guy who probably isn’t celebrating the recent exciting callups of Westburg and Cowser. Roster resource lists him as being on the weak side of a second base platoon with Adam Frazier. The only reason I could think of keeping him is desperation for stolen bases and a deep bench with daily moves, but it’s pretty clear Jorge is on his way to getting jauled to the port and getting the jeave-jo.

 Dishonorable Mention: Luis García (2B/SS, Washington Nationals)

He’s sort of like a Ty France of middle infield. He’s hitting just .095 this week and with a .267 AVG to go with 5 HR and 4 SB, he simply doesn’t have the fantasy juice to hold when he’s cold.

Deep Leagues

Eric Haase (C/OF, Detroit Tigers)

He’s still being rostered by one of my competitors in my home league, a two-catcher AL-only, and I struggle to contain my excitement that he’s shooting himself in the foot like that. He’s been a Haase of Pain this year, and you can’t jump around to a .213 with 3 HR and 3 SB over 207 ABs, and an even worse .083 the past week. His younger,  more talented, and more Gallo-esque battery mate Jake Rogers has been far more impressive, and it’s puzzling as to what exactly happened to his once intriguing barrel rate and power. Maybe, similar to fellow late-career pop-up Joey Meneses, you can only fake it for a year.

Dishonorable Mention: Ramón Urías (1B/2B/3B, Baltimore Orioles)

Everything I said about Mateo is just as true for Urías, and this is assuming Baltimore doesn’t add more talent or call up Connor Norby. He could use a change of scenery. Ya hear that, Brewers? Athletics? Anyone?


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

  1. Babbo B says:

    Not sure how much playing time Triolo will get now with Hayes back.

  2. Joe Mulvey says:

    You’re the best. I didn’t want to read. No time to read right now. But I saw it and read it, and it was informative with great great entertaining writing.

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