Buy & Sell 8/10 – 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… Wait, you’re still here! Hurrah! Football has not taken you away!

This is also the time when savvy owners get a leg up because other managers get lazy in the dog days of summer. The last of the impact prospects have arrived (not counting September call-ups, which I don’t hold my breath for anyway) but there are plenty of surging bats around, as if you shined a flashlight in a dark cave.





Ryan Mountcastle (1B, Baltimore Orioles)

Mountcastle’s bat has been magic, and he seems to be finally winning the battle against Dark Lord Walltimore. Don’t crush my dream of fantasy world baseball, my life needs a crossover episode.

The mighty Oriole looked like he was having another lost season, but has been a new man since returning from his IL stint, hitting a phenomenal .411/.462/.661 with 3 taters in 56 AB over the past 21 days. It’s not just a fluke either, as he’s rocked an expected wOBA of .471 over the past 50 PA. That’s top 5 in the MLB and makes him the 2nd most improved xwOBA over that short span (previously .221).

While it’s unlikely to stay this hot, it has helped him fend off O’Hearn and Westburg’s threats to his regular playing time, and he remains in the heart of the lineup. With Mullins due back this week, he should have even more run-producing opportunities, and with his career-best 48% HardHit% and .536 xSLG, he could be one of the biggest power bats that are still available on shallow league waivers and trades. He’s easily a buy in 10-team batting average leagues.


Carlos Correa (SS, Minnesota Twins)

Carlos Correa’s bat may as well be named “Chick”, because its impact has been light as a feather, leaving fantasy owners moanin’. Look, if I can’t make obscure jazz jokes, my music school education was a total waste!

His bat appeared to be wasting with a brutal recent stretch in which he hit below .100 with no power until he finally hit a homer a few days ago, and I think in his case, it may be worth keeping the faith. Yes, still.

When you look at his Statcast profile, nearly everything is similar to his career rates. His 23% K% is a bit high but he did the same in 2019 in one of his best seasons, and his HardHit% of 44% and Barrel of 10% are among the best of his career. So what gives?

Well, his Sweet Spot% and expected stats are down somewhat, but those are more descriptive than predictive, and the team still trusts him with a premier spot in the lineup. I think you’ll be rewarded if you hold as when he’s on he can take your team 500 miles high.

Honorable Mention: James Outman (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers– Left for dead after a massive slump, his bat has come roaring back, with a .399 xwOBA over his past 100 PA.



Freddy Fermín (C, Kansas City Royals)

He cooled down after a molten lava-hot stretch to start the season, but then the Ferminator said “I’ll be backstop”. He’s essentially taken over as starting catcher in Kansas City, playing nearly every game there while Melendez permanently moved to outfield and the aging Perez plays nearly every game at DH.

He’s hit at a torrid pace lately, with a .359 AVG and 4 HR in 39 AB in the past two weeks and .400 with 2 of those dingers just this week. This seems a bit similar to Patrick Bailey as a catcher with a decent strikeout rate but a lack of raw power yet manages a strong 12% Barrel% and you have to roll with while he’s hot.

He should be owned in all 15-team formats and many 12-team batting average leagues as one of the rare catchers with the ability to hit for average down the stretch.


Mike Moustakas (1B/3B, Los Angeles Angels)

I regret casting him off last week, expecting a decline in playing time with Drury’s return and the Cron & Grichuk acquisitions, It turns out it was a big Moustake.

He’s hit a burly .393 with 2 long balls and 10 RBIs over the past week, raising his overall season line to a cromulent .278/.337/.469 with 10 homers, and that downplays the fact that he’s been much better in his sunnier confines, defying the conventional wisdom regarding Colorado.

In the second half, he’s hit .301 with 5 HR in just 97 PA (93 AB), as he’s taking advantage of being a lefty pull flyball hitter with Los Angeles’ shortened fence in right field.

I’d expect about a half dozen more homers down the home stretch, and with Cron’s bat faltering, the 34-year-old vet’s playing time should be safe. Much like Bregman used to, you have to ignore Statcast for him right now and focus on the fact he’s hitting cleanup for a loaded lineup and is in a great situation for power.

He’s still widely available in shallow formats and is an obvious must-add for all 15-team as well as a great corner infielder option for 12-team AVG leagues.


Ryan Jeffers (C, Minnesota Twins)

For a while now I’d overlooked Jeffers, but I can’t overlook his ONE BIG NUMBER. What number is that? Why, it’s a new high in maximum exit velocity, but it’s not just a career-best. It’s 117.4 mph, which is the 5th best in the majors this year, behind only Matt Olson, Giancarlo Stanton, Jake Burger, and Willson Contreras, and just ahead of Shohei Ohtani. Sure, the maximum isn’t everything, but when you hit .368 with 4 blasts in a week, people tend to care about that more.

He’s always had a strong barrel rate and big raw power, but opportunity (and strikeout rates) were his biggest bugaboos. But he’s cut the strikeout rate to sub-30%, which is good enough with his big barrel rate to be a strong producer for any hitter, much less a catcher.

It seems the Twins have finally realized that although Jeffers is notoriously streaky, it’s much better to start a 26-year-old who is hitting .291 with 9 dingers and 3 SB in just 182 AB than to keep trotting out the offensively-challenged Christian Vázquez every week.

Now with guaranteed playing time, he offers a much more available alternative to Willson Contreras who, despite a lack of track record, can provide much of the same offensive thump with a touch of speed when he’s hot. Add in 12-team formats and consider streaming while hot in 10-team, as many of the trusted catcher options have been lackluster.

Honorable Mention: Zach Gelof (2B, Oakland Athletics) – The high strikeout rate still makes him risky, but the power/speed combo is too good to pass up on a team that gives him the dark green light.


Cade Marlowe (OF, Seattle Mariners)

Seattle’s reinforcements have arrived, and they’re calling in the CavalCade. I had my doubts regarding whether the late bloomer 26-year-old prospect would be able to translate his minor league power/speed success to the majors, but the early returns are encouraging.

He’s hitting .308/.413/.564 with 2 HR and 2 SB in 39 AB (47 PA), providing great all-around value, especially in OBP leagues. The biggest question is how regular his playing time will be, as so far it seems he’s on the strong side of a platoon, something made more likely by Moore’s resurgence.

Despite the high walk rate, he’s rather aggressive and makes a lot of contact, but has yet to show impressive raw power. He’s a fine play if you need stolen bases with a more rounded profile, as he seems reminiscent of a diet A.J. Pollock.

Wait, don’t panic, I meant the early-career Pollock. Add in 15-team formats, especially OBP leagues, and sit back and watch the stats compile as you sip your cade Merlot.

Davis Schneider  (2B, Toronto Blue Jays)

First of all, his glasses/mustache combo should be drafted in all leagues of fantasy hipsterball. He just looks like he really doesn’t belong on the diamond, which is why I love him.

He’s never been much of a prospect but he is 24 and walloped a .275/.416/.553 with 21 HR and 9 SB in 392 PA in Triple-A, which is a fantastic 140 wRC+. Of course, in the majors his current wRC+ is nearly double that at 275, but odds are you already missed out on that, so the question is, what now?

Well, I do think the fact he already does this improves his projection in several ways. For one, it shows he can handle MLB pitching, and it also makes him likely to be at the head of the playing time picture at 2B when Bichette returns (it also helps that DeJong also went down).

No, I don’t think he’ll keep hitting .400, as his 73% Contact% is merely adequate and his CSW% of 34% is bad. But he does seem to be able to take a walk, with an impressive 17% O-Swing%, and with that combined with his propensity for barrels, he can be something like what Cavan Biggio used to be, but with a higher batting average floor.

Despite the tiny sample size, I think he’s worth taking the shot on at the keystone in 15-team leagues, especially in OBP formats.

Honorable Mention: Andruw Monasterio (2B/3B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers) – He’s quietly providing solid all-around production with speed, moderate power, and a high walk rate. Essentially, this is what everyone was expecting from Ke’Bryan Hayes, but Andruw is multi-eligible and widely available.


Deep Leagues

Alfonso Rivas (1B, Pittsburgh Pirates)

After two down years, it looked like his career was heading in the wrong direction, but it looks like he pulled the car into Rivas.

Honestly, that’s taking it too far, as the 26-year-old first baseman still has a problematic 33% K% and lacks the kind of raw power (league-average 108 mph career maxEV) to make that remotely passable.

That said, he is roping the ball with a 92 mph average eV and 43% HardHit% well above his career rates. With Santana gone, he’ll get some runway and can pop enough homers with enough runs produced to be useful in NL-only formats.


Pablo Reyes (2B/SS, Boston Red Sox)

It might seem weird to say a player hitting .321 is only an AL-only add, but for what it’s worth, he’s still a free agent in my AL-only home league.

He’s had a wonderful week, hitting .462 with 1 HR and 1 SB and a 2/2 BB/K in 13 AB. Most people didn’t notice when he came back from the injured list in late July, but he has a legitimate shot at semi-regular playing time if Luis Urías can’t get his footing.

Although he’s obviously not this good, his expected stats aren’t too shabby with a .277 xBA and .428 xSLG.  He should be rostered in all deep leagues for his ability to boost batting average and produce runs in a potent lineup, and hope you maintain a high xwoBACONye with Life of Pablo.

Honorable Mention:Dylan Moore (2B/OF, Seattle Mariners) – He’s not playing every day, but he’s been on fire with tons of power hitting .462 with a homer this week. He’s a DFS darling worth streaming while hot, and his 35% barrel% and 75% FB% are hilariously unsustainable but intriguing.



Leody Taveras (OF, Texas Rangers)

Since the start of July, Leody looks like he was kicked off the table by LeGarfield. Over the past 3 weeks, he’s hit just .188/.205/.290 with no homers and just 1 SB. It’s not just a fluke, as his expected stats, while still rather optimistic with an xBA of .281, do support that over the past 50 PA he’s earned a below-league average xwOBA.

He still has many facets of his game that I like for the long-term with his combination of reduced strikeout rate and hard contact. but with his line of 11 HR and 11 SB with a .269 in 391 PA, he’s looking a lot less like a breakout star and a lot more like Melky Cabrera. That’s fine, but it’s something you need to be willing to move on from in shallow leagues.

Dishonorable Mention: Nathaniel Lowe (1B, Texas Rangers) – He’s decent for AVG and OBP and a run-producing machine, but with just 13 dingers in over 500 PA, he really shouldn’t be your top option at the cold corner.



Ezequiel Duran (SS/OF, Texas Rangers)

I guess I’m just hating on Texas today, huh? I love Duran, but the reality is that even with Josh Jung out, Duran really hasn’t contributed much in anything in fantasy leagues for a long while.

He hit just .186 with 1 homer in the entire month of July, and August isn’t looking a whole lot better as he’s hitting just .136. Herein lies the risk with a player with bad contact skills relying on hard-batted balls… it’s a recipe for streakiness.

While I love his raw power with a maxEV of 116 mph and generally excellent batted ball quality, it’s also quite a disappointment that he has hardly used his plus wheels, as he still has only 6 stolen bases, about the same as Carlos Santana.

I think he has all the tools to be a great target for next year, but with no sign of a turnaround in sight and getting benched every couple of days, he’s just not startable in 12-team leagues anymore and the spot would likely be better spent trying to ride a hot player.

Dishonorable Mention: Mickey Moniak (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – With a 33% and 3%, it was always looking unsustainable, and with a thousand eyes and a good disguise, hit him right between the eyes, this slump was not a surprise.



Patrick Bailey (C, San Francisco Giants)

Bailey was firing shots, but now with more exposure, he’s starting to curdle. He was the rare hot-hitting catcher at a time when many others were struggling, but now while the likes of Garver, Fermin, Sanchez/Campusano, and Jeffers are surging ahead, he’s backsliding with a .224/.308/.276 with 0 homers over the past 3 weeks.

If there’s any positive, it’s that he’s looked a fair bit better this week, hitting .333 and drawing an uncharacteristic 6 walks. Still, I think we’re mostly returning to a “He is who we thought he was” and I’d rather stream catcher like it’s a low-end job and not be the sucker who gets less income for being a loyal company man.

Dishonorable Mention: Jorge Polanco (2B, Minnesota Twins) – I really wanted to believe in him as a bounceback candidate, but his bat seems rather punchless and I think the multiple hamstring injuries have taken their toll.


Deep Leagues

Christian Vázquez (C, Minnesota Twins)

My only real question is “Why did it take the Twins this long to move on?” Then again, I suppose it could always be worse, they’re not the Astros with their increasingly inexplicable love affair with Martín Maldonado.

He hit just .143/.143/.143 with no homers in 21 AB in the past 2 weeks, and I’m starting to wonder if the surprise trade out of Boston mentally broke him. Either way, you’d be better off rolling a waiver wire roulette wheel than sticking with him.

Dishonorable Mention: Eduardo Escobar (3B, Los Angeles Angels) – I don’t understand why they acquired him at this point, but I’m sure they regret it as much as you will if you haven’t cut him yet.


Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages 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 8/10 – Identifying Who to Add and Who to Drop”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    Are you ranking Jeffers over Garver, G.Sanchez, or Y.Diaz (HOU) ?
    I have Heim IL’d. Is he worth holding?

  2. Rowdy says:

    Nate Lowe wtf?

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login