Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 28 May 2009
You all know the adage buy low and sell high. It’s a cornerstone to fantasy baseball success and with almost two months in the books, there are plenty of owners disgusted with the underperformers on their team. That opens the door for those brave enough to think that some players will bounce back. With established players who are still in or close to their prime there is some foundation for that kind of belief as three year averages tend to be the most reliable statistical projection for a given player. With younger players, rookies and players towards the end of their careers that is more of a crapshoot. Still if you can get them cheaply, they might well be worth a gamble.Catchers:Geovany Soto (Cubs):
Projected as the best fantasy catcher in baseball by the Sporting News, Soto hasn’t even come close to being that good. In fact he barely has cracked the top 50 catchers in terms of production behind such notable as Kelly Shoppach, Wil Nieves, Gregg Zaun and Jason Kendall. He’s currently hitting a whopping .214 with one home run and eight runs scored. Someone will believe he’s a one season wonder and sell him cheap, but Soto is talented enough to be the No. 1-ranked fantasy catcher and he has shown signs of life and has raised his average by 105 points since April 30th. The power is bound to come.Ryan Doumit (Pirates):
Doumit has similar potential to Soto, but might not be quite as skilled. He’s also been on the DL for most of the season and he’s still roughly two to three weeks from being ready to return.First Base:
Chris Davis (Rangers):
Chris Davis has some pop, but his average is just above the Mendoza line.
The power is still there -- Davis has already hit 12 home runs in just a quarter of the season -- but this doesn’t look like the Davis who tore up the AL last year after a midseason call up. That Davis hit .285; this one is only hitting .208 and has an OBP more than 60 points lower. Based on his minor league career, both average and OBP are at this point an aberration. There is a good chance at a rebound. Still with 12 home runs, 23 RBI and 23 runs scored don’t expect to get him too cheaply.Derrek Lee (Cubs):
Lee has struggled through the first couple of months but at least part of that has been due to a sore shoulder. That seems to be behind him and he’s beginning to get things turned around. There is still a chance to get him before he becomes the Derrek Lee of old.Second Base:Jose Lopez (Mariners):
Lots of folks predicted that this was going to be the year that Lopez became a top 10 second baseman -- especially after last year’s .297 with 17 home runs and 89 RBIs. That came after a solid season in 2007 (.252-11-62) so expecting an improvement or at least a static season from the 25 year old seemed quite reasonable. He still has a chance to get there but his .216-3-21 has got to be frustrating a lot of owners. In fact he’s only owned in 50% of Yahoo! Leagues to begin with.Third Base:Garrett Atkins (Rockies):
Few third basemen have been as consistent and productive as Atkins over the last three seasons. That makes his struggles in 2009 something of a mystery, especially with impending free agency on the horizon. He’s hitting a paltry .192 with three home runs and has been losing playing time to a variety of other players. He’s poised for at least a mild rebound; you don’t fall off a cliff this suddenly at age 29, not after hitting .305 with 75 home runs over the past three seasons.Shortstop:J.J. Hardy (Brewers):
Hardy is another player hitting more than 30 points below his career average and who is not on place to match the 25 home runs he has averaged the last two years. This is a bit of a concern as April and May have traditionally been some of his best power months. Still there is enough upside here to make him worth acquiring at the right price.Johnny Peralta (Indians):
After hitting 81 home runs and batting over .270 the past four seasons Peralta’s single home run in 2009 is enough to leave him just 73% owned in Yahoo! Leagues and with a lot of owners at least thinking about cutting him. That should make him available for next to nothing in most leagues. Take advantage and reap the power rewards when he gets things right in the second half.