Last night on the FF Locker Room Show, we discussed some players that could be on the fantasy trading block after the first month of the season and whether you should trade these guys or not. I’ve decided to put my thoughts into article form, but you can check out the show from last night for expanded thoughts from myself and Caleb Parkinson if you please.
Sell Him or Hold Him:
Justin Upton: We’ve knownof Upton’s potential for years now. Maybe it’s playing with his brother, maybe it’s a change of scenery, I don’t know. Whatever it is, he’s clicking on all cylinders at this point. Upton has a crazy .304/.394/.750 slash at this point along with 12 HR and 19 RBI and the craziest thing is that his BABIP is .302, which is clearly lower than his career average of .334. It’s almost unfathomable that he isn’t getting the ball to bounce his way as much as usual. Honestly, we might be seeing Upton turn into one of the best hitters in baseball right before our very eyes. It goes without saying, that you should take a trade offer that improves your team, but Upton holds top 10 player value at the very least at this point.
Chris Davis: I’m a Chris Davis fan and I think he’s still going to have a great season, just not at this pace. He currently is hitting at a .352/.444/.750 clip with 9 HR and 28 RBI. The problem with Davis is that he plays in a smaller market and hasn’t gotten a ton of press, so you likely aren’t going to get a major offer for him, despite the fact that he’s coming off of a 33 HR, 85 RBI season. He has a better eye this year than in the past and is striking out less, so it’s very nice to see improvement. You can sell him if you get a great offer, I just think that offer is going to be hard to come by.
Matt Harvey: You should be treating him as the next coming of Justin Verlander and valued no less. He certainly is going to continue the dominance on the mound this season, but you likely aren’t going to get Verlander type returns in the trading market from him. Don’t assume he’ll have a sub-2 ERA to finish out the season, but more of an extension of last year’s numbers with slightly better control (he’s only walking 2.68/9 whereas it was 3.94 batters per 9 innings last year.)
Buy or Leave Alone:
Yovani Gallardo: Combine his off the field problems with the fact that he’s lost life on his two-seamer and it spells stay away. Gallardo was very effective as a strikeout guy, but he’s only got 5 k/9 so far this year. He never has been a guy that’ll help you in the ERA (4.25 this year) department and with the supposedly diminishing stuff, he shouldn’t be a guy that you pursue at this point.
David Price: I have legitimate concerns regarding Price. However, he does appear to have run into some bad luck to start the year as well, sporting a .343 BABIP with a low LOB 68.8%. His FIP is currently at 3.92, which is just a shade over his career average, 3.50. However, his velocity has dropped more than 2 mph, which has made his fastball much less effective than usual. His peripheral numbers look good, though and he is a guy that doesn’t need to overpower batters to pitch effectively. Hopefully this is just some sort of phase he’s going through right now. 200 IP guys are hard to come by and Price is still one right now.
Cole Hamels: I’m not sure what’s going on with Hamels’ control, but aside from the two awful starts at the beginning of the season, he’s racked up four quality starts in a row. There is a perception, thanks to his first couple starts of the year , which ballooned his ERA (it currently sits at 4.78), and the fact that he’s without a win so far that Cole Hamels is off to a very rocky start. I wouldn’t be too worried, nothing really looks out of whack, he just needs to start commanding his pitches better.
B.J. Upton: I don’t think I would really go after him all that hard, mainly because he isexactly who we thought he was, a very streaky, high strikeout-plus power type guy. He’ll get his home runs and will hit around the .250 range. I don’t think anyone thinks differently. The good thing for Upton is that he’s going to be able to swing his way out of this early season slump.