Each and every week FFLockerRoom will be here to give you the players that are underachieving or getting unlucky and therefore are buy low candidates as well as those overachieving that you should market for trade! These players will have an impact on most 2014 Fantasy Baseball rosters and transactions can make or break your season. Utilizing this list along with the FFLockerRoom 2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings will help you in making those all-important lineup or trade decisions for the coming week(s)
Jay Bruce, OF, CIN – From 2011-2013 Bruce hit 30 or more homers with 97+ RBI. This year he has 10 homers and 40 RBI at the break. A career .255 hitter he’s currently batting .233. So why should you buy low? First off, he’s hitting over .275 since June. Second, he has 9 stolen bases. Not only does that tie his career high for a full season, it also seems to indicate that the knee is fully healthy. He wouldn’t be pushing himself on the base paths if he couldn’t run at 100%. Finally, he’s simply too good a power hitter to be an 18 homer type of guy. The problem thus far has been him pounding balls into the ground. Bruce’s ground ball rate of 43.8% would be by far his highest since his rookie season. Last year it was 36.7%. The increase in grounders hasn’t hurt his line drive rate, it’s all coming from his fly ball rate. Normally around or even over 40% this year it’s 33%. I expect his fly ball rate to normalize over the second half. Since his HR/FB rate is still a very normal 16.4% the increase in fly balls will go hand in hand with an increase in power. It wouldn’t shock me to see him hit 15-20 homers in the second half. Combine that with the increased speed and you have yourself a very valuable commodity.
Jason Grilli, RHP, LAA – Jason Grilli the Pirate was having a very poor year. Injured, ineffective, his role kept changing. Not wanting to play the flip flopping closer game any longer, they shipped him to Anaheim in exchange for Ernesto Frieri. Basically a swap of struggling former closers. Well, now that he’s in Los Angeles, Grilli has made 6 appearances without giving up a run. He’s struck out 5 batters, walking 1 in 5 innings. Ok, big deal is what you’re saying. Well Angels manager Mike Scioscia is famous for being a flip flopper when it comes to his relievers. You saw that with Frieri and Joe Smith already this year. The trade of Frieri probably hasn’t drastically altered Scioscia’s mindset when it comes to the bullpen. So, heaven forbid Smith struggles once or gives up a couple of earned runs pitching in a blowout, Scioscia may just flip flop again and who do you think he’s going to turn to? You guessed it, his “former” closer that has 44 saves the last year and half.
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