Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball: In The Batter’s Box – Slumping Stars

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By: Joe Bond

The season starts out the same every year superstars start out slow and fantasy baseball owners start to freak out after one or two weeks and wonder if they should start trading their big time stars. My advice at that time is always to wait, most of the time these players will turn it around and will make you happy that you kept them. Occasionally though you draft a player that you expected big things from and they never give you the return on investment, a player that comes to mind last season immediately that falls into this category is Carl Crawford. In this article I am going to discuss some players who you drafted to carry your team but have not yet produced like you expected and what I believe you should do with them.

Albert Pujols (1B – LAA) – Clearly the most talked about player this baseball season and for good reason. He only has one home run on the year and is still batting below the Mendoza line.  At this point I’m officially worried about Pujols this year, and I have a couple stats to back it up. One is his BB/K ratio, it is 0.41 right now, which is 0.64 lower than last year which as most know was his worst year statistically. The second stat is his BABIP, which is currently around .224 for the year, well below his .310 career average. At this point if you can trade him and get a good return, I would.

Jose Bautista (3B/OF – Tor) – Bautista is another big slugger hitting under the Mendoza line at just .198. He is having a bit more success at the plate than Pujols but still not producing the way his owners were hoping after two consecutive 40+ home run seasons. He has hit 8 on the season so far and that is after a 3 home run this past weekend. Currently that projects him to hit 36 home runs which is still a pretty good number but when you consider his RBI is projected at 81 and runs at 86, all of his numbers would be well below his last two seasons, when both were over 100. I do see some signs that things are improving with him so I would hang onto him unless you get a trade offer you just can’t refuse.

Troy Tulowitzki (SS – Col) – Tulowitzki has not had a normal season for him and is currently in a horrible 10/48 slump. The Rockies have moved him from fourth to fifth in the lineup to try and help him get him out of his funk. He is only projected to hit 15 home runs, well below his total the last three years. His batting average is the lowest since the 2008 season when he only played in 101 games, but also only hit 8 home runs and 46 RBI. Tulo is too good to hit this bad all season but with the Colorado offense struggling all around him I would try to get rid of him now while his name will still get you some good players back.

Eric Hosmer (1B – KC) – After a very successful rookie year, Hosmer was supposed to be a great fantasy 1B now that he was going to get a full year. What he has done so far is bat .180 with 5 home runs, 17 RBI and 16 R. Those numbers are less than stellar considering all the hype he was getting coming into the year. He currently has a .165 BABIP and I fully expect that to climb and have his other numbers increase with it. I’d hold onto him or try to trade for him if you can.

Justin Upton (OF – Ari) – Upton has been disappointing most of the season batting only .225, and if it weren’t for a stretch of games in late April to early May where he raised his average to .260 he might very well be below .200 like most of the hitters on this list. Despite his struggles with home runs, RBI and batting average I think Upton will be just fine and right now you can at least enjoy his 22 runs and already 5 stolen bases on the year.

Adrian Gonzalez (1B – Bos) – Adrian Gonzalez’s power has seemingly vanished this season.  His slow start is not a good sign since last season he hit his lowest home run total since the 2006 season, and that was his first full year in the majors. He started off slow last year too hitting only a single home run in April but came alive in May hitting nine. This season the power stroke hasn’t come back yet, but I have hope for him still since he has started to hit much better in May raising his AVG, slugging and OBP from April.

Rickie Weeks (2B – Mil) – There is no surprise I am not a big fan of Rickie Weeks and think he is one of the most overrated players. This season instead of putting the 20HR/80RBI/20SB season together most were hoping, it is completely falling apart.  Like I said in a past article he has never put all of those together in one season and has only put two together in a season once. Since the 2007 season his speed on the basepaths has been declining, and this year is no different. He is so bad this season it’s almost getting to the point where you have to drop him, but if you can still move him do so now.

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About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the up-and-coming FantasySixPack.net website. He has been spreading his love and addiction of fantasy sports there and many other sites including SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, FantasyPros.com, and FanDuel.com. Joe has finished as the No. 5 Fantasy Football Draft Ranker on Fantasy Pros in 2014, while being the No. 1 QB ranker for in-season during 2016. He has also finished in the top-15 twice for Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings. You can find him on Twitter, @fantasysixpack, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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