Bought Low, Sell these five players High
The old axiom in the stock market is buy low and sell high. That axiom also applies to these five fantasy stars of 2008.
Ludwick’s current stats of 15 HR & 50 RBI place him near the top in the NL. But when looking at his batted ball data one of two options exist. Either Ludwick is a god or he’s going to regress. Check out his 2008 LD% and BABIP.
Compare this with Barry Bonds 2004 season, a season in which he had a line of .362/.609/.812 for the greatest single season OPS of all-time at 1.42
Bonds’ LD% was 19.1% and his BABIP was .310. Ludwick’s stats once again are 30.1% LD and .351 BABIP. Need I say more.
On June 9th we covered Jay’s career strikeout to walk ratios. In his minor league career he fanned 339 times and walked only 125. His hot MLB start included an unsustainable 8 strikeouts to 10 walks. That was a few days ago. Now Bruce sits at 12 strikeouts and 10 walks. Last week he posted an OPS of .633. Bruce is still just a 21 year old with only 130 games at level AA or above in his career. Growing pains are to be expected. Sell the optimism (in non-keeper leagues).
Lester has a couple of things going for him from a sellers perspective. He’s easy to like and root for due to his battle with lymphoma and he recently tossed a no-hitter. You could also probably throw in the fact that he pitches for the Red Sox.
His real ERA of 3.50 is much better than his fielder independent ERA (FIP) of 4.28. Since his no hitter he’s allowed 22 hits in 16.1 IP. His control has always been a question, and his current K/BB ratio is only 1.51. Plainly put his walk tendancy and his FIP are going to catch up with him. He should still compile a decent year end line but you can extract maximum value from Lester if you trade him now.
Percival’s placement on this list isn’t based upon any component stat. His inclusion is due to how the Rays and manager Joe Maddon choose to use Percival. That includes even when he was healthy, as he has not, even once pitched over 1.0 IP in an appearance. During 2008 Troy has been lights out, allowing only 10 hits in 21 IP, with a 21 – 4 SO/BB ratio. The problem is that the Rays simply aren’t using him enough. Most high level closers are right around 30 IP. Over the course of a season this adds up. Percival is on pace for only 51 IP this season (conversely others are on pace for around 75 IP or + 50% IP) with his one and a half weeks of as of this writing (about 55 when taking into account his injury) and while his stat line is awesome it isn’t big enough to make a big difference to a fantasy staff with 1250+ IP. This lack of IP may be due to Percival’s layoff. Regardless you can trade his pretty 2.95 ERA & 0.66 WHIP with the knowledge that the IP will be too low come the end of the season.
J.D. is “hitting them we’re they ain’t.” His current line of .320/.425/.539 is going to disappear. Going back to the Hardball Times batting data check out the large jump in BABIP and the huge decline in infield flyball percentage vs career norms.
If his infield flyball percentage shoots back up to career levels of double digits + a decline in BABIP, Drew’s stats will drop drastically.