h2h Corner ~ The Buddy Garrity/Don Draper/Ed Norton Sales Convention

Who isn’t versed in financial lingo nowadays? It has become clear that everyone needs to know how to manage their finances in tough economic times. You certainly can’t leave it up to the experts. So in light of that, I (not an expert) am going to help you with players you should be selling, moderately positioning to sell and those you should be keeping the faith on

Aside: was/is Jenna Elfman attractive? She was in Ed TV, Cant Hardly Wait (an awesomely underrated movie).

Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)

Emilio Bonifacio – 2b/3b – Florida Marlins – Bonifacio has impressively scored 12 runs, stolen four bases while hitting .386 with a .400 OBP. That’s great, but I’d be aggressively shopping him right now. His career average for a 162 game season looks like: .267/.317 with 43 runs and 26 SBs. After his torrid five-game start, Bonifacio has gone just 3 for his last 20. The steals and runs could be there, but don’t expect any help in the batting average, OBP categories or the power numbers. Position eligibility notwithstanding, I’d rather have Nyjer Morgan or Dexter Fowler. And you know what, smarter people than I agree.

Vernon Wells – OF, Toronto Blue Jays – the Blue Jays have the best offense in baseball through 11 games. A lot of that has to do with Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and to a lesser extent the health of Vernon Wells. Let me throw a number at you: 108, the number of games Wells played last year. The year before that, in 149 games, he hit .245 with 16 HRs and 80 RBIs. The most stolen bases he has had in a year is 17 – that was three years ago. He has recorded double digit steals only twice. His line so far this year has been great, but take what you can get for this guy now.

Kosuke Fukudome – OF – Chicago Cubs – Fukudome is a career .338 hitter, with a .449 OBP in March/April and, in May, he posts similar career numbers of .293/.388. Six of his 13 home runs have come in these three months. There are two possibilities – Fukudome is a first-half player who breaks down as Major League innings weigh on him, or in his first Major League season, his body wasn’t prepared for the daily grind. That said, I don’t want to be on the hook to find out. I’d get what I could, especially in OBP leagues.

Michael Young – SS/3b – Texas Rangers – From 2006 – 2008, Young hit .314, .315 and .285 with 14, 9 and 12 HRs. He drove in 103 in 2006 but that number fell to 82 last year. He did manage his highest run total (102) in four years last season and looks like he could duplicate that in an impressive lineup. I don’t think he will continue his .405 OBP pace (his 10-season, 162-game average is only .347). I also think asking for more than three HRs per month is Puff the Magic Dragon territory. I’d be selling this guy fast. He doesn’t get you anything besides a decent average and a good shot at runs. Use his hot start to grab a 3-category producer.

Heath Bell/Jonathan Broxton – Closers – San Diego Padres/Los Angles Dodgers – I’m not saying these closers are overrated at the moment or prime to come back to earth, just that saves are cyclical. They come and go, Bell could have seven in April, then two in May and this would be no reflection on his ability to pitch. So, if you have people that think these save trends can continue, trade for someone like Jose Valverde and another player. The final season save numbers will be comparable.

Joe Saunders – SP – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – It is hard for me to believe in a guy who has racked up just 234 strikeouts in 406 major league innings. His career 3.95 ERA and 1.32 WHIP are serviceable, but, with starters, you need Ks from outing to outing. He is off to a great start in the ratios this year but has continued the poor K rate. I’d be pricing him to move.

Don Draper sales time (moderately/slyly begin to move)

Nick Swisher – 1b/OF – New York Yankees – I was one of the first people touting Swisher for this season, believing the Yankee’s outfield/DH would sort itself out and get the best player in there. Swish was incredibly unlucky last year (like Paul Konerko) and will tally at least 25 HRs. That said, he is scorching hot at the moment. He can hit .270 with a .370 OBP, but he won’t maintain this .371/.463 pace. In addition, Swisher has hit the most homeruns of his career in March/April (24), compared to 12 in May. It might be time to plant the seeds that you would be open to offers in late April/early May.

Adam Jones – OF – Baltimore Orioles – If you are a student of the game, Jones’ start should remind you of another player’s beginning to 2008:

Yin: .410/.489, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 12 runs,
Yang: .327/.473, 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, 14 runs.

Yin is my beloved boy (he just doesn’t know it yet) Adam Jones. Yang is Justin Upton who finished 2008 with a line of .250/.353, 15 HRs, 42 RBIs and 52 runs. It is the rare young player who can sustain greatness early in his career. In non-keeper leagues, I’m positioning Jones for a trade.

Joey Votto – 1b – Cincinnati Reds – This is not to say I don’t love Joey Votto, I have him in my 20-teamer and appreciate what I’m getting. He is playing his way into the second tier of first basemen with his early line of .400/.462, two HRs, 10 RBIs and 5 runs. Still, those ratios are not sustainable. He could settle in and be a nice .310 hitter with 25 – 30 HRs and a .375 OBP. That’s a could, though, not a will. If you can get a surefire first baseman in a deal involving Votto, I’d pull the trigger.

Chris Volstad – SP – Florida Marlins – Volstad has the height to impose the terror of his last name. He also has the stats, albeit in only 96 innings. He has a career ERA of 2.71, with 63 strikeouts (11 Ks in 12 innings this year). That said, I’d be subtly shopping him. I don’t think he can sustain this K rate, nor do I think he is likely to have another 12 inning span where he only gives up two earned runs. Plus, he is a young pitcher, they tend to be unpredictable both performance- and health-wise. I’d capitalize while the getting’s good.

Non-American History X/Rounders Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)

Robinson Cano – 2b – New York Yankees – If this is the way Cano is going to start the year (.405/.468 with 3 HRs, 8 RBIs and 10 runs), then the AL East is in trouble. If Cano is hitting this well this early, he could be in for a huge year. He is a career .260 hitter in April/March and a career .271 hitter in May, so reap these rewards. As the summer comes, his batting average and production will continue at this torrid pace. He could be a top five second basemen (even though it is turning into a deep position) this year.

Jack Cust – OF – Oakland Athletics – Cust has always been a darling of OBP leagues, with a career OBP of .386, however his batting average killed his value in non-OBP leagues. This year, he has started off with a .333 batting average, while hitting two HRs and will likely tally 30+ this year. Supposedly the A’s worked on cutting down his swing to limit his strike-outs and improve his average. It is early (only 33 at bats), but I’d be willing to wait him out. He is off to a decent start against lefties (.273/.500) as well.

Andruw Jones – OF – Texas Rangers – One simply cannot discount how awesome it must be to hit in Texas, apparently God Blessed Texas for hitters. So far, Jones is doing and saying all the right things when it comes to playing time. The Rangers have a clouded OF/DH situation, but when Jones gets at bats, he produces: .545/.688, 1 HR, 4 RBIs and 8 runs. He is a career .260 hitter, so you shouldn’t expect much positive value from the ratio categories. However he could provide some decent pop, good runs and RBIs. I’d hold pat and hope he gets more at bats before you think about dealing him.

Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners – Hernandez hasn’t been off to a hot start so far, posting a 4.26 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Still he has managed to strikeout 20 batters in only 19 innings, a great ratio. His ERA/WHIP will come down and the strikeouts will always be there. There is no reason to worry about him, but if you are, trade him to me.

Jose Valverde/Joel Hanrahan – Closers – Houston Astros/Washington Nationals – I know Hanrahan has blown his first two save opportunities and Valverde hasn’t even had a chance, but stand pat or see if their owners are willing to sell low. As I’ve said, saves are cyclical – they will come back to these closers, who, by the way, have awesome K-rates. I actually think Valverde is prime for a big year. He is typically a very slow starter (4.37/1.46 and 5.00/1.40 ERA/WHIP in March/April and May) but, so far, hasn’t killed anyone’s ERA/WHIP. I’m not dealing these guys in a sell low situation.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. […] Fukudome — I detailed Fukudome’s hot start already. I want to reiterate that I think this is a mirage. I wouldn’t be buying him. Ride his hot strike […]

    Reply

  2. […] second rule of closers is always buy low and sell high. A save is a save; rarely will a reliever completely destroy your ERA/WHIP for a given week. So if […]

    Reply

  3. […] second rule of closers is always buy low and sell high. A save is a save; rarely will a reliever completely destroy your ERA/WHIP for a given week. So, if […]

    Reply

  4. […] Swisher – Current ADP 243 – As I wrote last year, I thought “Swish was incredibly unlucky [in 2008] and will tally at least 25 HRs.” The career […]

    Reply

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