Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)
When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players immediately. These are players that will likely regress to means or not perform as well as they have been (i.e., sell high candidates). In addition, they include guys I don’t think will perform well at all during the rest of the season. These are players you are best cutting your losses with.
Josh Hamilton – Over the last month, Hamilton is the #1 hitter in 5×5 h2h Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. Can he continue to dominant the competition? Yes. Am I confident in that answer? No. Hamilton has eclipsed 90 games played once in his career, when he played 156 games in 2008. In 2008 he managed just 30 HRs – he is on pace for about that at the moment. People seem to think he is repeating his 2008 campaign, however his RBI total that year (130) was unbelievable. He isn’t on pace to come near that number this year. Furthermore, he is carrying a lot of value with his .339 AVG. unfortunately, he has been helped out a lot by a .386 BAbip (his career BAbip is .335). So there is some regression coming. He has also been crazy lucky (.485 BAbip) over the last 28 days. I’m not saying that he’ll become useless, but his value will never be higher. There are a lot of reasons to trade Hamilton right now.
Brannan Boesch – It looks like people are beginning to believe in Boesch. When they zig, you should zag. You should also zag on Boesch because of his .382 BAbip his minor league numbers (.273 AVG, .319 OBP, .434 SLG). I simply can’t believe he’ll sustain his production from this year. It’s possible that at age 25, Boesch put it all together, but I’ll take the balance of his career versus one year. I’d be selling, especially in keeper leagues.
Andy Pettitte – I’ve been trying to trade Pettitte all year, so maybe he doesn’t have that much value, but you should at least explore the market. The 38-year-old (yes 38) has been remarkable (2.48 ERA, and 1.12 WHIP). However, he has given up the least amount of hits per nine innings (7.5) of his career – a mark that is two hits below his career average. Not surprisingly, he’s been helped by a pretty favorable BAbip (.268). Pettitte is also old. Pitchers break down. I don’t think you can count on Pettitte throughout the year, especially not to continue at these levels.
Javy Vazquez – People seem to think that Vazquez has neared his 2009 form. After his disastrous start his ERA is still not nice (5.01), but his WHIP has fallen to 1.29. Furthermore, his June ERA is 2.25. But all is not right with Vazquez. On the year, he has a .255 BAbip. You’d think with that kind of luck, he’d have decent ratios. What’s worse? During his hot streak, his BAbip has been even luckier (.184 over the last 14 days and .195 over the last 28 days). Basically, Vazquez has been real lucky lately. Expect that to end badly at some point. I’d be moving him now.
Don Draper sales time (moderately/slyly begin to move)
The Don Draper sales time requires that you be a less obvious trade partner. I advocate proposing a range of players that are available. Make sure to include those players who you think your trade partner might slightly overvalue. If he is interested, emphasize the positive stats of your Don Draper candidate. However, don’t seem eager. The best reaction to a trade proposal is a slow one. Take your time; be fair and vague, like how Don Draper picks up women.
Corey Hart — Hart has more HRs than he hit last year, and only six less than he hit in his most productive season (2007). His average and OBP are right in line with his career numbers, but his power numbers have spiked considerably. For his career, 11% of his fly balls have left the field of play in fair territory. In 2010, 21% of fly balls have become home runs. So, there is something funky there. It’s possible he maintains his current (lucky) pace, which is why I’m not telling you to aggressively shop him. However, if you get close to market value, I’d move him.
Adrian Beltre – Adrian Beltre, 2004 aside, has never, really, been a good hitter. His career average is .273, his career OBP is .327. Yet, somehow, this year he is hitting .340 with a .376 OBP. He has only hit above .300 once. So how is he doing it this year? Luck in the form of a .379 2010 BAbip (compared to .294 for his career). Playing in Fenway park should help his BAbip, so it’s not a total mirage, but Beltre is not going to hit .340 all year. He looks like he’ll approach 20 HRs, but expect some slumps the rest of the year with a final average around .300. I’d be moving him now before people figure out what is happening.
Ubaldo Jimenez – I was huge on Jimenez coming into this year (and even more so once the season stared), but even I can’t believe he’ll continue his Bob Gibson impression. It is real remarkable what he is doing: allowing just 5.87 hits per nine innings! However, his walk and K rates are just about what they were last season. So, basically he is benefitting from a stroke of luck BAbip (.245). I think he is very similar to the pitcher we saw last year (3.47 ERA, 1.23 WHIP). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if someone thinks he has suddenly become God, then deal him for a king’s ransom. Otherwise, be happy that you drafted smartly and have a real reliable guy who will strike out about eight hitters per nine.
Trevor Cahill – Cahill has been very impressive of late (posting a 1.96 and 3.51 ERA in May and June respectively). However, he, too, has been a bit lucky. He has a .242 BAbip for the season. What’s worse is that he doesn’t really strike anyone out (just 5.6 batters pr nine). Until he catches up to this minor league numbers (9.9 K/9, 2.67 BB:K ratio), he’ll be a fringe starter at best. I’d be moving him while his ratios still look normal; they won’t look this good for some time.
The Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)
I don’t love Edward Norton because he’s an Orioles fan (although that doesn’t hurt). I love him because he is an awesome actor. The players in his group can’t be moved for fair market value and shouldn’t be dropped in any competitive league. They’ll likely rebound to near draft value so don’t sell low. Instead, if you see any of these guys available, you should be buying at a discount.
James Shields – Shields has been horrible of late. In fact, his ERA has risen from 3.00 on May 15 to 4.50 currently. In addition, his WHIP is the highest of his career (excluding his 2006 rookie campaign). However, his HR/9 and BB/9 are relatively similar to his career marks and his K/9 rate is up one entire strike out. For some reason he is giving up over one more hit a game than he normally does. That reason? You know it as bad BAbip. His season BAbip is .332, and it has been a monstrous .375 over the last 28 days. Now is the time to acquire Shields, not trade him.
Matt Garza – Garza was everything I thought he’d be and more until his start on May 26. Since that start, his ERA has risen from 2.97 to 4.16. Much like James Shields, Garza has a ridiculous BAbip over the last 28 days (.444). Don’t expect his horribleness to continue. However, do not expect him to snap back to the dominating sub-.300 ERA pitcher he was early on. His season BAbip is a perfectly normal .299. Think of Garza as a similar pitcher to what he was last year.
Adam Lind – Lind keeps on digging deeper and deeper holes. Already microscopic, his average has dropped from .224 to .210 in June. However, he has been unlucky, posting a .253 BAbip on the year and a .226 BAbip over the last 28 days. I don’t expect him to hit .305 from here on out (like he did last season), but, at some point, his ability will shine and he’ll start hitting .280 again with legitimate pop. In most leagues, he should certainly be riding the pine for you. But selling as low as you’d have to, to get rid of him now is not something I’d advise. I think he’ll have a pretty mammoth second half.
Elvis Andrus – Andrus was caught stealing six times last year in 39 attempts. He has already been caught nine times in 2010 in just 29 attempts. However, his average and OBP are steady improvements over last year. This, recent, prolonged slump is really just a few hits not falling. He has a .176 BAbip over the last 14 days and a .276 BAbip over the last 28. For his career, he has a .318 BAbip. While he might not be the next Jose Reyes just yet, I still have a lot of faith and would happily add him to any squad I owned.
Stats as of 12:00 PM ET June 23.