Hitters I’m buying low on

Adam Lind, 1B

I’ve been burned by Adam Lind as many times as you have. Yet, I keep dipping into the well time after time. His exceptional 2009 campaign remains burned in my memory, though I can’t imagine him ever repeating that level of performance again.

Nevertheless, he can still be a competent fantasy first baseman, even if a bit underwhelming.

The .232 average is ugly, but that figure is also why he is so attainable, at only 46.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues. Things aren’t actually that grisly, however. His plate discipline characteristics indicate a 14.8 K percentage, not a 19.2 percent rate as is currently. In addition, his BABIP should recover to the .285-.290 range— a 30-point improvement. All told, he should be able to pace about 25 homers from here on out and should hit in the .265-.275 range the rest of the way.

The fact he’s still allowed to bat fifth is laughable, but that’s the Blue Jays’ problem, not yours.

No one ever accused a buy low player of being a stud, and Lind certainly isn’t one. What he is, however, is a useful corner infielder in 12-team leagues who should be slightly below league average. It shouldn’t cost much to get him—I would consider a No. 4 or No. 5 starting pitcher a fair offer. And if a guy like this can fill a hole, it can add a few points of value.

Projection, rest of the season (pro-rated to 155 GP): 75.5 R, 24.7 HR, 84.2 RBI, 1 SB, .272 AVG

FantasyPlayerRater.com Value: -0.735 points below average (12-team leagues)
Current pro-rated value (155 GP): 5.458 points below average

Alex Presley, OF

He’s fought through an ugly campaign thus far, batting just .231 with six home runs and a .633 OPS. As a result, his ownership has plummeted to under one percent in ESPN leagues.

Things should be trending up soon, and owners in need of outfield help should think about adding him. I see a batting average recovery of approximately 40-50 points the rest of the way, brought on by a reduction in K-rate of 6 percent and BABIP increase of about 50 points.

Further aiding the comeback is that, somehow, Alex Presley is still batting leadoff. I can’t overstate how valuable this lineup position is for a hitter like Presley, whose skills align him to either first or eighth/ninth.

Pick him up if he’s on the waiver wire or target him as a toss-in to complete a deal if he’s already owned.

Projection, rest of season (Pro-Rated to 155 GP): 94.8 R, 14.0 HR, 58.3 RBI, 22.9 SB, .2835 AVG

FantasyPlayerRater.com Value: 0.946 points above average (12-team leagues)
Current pro-rated value (155 GP): 4.416 points below average

[Note: This article was submitted prior to Starling Marte's recall, meaning Presley's chances to bounce back are hampered even further. Timing is everything.]

Adam Dunn

It’s hard to qualify the major league home run leader as a buy-low candidate, but to see exactly why I categorized Dunn as a buy-low, check out his value with a .210 average at the end of the blurb. He loses almost two points in value. Even with the homers, there are plenty of owners scared off by his .210 average and you can be there to capitalize.

An improvement in his ghastly O-Contact percentage should pull his strikeouts into the 29-30 percent range as opposed to 35, where he currently stands. Combined with an uptick in his .250 BABIP, you’re looking at a batter hitting .235-.245.

I think the rest of his line stays about where it is, though a slight drop in power is expected. I see vintage Adam Dunn the rest of the way.

Projection, rest of season (pro-rated to 155 GP): 93.2 R, 40.7 HR, 108.3 RBI, 1 SB, .2387 AVG
FantasyPlayerRater.com Value: 2.514 points above average

***Adam Dunn’s stats with .210 average: 89.7 R, 40.7 HR, 102.6 RBI, 1 SB, .210 AVG
***FantasyPlayerRater.com Value, with .210 average: 0.795 points above average

Pedro Alvarez, 3B

Alvarez is suffering in many of the same ways Adam Dunn is suffering: a strikeout rate way out of line with his contact rates and a BABIP that should be far higher.

Sure, Alvarez is no wizard in concerns to contact, but he isn’t this bad. While he did strike out at over a 30 percent clip last season, he has improved in every meaningful indicator that determines strikeout rates: his O-Contact is up, his Z-Contact is up, and he’s swinging more. My regression equations suggest a batter more in line with a 25 percent strikeout rate.

In addition, he should be capable of improving his BABIP up into the .305-.310 range. This, combined with an improvement in his strikeout rate should haul his batting average up into the high .270s, an increase of almost 50 points.

With fewer strikeouts (more balls in play) comes more home runs. With more home runs and average come more runs and RBI. The only thing holding him back is the batting order, where he’s hitting sixth.

For those in need of third base help, Alvarez is a great target. Being owned in just 84 percent of leagues means he’s readily attainable, though he will cost you a decent player. I’d say that a number three or good number four starting pitcher should be a good opening offer, and don’t be afraid to give up more.

Projection rest of season (pro-rated to 155 GP): 78.9 R, 31.5 HR, 78.2 RBI, 1 SB, .2772 AVG

FantasyPlayerRater.com Value: 1.552 points above average (12-team leagues)
Current pro-rated value: 1.553 points above average

J.D. Martinez, OF

Early in the year, a lot of owners pegged J.D. Martinez as a breakout candidate after flashing decent power and average in 2011. Four months later and those claims seem amiss—but there is hope for Martinez yet.

I expect his O-Swing and Z-Swing rates to climb a bit back into the upper 20s and upper 60s, respectively, and a stabilization of his contact rates. With an improvement in his BABIP to about the .320 range, you’re talking about a hitter who can eclipse the .270 mark.

Don’t give up much for Martinez, but with a 16 percent ownership rate, you shouldn’t have to. He can fill a fifth outfielder or utility role for you.

Projection, rest of season (pro-rated to 155 GP): 71.3 R, 19.4 HR, 75.8 RBI, 1 SB, .2761 AVG

FantasyPlayerRater.com Value: -1.259 points below average
Current pro-rated value (155 GP): 3.592 points below average

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Comments

  1. Ben said...

    Well, I’ll give you credit.  This is a slightly less useless article than the Pitchers to Sell High On comedy you wrote last week.  (Cueto giving up 1 run in his last 15 IP at home, btw)  Lind is a decent pick-up.  However, if you’re in a league where he hasn’t been picked up, your league is asleep.

    Alvarez isn’t going to do anything except destroy your batting average.  Presley is a bench player.  Martinez is hurt and seems to have many holes in his swing.

    Dunn as a buy low?  What’s he going to improve upon?  If you trade for him you’re going to have to pay equal value and he’s going to perform at that value.  It’s not like you’re going to toss Alex Presley at someone and they’re going to give you Dunn.  At a minimum you’re trading away average for him, so you had better be coming from a position of power on that one.

  2. Mike Silver said...

    @AJ

    My error on that one. The article was written and submitted before the Marte call-up last night. Very bad timing.

  3. Mike Silver said...

    @Ben

    Ben, please read these articles more carefully before you comment.

    I won’t go into every individual player, but Lind is recommended as a trade target, not a waiver pickup. Alvarez is going to improve his Ks and BABIP. Dunn is going to improve his average by about 30 points.

    They are all buy lows by definition: their current acqusition cost is far lower than their actual value due to poor performance. 

    Also, going back to the Cueto recommendation from last week—though its easy to single out a prediction with hindsight, the fact is, Cueto is not a good bet to continue his production. His strikeouts will be dropping as he simply doesn’t have the peripherals to keep them up. There’s no getting around that. Anyone can stumble into 15 good innings. That doesn’t make him any more likely to continue it.

  4. Snarf said...

    Ben’s point is valid.

    Any owner that has Dunn is not going to care that his BA is .211 right now.  If they are competing this far into the season with him hitting .211 they are going try and make up the average elsewhere and keep his power abilities.

  5. Mike Silver said...

    @Snarf

    I think its a stretch to say that every owner would react this way.

    Any owner of a player with a .210 batting average has the category in the back of his mind as a way to improve.

  6. AJ Leight said...

    Alex Presley? Are you kidding me? You buy low on Alex Presley the day after Starling Marte is called up? Hmmmmm..

  7. AJ Leight said...

    @Mike

    I just think the timing was going to be bad no matter what. I mean I live in Pittsburgh and the general consensus here is that Presley is nothing more than a 4th outfielder. Whether it be Marte getting called, Victorino coming to town (or even Soriano or Willingham if we’re stretching it a bit) or what have you, I think Presley’s time as a starter had an expiration date even before the Marte call-up became official.

    As far as Alvarez, since June 16th he has more home runs than anyone in baseball. His recent hot streak makes it even harder for anyone to “buy low” on him. Had you written this in the beginning of June, that’d be a great call, but at this point I think you’re getting what you pay for with him. Like Dunn, he’ll kill your average. The fewer strikeout, more home run theory you dream of just doesn’t seem realistic. He’s doing what he’s always done. And if there’s one thing he REALLY needs to learn to do, it’s to learn to hit at night. Take a look at Day/Night splits if you don’t believe me….

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