Terra’s Take: 5 Players to Add/Drop for the Week of 7/14
Any fantasy baseball manager knows how important free agent additions can be in the grinding marathon that is the baseball season. Whether it is needing to fill a hole left by an injury or a proven talent just isn’t what he used to be, there’s no shame in seeking help from the players who weren’t “good enough” to make it on someone else’s team. Here are the top five players you should pick up and ride while they’re hot.
– Kolten Wong, 2B StL: Wong recently returned to the Cardinals lineup and has had a pretty surprising impact. He has homered in four of his six games back after hitting only one in his first 233 career plate appearances. He’s batting towards the top of the order, and would be a good replacement for owners who are looking to replace Brandon Phillips. He’s only owned in 27% of ESPN leagues and 22% of Yahoo.
– Lorenzo Cain, OF KC: Cain has been a solid part of the Royals lineup and he looks to continue his hot hitting. He has a .318 AVG and a .348 OBP which isn’t outstanding, but he’s been hitting better since being moved into the leadoff position. He has some speed, stealing 12 bases with a couple of triples. The Royals are a little banged up in the outfield so Cain isn’t at risk of losing playing time to Jarrod Dyson, Norichika Aoki or Alex Gordon. Cain is currently owned in 53% of ESPN leagues and 24% of Yahoo ones.
– Stephen Vogt, C/OF Oak:
Vogt has been a nice surprise for the best team in the majors. In 100 AB this season, Vogt has an average of .376 and an OBP of .407. What makes Vogt even more valuable is his position eligibility. He started as an outfielder but received catcher eligibility and is close to receiving first base also. A’s manager Bob Melvin looks like he is trying to get him as many at bats as possible so expect him to bounce around, which will only increase his value further. He’s currently owned in 25% of ESPN leagues and 26% of Yahoo.
– Jose Quintana, SP CWS: Often overshadowed by All-Star teammate Chris Sale, Quintana has had quite a nice season for the White Sox. His 5-7 record isn’t great but the White Sox haven’t done a great job providing him with run support. What is good is that in his last five starts, Quintana has only given 6 ER in 35.2 IP with 38 K. When the young lefty is hot, he is as good as Sale and right now Quintana is scorching. Quintana is owned in 53% of ESPN leagues and 52% of Yahoo leagues.
– Mike Leake, SP Cin: Leake has been a reliable pitcher in the Reds rotation all year. Despite being 7-7 with a 3.42 ERA, Leake has gone deep into games as he ranks 9th in the NL in IP. Seven of the past ten games have been quality starts, with three of the last four starts going into the 8th inning. Teams looking for a reliable starter and innings eater should consider picking Leake up. Leake is owned in 53% of ESPN leagues and 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Sometimes, what is more important to a team isn’t picking up the right person so much as cutting the dead weight. Here are five guys whose outlooks are growing dimmer by the day and you should consider parting with.
– Billy Butler, 1B KC: Butler looked like he was going to turn it around a month ago, but it hasn’t quite panned out. He is still hitting well below his career numbers; the power isn’t there and he isn’t taking as many walks as he did in the past. Even after hitting .333 over his past seven games, his season average still stands at .269 and he’s only had one extra base hit over his past ten games. Fantasy owners have been patient with him, but it looks like they are reaching the end of their rope. Butler’s ownership has dropped to 41% in ESPN leagues and 60% in Yahoo.
– Brandon Crawford, SS SF:
Crawford is actually having a fairly good season compared to past years. What is discouraging is that he was poised to have a bigger year and got off to a hot start. He’s poised to set a new season record in HR, OBP and SLG. He has been ice cold though with only 7 hits in his last 48 at bats, and all those were singles. Crawford’s ownership has dropped to 15% in ESPN leagues and 14% in Yahoo.
– Bartolo Colon, SP NYM: When the Mets signed Colon last year, they probably knew that they wouldn’t get a repeat of the 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 3 shutouts. They were hoping to get something similar to what they actually got. Colon is 8-8 with an ERA of 3.99. Colon has been his usual work horse, ranking 8th in the NL in innings pitched and his strikeouts are up over last year, but not good enough to warrant hanging onto him. It has become clear to fantasy owners that he isn’t the same and they’ve acted accordingly. Colon’s ownership has dropped to 36% in ESPN and 40% in Yahoo leagues.
– Tanner Roark, SP Was: Roark was having a nice string of starts for most of the first half, but has come across a rough patch over his last few starts. After getting beaten up twice in his last two starts against the Cubs, Roark has only had one quality start in his past five. He has a WHIP of 1.51 in those last five starts and has only struck out 18 in 29.2 innings. He’s not striking people out, he isn’t going deep into games and he is getting hit harder than normal. That could be the reason why his ownership has dropped to 39% in ESPN leagues and 54% in Yahoo.
– Dallas Keuchel, SP Hou: The All-Star hopeful has fallen on some rough times over his past couple of starts. He is 2-2 in his past four starts with a WHIP of 1.62 and an ERA of 5.03. Keuchel has been the best pitcher for the Astros but it appears as though he is returning to his career averages. He’s approaching a new career high in innings pitched so one has to wonder if he will suffer from an increased workload. Keuchel’s ownership has dropped to 38% in ESPN leagues and 64% in Yahoo.