Originally written June 09, 2012 on Fantasy Baseball 365:
Mariners-saunders-leaps
Michael Saunders – Saunders has always had a lot of raw skills, but he had yet to put it all together at the upper levels. At age 25, he might be starting to turn the corner. All of the numbers show improvements in the important categories of plate discipline and balls in play (i.e. line drives). However, Saunders still has a bit too much swing-and-miss in his swing, which should hinder his AVG. The power/speed combo is tantalizing, but in the end, he should fall short of being a big-time impact fantasy outfielder, so sell high on his hot streak. Alex Rios – It has been a nice bounce-back year so far for Rios, who’s fantasy production fell off the face of the earth last year. All of his peripheral numbers are solid in terms of contact rate, line drive rate and BABIP. However, the days of him stealing 30-plus bases seem well behind him and he isn’t likely to hit for enough power with such a high groundball rate to crack 20 home runs. This leaves a lot of his value to AVG, runs and RBI. It has been four years since Rios hit over .290, so it might be a good time to sell high on his current .297 AVG given that he plate discipline skills are still well below average. In the end, Rios should be a solid fantasy asset in most 12-team leagues as a third or fourth OF, but nothing more.
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