Justin Upton – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
2012 Stats – 10 games – .212/0/0, 1 SB, SLG % .273., BABIP – .304
Upton went as high as the first round, or usually no later than the third round in most fantasy drafts for fantasy baseball 2012. So far, he isn’t even a top 40 outfielder as he has yet to club a HR or drive in an RBI. It is a rather shocking stat for the 3-hole hitter on one of the best teams in baseball, so the real question is to trade Upton or hold on to him? Well, his BABIP (Batting average on balls in play) is right where you would expect it to be, so he isn’t suffering from bad luck, the answer actually lies in a sore finger that he has been experiencing since the beginning of the season. Once that heals, his slugging percentage and batting average should rise as he will be able to drive the ball with more authority. My advice on Upton is to hold and wait out this cold stretch.
Jose Bautista – 3B/OF – Toronto Blue Jays
2012 Stats – 9 games – .206/1/2, SLG % .324, BABIP .214, FB% 37.9 from 47.0 last year
Uh oh Bautista owners are starting to panic, many fantasy owners drafted Bautista as one of the top 3 third basemen in 2012. Hopefully you ended up with Cabrera or Longoria, but if you do have Bautista things aren’t looking too good. His BABIP is extremely low, at .214, meaning he has run into some bad luck as the balls just aren’t dropping. You would expect with a power hitter like Bautista that his flyball rate must be up if the balls aren’t falling, but the true is opposite as Bautista has actually lowered his flyball rate from 47% in 2011 to 37.9% this year. My advice on Bautista? If someone offers you a first or second round talent for him, trade him while he still has that much trade value. He will probably still hit 25-30 HR’s this year, but his peripherals suggest 2012 will be a down year for the Blue Jays outfielder.
Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2012 Stats – 10 games – .268/0/4, SLG % .268, BABIP .314
Our projections for Pujols in 2012 had him as the #5 first baseman in 2012, and so far that prediction is looking fairly accurate. Facing much stronger pitching in the American League and pitcher’s ballparks throughout the American League west means Pujols HR numbers will decrease drastically this season. As you can see, his .268 batting average isn’t atrocious, but his .314 BABIP suggests that the ball is falling when he makes contact. Pujols will still hit 25 HR’s this season and drive in close to 100 RBI’s, so don’t worry fantasy owners, hold on to Pujols and the power numbers will start to appear.
Troy Tulowitzki - SS – Colorado Rockies
2012 Stats – 10 games – .263/1/6, SLG % .447, BABIP .281
Troy Tulowitzki was our #1 fantasy SS entering the season and so far he hasn’t been producing at the high level fantasy owners expect. He was a first round draft pick in most formats, and his owners are expecting a 35 HR/110 RBI campaign. In the early going the Rockies lineup has been extremely hot and cold as evidenced by the Giants recent trip to Coors Field. Barry Zito pitched a complete game shutout, and in the next game the Rockies exploded for 18 runs. Watching his at-bats in the early going Tulo was looked hesitant at the plate, and it could take him a little while to get everything going. My advice here is to hold on to Tulo no matter which offers you receive because he should still end up as the #1 SS this season, even with the kind of year Starlin Castro is already having.
Tim Lincecum – SP – San Francisco Giants
2012 Stats – 3 Games – 0 Wins 2 Losses, 13.2 IP, K/9 – 10.54, BABIP .426, BB/9 – 2.63 down from 3.57(2011) and 3.22(2010)
Everyone is freaking out over “The Freak” after his first 3 starts of the year. When you take a look at his numbers in the early going, they can be a little misleading. Lets remember his first 2 starts were against the Diamondbacks and Rockies, in two of the best hitters ballparks in the NL, and then in his third start he gave up 4 runs in the first inning to the Phillies before calming down and giving up just one run the rest of the game. His K/9 stands at 10.54, so he is still getting plenty of swings and misses, and that BABIP of .426 is just crazy, the balls won’t continue falling in at that rate, and his ERA will decrease along with his BABIP rate as the year continues. Perhaps the most telling stats is his BB/9 which is currently at a career low. What that tells me is that Lincecum is pitching to contact more this year and leaving the ball in the zone. I think he is an excellent buy low candidate, and if you are not currently a Lincecum owner, you may be able to pick him up now for dirt cheap. Test the waters and see if his owner is willing to trade him now while his stock is at an all time low, if you are a Lincecum owner, hold on to him as this is a marathon, not a sprint, and Timmay will get it turned around soon.
Ike Davis – 1B – New York Mets
2012 Stats – 10 games – .139/2/5, BABIP .130, SLG % .306, BB% 7.7
Well the good news for Ike Davis owners is they didn’t have to waste a high draft pick on the Mets first baseman. He is hitting just .139 after 10 games, and most leagues he is stashed on owners benches as they wait for him to turn it around. He has hit for a little power in the early going, and should offer decent slugging stats throughout the 2012, but he seems to have lost his eye at the plate. A miniscule walk percentage of 7.7 shows a lack of discipline at the plate, and my advice on Ike is to trade him if possible. In your format he may not carry too much value, but if you can get a decent starting pitcher, or middle round draft pick this would be the time to do it. First base is a deep enough position that Davis’ numbers can always be replaced with a Paul Goldschmidt type.
Dan Uggla – 2B – Atlanta Braves
2012 Stats – 10 games – .211/0/4, BABIP .286, SLG % .263, K% 23.8 on pace with career average of 23.4
For everyone who thought that 2011 was an aberration for Dan Uggla, we present 2011 v 2.0. Uggla has looked just as bad in the early going here in 2012, except his power has been non-existent with 0 HR’s and just 4 RBI’s. Expect him to do pretty much the same thing this year as he did last year, with no 30 game hit streak. That means a batting average that flirst with .200 all season, and about 25 HR’s. Trade him now if you can, and maybe package him with another player to see if you can land a guy like Ian Kinsler who will hit for a higher average with power and speed. Uggla is a one-trick pony that will only get you HR’s and RBI’s, and you don’t want to be frustrated all year with his 0-4 and 3 K lines.
Alex Gordon – OF – Kansas City Royals
2012 Stats – 10 games – .128/1/3, BABIP .167, SLG % .231, K% 31.8
Gordon elevated himself to a top tier outfielder after his 2011 season, and so far in 2012 he hasn’t rewarded fantasy owners for their faith in him. Hitting atop the vaunted Royals offense, Gordon is having ahard time getting on base, but his numbers suggest he is just getting supremely unlucky as his BABIP is just .167. That number should be almost double at rougly .300-.320, meaning Gordon’s numbers will go up across the board in the weeks to come. He is another excellent buy low candidate as some owners might regard him as a flash in the pan. See if you can pick up Gordon now while his stock is low, and if you currently have him on your roster hold on to him as his bad luck is sure to turn around shortly.
Neil Walker – 2B – Pittsburgh Pirates
2012 Stats – 10 games – .188/0/3, 0 SB, BABIP .222, SLG % .188
Neil Walker is currently one of the worst cleanup hitters in baseball, with the exception of Andrew McCutchen, pretty much the entire Pirates’ offense is struggling and Walker is at the forefront of the problem. His BABIP is a little low at .222, but his power is nowhere to be found as his slugging percentage is at just .188 with no HR’s and 3 RBI’s. If you can trade him, now would be the time. There are plenty of better options at second base, including players like Dustin Ackley, and Walker doesn’t figure to turn things around any time soon. He will see plenty of opportunities for RBI’s hitting out of the cleanup spot, but his fantasy value ends there as he won’t hit more than 20 HR’s this season.
Giancarlo Stanton – OF – Miami Marlins
2012 Stats – 9 games – .229/0/4, 0 SB, BABIP .296, SLG % .314, OBP .250, BB % 2.8
Stanton is one of the more notable fantasy busts through the first 10 games of 2012. His draft stock continued to rise throughout the preseason and in most leagues he went in either the second or third round. Something is very wrong in Miami as the majority of their “stars” like Ramirez, Stanton, and Bell have struggled early on, and some pundits attribute this to Ozzie Guillen. Whatever the reason is, Stanton’s BABIP stands at .296, so it isn’t bad luck that is bringing his average down, and it looks like he refuses to think about walking with a BB% of 2.8. It stands to reason with a power hitter like him that pitchers are being careful when throwing to him, so he is probably swinging at a lot of bad pitches. I recommend trading him for a top player at a thin position like SS or 3B, if possible. Put his name on the trading block and see how much value you can get for Stanton as the season is young, and he should still end up hitting around 28 HR’s this year, but his average will remain down, and the SB’s won’t go over 5.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Team Advice.
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