Hitters I Can’t Pick Up – Week 3

As I continue to write these articles and learn more about how they are best utilized, it behooves me to pass that information along to you, the reader. I would be amiss without stressing the fact that this article is best used for the fantasy player happy with their current situation and trying to see who on the waiver wire is worth owning or deciding which player has more long-term upside. Most of the hitters and pitchers I highlight in this space will continue to be hot for the short term and would likely be a good option for you if your team has been devastated by injury and you have room to pick someone up.

This article attempts to be your crystal ball into the future, looking at the stats and identifying which players are playing at an unsustainable rate that will eventually flame out over the course of the year, like the following hitters:

Avisail Garcia (OF, CWS) – 60.5% (ESPN) / 66% (Yahoo) / 65% (CBS)

As Garcia continues to mash the ball and rise in ownership percentage, I’ve seen the question be asked more and more: “Is Avisail legit?”

Quite frankly, no. Garcia’s average stands at 0.423 right now and, as you may predict, his BABIP is at a ludicrous 0.514 right now. As his Rotowire blurb aptly states, if you look up “unsustainable” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Avisail Garcia. Okay maybe not actually, but if you DO look up the league leaders in BABIP this year on Fangraphs, you’ll see Garcia at #1. We’ve also seen this before, as Avisail has gone on hot streaks in the past and always cooled off shortly after. If you own Garcia, I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, because it’s going to end eventually.

Hitter I’d Rather Own: Dexter Fowler (OF, STL) – 71.8% (ESPN) / 71% (Yahoo) / 87% (CBS)

Zack Cozart (SS, CIN) – 44.8% (ESPN) / 38% (Yahoo) / 52% (CBS)

Like I mentioned on Monday’s article, the Reds are the team I root for in the MLB so you’d best believe that I’m familiar with Zack Cozart. He’s a dependable shortstop and has had streaks of extended productivity, but has never emerged as anything more than that. So no, I’m not buying Cozart’s start to the season where he’s hit for a 0.478 wOBA and a 205 wRC+, spurring him to become the most added shortstop of the week. But if you look at the league leaders in BABIP this season (notice a pattern yet?), Cozart comes in at #4 with a BABIP of 0.485, which reveals the source of his production. That rate just can’t keep up, and it’s why I can’t buy Cozart for this season. Consider also that the Reds are in a rebuilding year (despite their current record indicating otherwise) with young prospects Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera behind the 31-year old Cozart in playing time. This makes Cozart a prime candidate to be traded away from the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park.

Hitter I’d Rather Own: Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, NYM) – 52.3% (ESPN) / 48% (Yahoo) / 82% (CBS)

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Chase Headley (3B, NYY) – 48.4% (ESPN) / 58% (Yahoo) / 54% (CBS)

Continuing the current trend of this article, Chase Headley rounds out the top 5 of the league leaders in BABIP at #5 with a mark of 0.457. That’s reason enough for you to not go after Headley, but I’ll add a few more points for emphasis. His HR/FB rate is at a ridiculous 27.3%, which is currently higher than even his career year with the Padres in 2012 where he hit 31 bombs. He’s also walking exactly as many times as he’s striking out, which has been impressive, but seeing as how his career BB/K ratio stands at 0.45, I find it dubious that he can continue at his current rate of 1.00 for the rest of the season. He might look appealing on your waiver wire, but do yourself a favor and don’t chase Headley (no I did not choose him based off this pun, why do you ask?).

Hitter I’d Rather Own: Travis Shaw (3B, MIL) – 40.0% (ESPN) / 50% (Yahoo) / 69% (CBS)

You can catch me on Twitter facing off against Calamity Ganon and freaking out about Amir Garrett here.

All stats courtesy of fangraphs.com and all images courtesy of mlb.com.

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