• The 100% Dirty Dozen (Part 1 - Hitters)

    Universally Loved… and Regretted

    Here we are, roughly two months into the 2010 season, and finally at the point where we can start to look at those underperformers with a slightly more critical eye. No more free passes due to slow starts or changes made in the offseason. So here we go, the bottom 6 for position players that are owned 100% in ESPN leagues and have played in at least 40 games, so all have eligible for the bulk of 2010 play. These are players who just haven't lived up to the hype but might include some who you need to sell or some who it might be advantageous to buy them now if you can wait for them to warm up.

    Jose Reyes SS - New York Mets
    .257 BA - 1 HR - 10 2B - 3 3B - 19 RBI - 29 R - 12 SB

    Reyes has already had more AB's than he did in 2009, so that is one small step for progress. A .652 OPS is not thrilling to see if you were hoping for a big bounce back season from Reyes, but he is starting to catch fire, raising his BA from .211 on May 21st to .254 on May 30th. He is on pace for only 40 steals, but if he continues to get on base at a clip more reminiscent of his old self, like he has recently, expect that total to steadily climb. I expect there will be some more rust to shake off, but if you drafted Reyes in the 7th or 8th round and can wait for him, he'll pay out. One thing to note is that he has been the anti-road warrior with a .461 OPS away from New York and an .859 OPS while there, so for important days when you need production, you might want to take him out of the lineup when he is out of the Big Apple.

    Verdict: Keep him and hope this recent hot streak represents good times ahead.

    B.J. Upton CF - Tampa Bay Rays
    .216 BA - 6 HR - 11 2B - 1 3B - 20 RBI - 31 R - 15 SB

    Upton continues to disappoint. Outside of his breakout 2007 season, his production has been hovering between mediocre or terrible. His power has shifted from 2007 into hitting more doubles. While he is currently on pace for the most homeruns hit since his breakout year, his average has continued its steady decline into this season. The Rays are running Upton when he is on though as somehow he managed 10 SB's in May with his .250 OBP%, so there is value there as he is on-pace for a career high in stolen bases.

    Verdict: Upton is a hard player to figure out, given his age and talent, but if you can find a trading partner to trade nasties with or someone who is a sucker for young talent, make the deal.

    Mark Reynolds 3B - Arizona Diamondbacks
    .225 BA - 12 HR - 10 2B - 0 3B - 39 RBI - 33 R - 3 SB

    Sometimes, it is what it is. If you drafted Reynolds expecting him to hit .300, steal 20+ bases (again), or not strikeout more than any other hitter… let me point you in the direction of the nearest mental health clinic. Despite his struggles, he does rank 1st in HR and 2nd in RBI so there is production there, it just might not be pretty. His thigh injury has impacted his swing and ability to run, so expect his numbers to go on the incline when 100% healthy. His production did take a noticeable hit when this injury occurred, as up until that point he was producing very similarly to what he did in 2009 (minus the SB's.)

    Verdict: Either sell sell sell or buy cheap, depending on your league format. Reynolds could be bought cheap from those who get shaky hands by looking at a BA that low. If you need run production and won't be penalized too much for the strikeouts, I am sure some owners could be swindled.

    Matt Holliday RF - St. Louis Cardinals
    .307 BA - 5 HR - 14 2B - 0 3B - 20 RBI - 26 R - 3 SB

    Holliday might seem to be an odd choice to include on this list as his production certainly hasn't been shockingly bad, but it has not been what many were hoping from a cleanup hitter selected this high. Batting average and OBP has been just fine, but his HR, R, and RBI production has fallen short. Currently he is on pace for only 16 HR, 65 RBI, and 88 Runs. The RBI production could be explained by the Cardinals 3rd hole hitter, RBI Cookie Monster aka Albert Pujols, but if he was drafted to be your run producer, he has failed. Hitting only 1 HR in May (but 9 2B) and only 9 RBI, he clearly is not finding his power stroke. Holliday has been a player to struggle more so in early months than later ones though. With Rasmus's 17 for 77 May, expect NL pitchers to elect to pitch to him over Holliday at least in the short term.

    Verdict: The RBI opportunities may just not be there while Pujols is there to gobble most of them up. If you need run production, you might want to consider flipping him for fair value.

    Justin Upton RF - Arizona Diamondbacks
    .249 BA - 7 HR - 9 2B - 2 3B - 25 RBI - 32 R - 8 SB

    Justin Upton's overall numbers are much more promising than his older brother's, but he was also drafted 2-3 rounds earlier so the expectations are much higher. He's 22, so the struggles will exist as he works out the growing pains, but luckily for fantasy owners, it appears that April was just a cold start. His OPS in May is in at .808 as both his BA and his SLG% took noticeable jumps from April. Virtually of his XBH power has come versus RHP, so you might want to platoon him with a lefty smasher.

    Verdict: Keep him and hope that he continues to put the pieces together (especially in keeper leagues.)

    Mark Teixeira 1B - New York Yankees
    .221 BA - 8 HR - 9 2B - 0 3B - 34 RBI - 31 R - 0 SB

    Tex is off to one of his fairly common slow starts but April was particularly more painful that it usually is (.559 OPS) and May wasn't quite as good as it usually is either (.846 OPS.) However, in true Teixeira fashion, he is heating up. 25 of his 34 RBI's came in May, as well as 6 of his 8 homers. It should be noted though that he has really struggled batting from the left side of the plate and is on pace to have his first sub-.900 OPS effort there since 2006.

    Verdict: As he has begun to warm up in May, it seems likely that he should start to give fantasy owners that HR-RBI-BB production that you really need from a 1st round/late 2nd round pick at a corner IF spot. Keep him.

    Part 2: Pitchers... Coming Soon
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The 100% Dirty Dozen (Part 1 - Hitters) started by missionhockey21 View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Kingdom's Avatar
      Kingdom -
      RBIs for Holliday today. Perhaps he will be the one powered by the forum jinx.
    1. missionhockey21's Avatar
      missionhockey21 -
      Ha, let's see who it will be.

      BTW, does anyone have any of these players? I have Teixeira in the B/S points league and as he was one of my keepers, I've been waiting it out with him as I did last season.
    1. realmofotalk's Avatar
      realmofotalk -
      Justin Upton homered yesterday. Mark Reynolds' turn is next.
    1. Kingdom's Avatar
      Kingdom -
      I don't have any of them in either league. In fact, I've only ever had Justin Upton from this list. I went to trade for BJ U in mission's league but he averages like .03 points a game, I had nothing lousy to offer. Heh.