Fantasy baseball success can be categories into a variety of things including your draft skills, how good you are on the waiver wire and the trades you make. One thing that is overlooked when it comes to adding and dropping players is the ability to choose the right guys to drop. As a fantasy player, we can all look back to a certain time when we dropped a guy that ended up having a monster year. So, instead of just focusing on the hot waiver pickups, let’s look at the most dropped guys around the league at this point and see if they’re either worth holding onto or worth picking up once they’re dropped.
Delmon Young (OF, DET) – He wasn’t hitting all too well this year to begin with and now he’s suspended after an arrest off the field. The suspension seemed to be the icing on the cake for his owners as he’s being dropped all over the place. Once on the field, he should be able to return to his old self for what that’s worth. ZiPS has him pegged for a .280 AVG and 15 HR over the rest of the season which is about what owners were expecting out of him anyway. I’d hold onto him in deep leagues.
Hector Santiago (RP, CHW) – He had a 7.36 ERA in April and managed to remain the closer despite having Matt Thornton and Addison Reed behind him. Owners are starting to cut bait on him but he is still the official closer in Chicago so he’s worth holding onto in roto leagues until he officially loses that job. Do keep in mind that 7 innings is an incredibly small sample size and he’s had poor luck with BABIP and homers thus far so he will certainly regress to the mean a bit. Don’t give up on him because of a bit of poor luck over 7 innings.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, ARI) – This one hurts me so bad. As many of you know, I hyped up Goldschmidt in the preseason. He was the wrong sleeper to gawk about thus far as he’s struggled mightily and now has his playing time in jeopardy. His power will certainly return sooner or later but it’s a matter of whether the D-Backs have patience to wait for it (and you too). If he’s being dropped, I’d pick him in up in deeper leagues for sure. Shallow leagues, you might not have the luxury. Hopefully you had an insurance plan for him because as I said in the preseason, “we’ve seen our fair share of young stars struggle to adjust in their first years and Goldschmidt could be no different. He represents a risk. If you draft him, create your own insurance plan behind him (the Diamondbacks did it for themselves already).”
Could Be Time
Ryan Roberts (2B, ARI) – First and foremost, Roberts has shown a tendency to be quite streaky in his career. But the month of April was more about bad luck for Roberts than anything as he’s had a .176 BABIP which helped create his .152 AVG. Roberts also has a HR/FB rate that’s much lower than last year but last year may have been the anomaly as far as his power. Roberts will eventually get some good lucky again and could get you 10 HR and 10 SB over the rest of the season with a .260-ish AVG. It’s nothing to write home about but you shouldn’t have been expecting much more out of him. In a deep league where you need a decent 2B and he’s eligible, he’s still worth owning.
Geovany Soto (C, CHC) – Being patient through a stretch of bad luck is very tough but this is another case of it here. Soto had a .146 BABIP in April which led to a tiny AVG and his HR/FB rate is far below career norms which resulted in hardly any HR’s. His contact rate and everything else seem normal so he should be able to snap out of this. But, don’t expect a return to hitting .280 with 20 HR’s. Soto’s true self is more along the lines of a .240 hitter with 10-15 HR’s. He’ll return there but you can likely find someone else who can deliver similar numbers until Soto’s bat heats up again.
Let Them Free
Jair Jurrjens (SP, ATL) – It was a fast fall for Jurrjens who had a 2.96 ERA last year and is now demoted to AAA. The Braves have a lot of pitching though so the leash is short there. Regardless, once he returns, I wouldn’t expect the sub-3.00 ERA Jurrjens we saw in 2011 and 2009 as both of those years were boosted by a very low BABIP. He’s likely to have average strikeout totals with an ERA slightly above 4.00 if and when he returns. It’s safe to cut bait on him for the time being.
Peter Bourjos (OF, ANA) – With Mike Trout getting playing time now, Bourjos is getting less of it. He had a very unlucky month of April offensively and the Angels have a crowded outfield now (side note: remember that movie Angels In The Outfield? I don’t, except for that part where the angel lifts the outfielder off the ground to make a ridiculous catch which, I must say, would have infuriated me as a fan of either team). With Trout on board, Bourjos’ defense won’t be enough to hold his position in the outfield. For the time being, he’s not worth owning in most leagues.
Rick Porcello (SP, DET) – I’ve never been a fan of a starter who only strikes out 4 or 5 batters per nine innings. So, I can’t rightfully recommend that you hold onto Porcello or pick him up. Despite a bad game or two, he is still the same pitcher he was before with a 4.00-ish ERA, 1.35-ish WHIP and low strikeout and walk totals. If that’s what you wanted on your team all along then you shouldn’t cut bait on him now. I just question the move to even own him in the first place.
Keep in mind that shallower leagues have shorter leashes for these players than deeper leagues so you might want to cut bait on a guy earlier knowing that he won’t be picked up by anybody else for the time being.