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Now that the All Star break is over, the next mark on the calendar is the trade deadline. Whether it be MLB’s trade deadline or your fantasy baseball trade deadline, it is getting close. Be sure to keep an eye out for some good values to trade for, or trade away before it gets too late.
Buying high and selling low are two things you want to avoid, even if you are in dire need. Be sure to check this week’s posts as well.
Each week, XN Sports will have a Buys and Sells column, describing a few players to go after, or to get rid of. We all know to buy low and sell high, but what players should we trade, or who should we go after?
This week’s edition of Buys and Sells:
Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies
You may be thinking, how can I buy low? Rollins has been the best player in fantasy baseball in the last 15 days, and has contributed in every category (except for average) in the last month or so. Rollins is hitting .243 with 52 runs scored, 13 home runs, 45 runs batted in, and 19 stolen bases. In every category except for batting average, Rollins ranks in the top six (top five in runs scored, home runs, and stolen bases) among shortstops. That is not a bad season so far.
So how can we buy low?
That .243 batting average will throw a lot of people off, and those who have Rollins will likely not appreciate his value. His stat line does not look overly impressive, and he is not dominating in any one category. When a fantasy baseball player looks at him, they see .243 with only 45 runs batted in. But it’s obvious, Rollins has been one of the better fantasy shortstops this year. See what you can offer for him, someone may just bite.
Buying low indicates that you believe a player will perform better in the future, but in this case you would just need Rollins to perform at the level he is currently playing at. Can he do that?
Rollins has a .255 BABIP, which ranks among the lowest in his career. He is also popping up a lot less this year, at about three percent lower than his career rate. If he can continue to hit ground balls, his BABIP will rise, and he will definitely keep stealing bases and scoring runs. In addition, in the unlikely event that he is traded, his value will rise even more, as he would be dealt to a team with a better lineup than the Phillies.
One positive influence that Ryne Sandberg has had on Rollins has been to improve his plate discipline. Rollins has been notorious for swinging at bad pitches, and staying away from walks. But, this year he has improved, which is a reason why his power numbers are up. So far, Rollins has an O-Swing % (percentage of swings on balls outside of the strike zone) of 23.7, which is among the lowest in his career, and the second lowest since his MVP season. This has led to him seeing better pitches, which has ultimately led to 13 home runs (he only hit six last year) and 47 walks. He is on pace to walk more this year than any other year in his career, which only leads to more fantasy production.
Despite Rollins hitting just .243 and a BABIP of .255, he is one of the top shortstops in fantasy baseball. The fact that you can buy him low is a travesty, but be sure to do so, as he will help your team down the stretch towards the playoffs.
Imagine what he does should he be traded to the Oakland A’s, or another team with a plethora of talent in the lineup.
Statistics from ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com, and Fangraphs.com
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