Who could have predicted that Justin Morneau would have a career revival after moving to Coors Field? Nearly everybody. Yes, he’s clearly benefitting from his favorable home park, but he’s also hitting well on the road. He appears to be swinging at nearly everything and, fortunately, is hitting it so far. However, this approach isn’t sustainable, even in Coors. I think he’s a great sell-high candidate if you can find somebody who believes that he’s going to maintain anywhere near this level of performance due to his new home ballpark. Even with some regression, I think the park and aggressive approach will allow him to have a noticeable improvement from his past couple seasons, with a .280/.350/.480 line going forward. This is roughly his career slash line, so it’s a reasonable expectation for him. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind and what it means for OPS and OBP leagues:
Lucas Duda should probably be owned in more leagues. Yes, I intentionally qualified that because he feels like a poor man’s Nick Swisher (what Swisher used to be, not this year’s version), which is about as unexciting as it gets. I don’t think he’ll produce much better than his current .254/.338/.460 line, but an .800 OPS off the waiver wire is valuable. He’s even better in daily leagues, where you can bench him against lefties (career .632 OPS against lefties and .817 OPS against righties). Speaking of solid platoon guys who might be available on waivers…
Everything I said about Duda applies to David Murphy, but that slash line is closer to Murphy’s ceiling, whereas Duda has a bit of upside in OBP and slugging. Ok, I’ll get back to a less boring name. How about one of my favorites?
It’s been well-documented that I l love Josh Donaldson. His 2014 OBP is lower than I anticipated but his slugging is significantly higher. I’m still confident in my .290/.370/.490 projection for him this year (how’s that for consistency?) and he’s looking like the rare third basemen without glaring issues. Ryan Zimmerman has fallen off a cliff (I’m assuming that’s how he was injured) and David Wright may not be too far behind. Adrian Beltre appears to have recovered from his injury, but he’s not getting any younger, at least not to my knowledge. And Miguel Cabrera, well that’s a topic for another time…
Carlos Santana has been awful this year, but I’m not concerned at this point. I still expect him to post a high OBP (~.360) going forward with an OPS around .800, so he could be a nice buy-low option.
Carlos Ruiz has quietly had a solid start to the year. His upside this season could resemble Santana, so he could be a nice waiver wire guy if he’s available.
Martin Prado isn’t this bad. Sure, he’s been striking out more and walking less, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. I think he could be a nice buy-low option if you need infield help and he should approach his .282/.333/.417 line from 2013 for the rest of 2014.