Everything comes back to your league’s settings. If steals have a decent amount of weight and you can’t punt them, then you might have to deploy a guy like Dee Gordon. In theory, it’s nice to have a team filled with guys who have power and speed, but those guys are rarely undervalued. You don’t need me to tell you that Gordon won’t continue producing a .373/.421/.510 line. If you can sell high, then by all means do so. Although the reality is that he may have been a waiver wire guy and it’s tough to get anything of value from them in a trade this early in the season. He’ll still get steals when he gets on base, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his OBP drop 100 points and his slugging drop 200 points going forward. That can still be useful, depending on how deep your league is and how heavily steals are weighted. Anyway, here are some other guys who I expect to produce different results than they have so far this year and what it means in OBP and OPS leagues:
I probably write about Billy Hamilton too much, but was asked to talk about him last week in the comments, so I couldn’t pass up another chance. I believe his first game, where he struck out in all four at bats, was blown out of proportion since it was against Adam Wainwright. The next few games he faced Michael Wacha twice, David Price, and Alex Cobb, which would be tough for any hitter. It seems like many people are already dismissing him, pointing to his Triple-A numbers as confirmation of his inability to hit. Last year, the Reds moved him to a new position, while converting him into a switch-hitter. Those two things could cause any hitter to struggle. Also, the fact that he’s now a switch-hitter may have contributed to his slow start. Regardless, I still believe what I wrote a few months ago, including that a .295 OBP is reasonable for him. He won’t help your OBP or OPS, but he will consolidate the blow to those stats by providing the same number of steals as two or three of your SAGNOFs, allowing you to roster higher OPS guys elsewhere. End of rant.
Yangervis Solarte has an impressive .373/.448/.569 line, which clearly looks unsustainable, but I think it’s too early to say whether he will collapse immediately. His minor league numbers don’t suggest that he’s an 800+ OPS guy, but he’s walking at a solid rate and not striking out, so he could continue to hit above his head for at least a few more weeks. He’s likely a guy that you just hold onto as long as he continues hitting.
Norichika Aoki is being dropped in some leagues due to a recent cold stretch, despite maintaining a .265/.333/.408 line on the year. He’s a very consistent player and is a safe bet to post a .350 OBP with the potential to improve upon his current slugging. He doesn’t have a lot of upside, but he also doesn’t have a lot of downside, which is increasingly valuable the deeper your league. Speaking of consistent players who are worth buying low right now…
Nick Swisher essentially has the same underlying statistics as last season, although he’s hit a couple more infield pop ups instead of line drives. This would be a cause for concern if it occurred over a much larger period or if he didn’t have such a consistent history. His .246/.341/.423 line from last year is likely his baseline going forward.