Nick Swisher is one of those guys we love in OPS leagues. Yes, I will be referring to myself in the plural form. It’s easier to win arguments that way, no? Swisher’s been a flop so far this year, but the great thing is, like most politicians, he’s a flip-flopper. To put it less confusingly, I fully expect him to rebound. To put it more confusingly, read this while trying to spell Jeff Samardzija’s name aloud. Swisher has been one of the most consistent guys in OPS leagues and is a sure bet to produce an .800 OPS in a given year. He’s been slowed a bit by injury, but I expect around a .260/.360/.470 going forward. He’s been dropped in some leagues and, if he’s owned, his owner is likely willing to sell him at a discount. Let’s just say that I (we?) don’t think this is the year he collapses. Did I mention that the Chicago Blackhawks are awesome? Now I did. Anyway, here are some guys who have my attention in OPS leagues:
Nate Schierholtz – When I mentioned him a couple months ago, I said, “He’s worth picking up and is available in most leagues. If you don’t see him, try spelling his name again. And again… just to make sure. There’s no reason why he can’t produce an .800+ OPS for the rest of 2013. He’s better in daily leagues where you can bench him against lefties, like the Cubs generally do.” He’s currently rocking a .296/.347/.558 line and is probably available in your league. While he may not continue with his stellar production, I still believe he will have at least an .800 OPS going forward. Just make sure to bench him against lefties.
Anthony Rendon – Mr. Rendon has me giddy. I’d take the way over on Steamer’s .698 OPS rest of season projection, where “way over” translates to 100 points or so.
Neil Walker – Wait, a middle infielder who has produced an .848 OPS over the past month is getting dropped? Maybe people just don’t want to own him. Is the Pirates stigma still alive and well?
Nick Franklin – Why don’t I trust you, Nick? He’s exceeded my expectations so far and has the right pedigree, but I still have doubts about his ability to maintain his performance for the rest of 2013.
Norichika Aoki – Dude has been terrible over the past month, but his wife just had a baby. This is one of those rare times where I believe that an outside factor is clearly contributing to his struggles. I would buy low if possible.
Carlos Beltran – Maybe I’m being unfair, but he’s a sell high candidate in my mind. Don’t get me wrong – he’s been great, but I expect his production to come down a bit (either by getting tired or injured in the second half).
Adam LaRoche – He’s not a guy that I intended to champion this season, but dude gets no love. Since his abysmal April, he’s had a .900 OPS. Why he isn’t owned in 100% of leagues I’ll never understand, but you can probably get him at a discount.
Prince Fielder – He apparently skipped that every other year production pattern last season and is paying for it now.
Josh Donaldson – About a month ago, I optimistically projected an .810 OPS for the rest of the season for this third baseman. Since then he’s had an .805 OPS. Checkmate.
Tom Jacks is sporadically on Twitter @votetomjacks