This is definitely the guy that will be the hardest to “Buy Low.” In what is a down year for Bryce Harper , he still has 19 HR, a .257 ISO, and 116 wRC+. It is the batting average that has been frustrating owners, as he is now hitting a career worst .209 through 314 plate appearances. However, there are many positive indicators that his average will bounce back up to normal levels. For one, he is sporting an absurdly low .204 BABIP! Harper has a career .314 BABIP so we should expect to see some positive regression for both his BABIP and batting average. Additionally, his hard hit rate (41.2%) is way up compared to his 34.9% career mark, while his soft hit rate is down ~3%. His .345 wOBA is still great but he is underperforming in that department according to his .398 xwOBA (expected wOBA), a very significant difference of .053. The Nationals lineup is finally at full strength, and represents one of the most dangerous offenses in the MLB. This added protection should give Harper more pitches to hit. He may still hold an extremely high asking price, but if the Harper owner in your league is struggling and needs to move him for a couple pieces to compete for a playoff spot, this is the lowest his value has been.

Steamer ROS:.278/.402/.542, 19 HR, 55 R, 52 RBI, 6 SB

#6 ROS on Razzball Player Rater

Brian Dozier 

Chances are, the owner in your league that drafted Dozier knows the deal. First half Dozier starts out slow with a gross batting average, only to go on a power tear in the 2nd half. But if they don’t know the deal, or are just frustrated with his performance and are willing to part with him, Dozier represents one of the best “Buy Low” candidates. Especially for H2H leagues, the most important games of your season will be coming up and Dozier is known as one of the best 2nd half hitters. He is a career .241 hitter in the first half, compared to his career .259 2nd half average. More specifically, last year he hit .242 in the 1st half with 13 HR, 39 R, and 41 RBI, compared to .304 with 21 HR, 67 R, and 52 RBI in the second half. In 2016, he hit .246 in the 1st half with 14 home runs in 83 games. The second half he blew up, hitting .291 and 28 HR in 72 games. Further indication that a better 2nd half is to come for Dozier is that he currently sports a career worst .240 BABIP, over a 30 point drop from his career .273 mark. His K rate is down 2% (18%) from his last 2 seasons, and there isn’t much in his underlying metrics to suggest he won’t have a typical Brian Dozier 2nd half.

Steamer ROS: .247/.334/457, 16 HR, 53 R, 45 RBI, 7 SB

#47 ROS on Razzball Player Rater

Edwin Encarnacion 

Edwin Encarnacion also seems to heat up as the year goes on, and is one of baseball’s best 2nd half power hitters. He is a career .258 hitter in the first half, compared to a .271 2nd half average. Last year he helped many teams (including mine) win a championship, as he hit .252 with 20 home runs, 59 runs batted in, and 41 runs scored in the second half. He smashed a home run every 3.6 games in the second half, nearly giving your squad 2 home runs a matchup to close the year. Encarnacion is striking out more this year (25.4% compared to 19.9% last year), while walking less (down from 15.5% to 8.7%) and that rightfully concerns owners. His .327 wOBA is heavily underperforming his .376 xwOBA, so it suggests he should see his numbers increase over the 2nd half. Another encouraging metric is that his current .247 BABIP is significantly lower than his .271 career mark. Of course he’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts, but I think Encarnacion is an excellent buy low candidate for the 2nd half. The Indians lineup is one of the most potent in the league, and he should have plenty of opportunities to create runs.

Steamer ROS: .240/.344/.478, 19 HR, 47 R, 53 RBI, 1 SB

#82 ROS on Razzball Player Rater

Anthony Rendon

Rendon is someone I like as a buy low candidate not because of lack of performance, but for the fact that he missed significant time and his yearly statistics aren’t up there with the top dogs. For that reason, you may be able to get Rendon at a discount and reap the benefits of a big 2nd half out of him. As good as he has been in the games he played in, his metrics suggest his numbers could be even better. His .352 wOBA has underperformed his .411 xwOBA by .059, one of the largest differentials in the MLB. He has now recorded multi-hit games in 5 of his last 6, and his slow start to June has been all but forgotten. The Nationals lineup is finally at full strength will the activation of Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton, which gives a huge boost to all Nats hitters. Those two hitters mixed in with Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Rendon, and young phenom Juan Soto make the Nationals one of the deadliest offenses in the league. The added protection gives Rendon’s value a huge boost, which we will see translate over the next few weeks. So go get Rendon while his price is still relatively low.

Steamer ROS: .278/.369/.468, 11 HR, 44 R, 44 RBI, 3 SB

#42 ROS on Razzball Player Rater 

   
  1. Andre says:
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    Love these buy low articles…I have a trade on the table that I’d love some feedback on.

    Tommy Pham
    For
    Josh Donaldson, Max Muncy.

    I’d be getting Pham. 10tm H2H categories keeper league. We keep 5 players forever. I know Pham has been up and down but do you see his ROS being higher than Donaldson? It seems like two teams both potentially buying low. The rest of my team hitting is here:

    C. Contreras.
    1b. Abreu
    2b. Cabrera
    3b. Suarez
    SS. Turner
    OF. Trout/ Hoskins/ Yelich
    Utl. Muncy/Nimmo

    DL/ Acuna, DeJong, Donaldson.

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @Andre: Glad to hear. And I like that trade for you. Donaldson has been a headache to own this year, and it is still unclear when he’ll be back. I think Pham has more value ROS and should finish a top 40/50 player. I think he’s the better guy going forward to, as he should have a few 20/20 seasons left in him. Suarez has been awesome this year so I think you can definitely afford to do it. Plus, looking at your lineup I see guys that will be better keepers than Donaldson, but I could see you potentially keeping Pham. So basically I see it as a better short term, and long term move .

  2. Grateful says:
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    Loved this, thank you!

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @Grateful: Of course, glad you enjoyed!

  3. Sean says:
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    I hate to sell low on a guy like Rendon, but he’s sort of expendable for me at the moment. What are some pitchers (starters/closers) would you trade Rendon for?

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @Sean: That makes sense, it comes down to your team needs/wants. Plus he’s been great in the games he’s played so I think his value is still pretty high. I’d say start working a deal for a Nola/Paxton/Berrios and go from there. The Nola/Paxton owners might not see it as equal value but pitchers go once, maybe twice a week where Rendon will play 5 games a week. Try those guys out to get a feel for how the other owners value Rendon. Closer wise, you should be able to get a top 5 closer in a deal (again, depends on how much their owners value having a top closer). If the top ones don’t hit maybe try offering Rendon for an Iglesias level closer + a lesser bat. Every league values players/positions differently, but I hope I was able to offer a little insight.

      • Sean says:
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        @Yost: thanks for the insight, This league seems to over value pitching a bit, so now I don’t feel bad for asking for some of the guys I have already. They line up similar with the names you mentioned. Might just be better to wait til it’s a sellers market as the trade deadline nears. Any thoughts or trading him for CMart as he’s been struggling?

        • Yost

          Yost says:
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          @Sean: Any time. That sounds good then, see where it goes from there. I agree, definitely easier to trade for pitching as well for the most part. As far as CMart, he’s a definitely a guy you can get at a discount. I wouldn’t want to give up Rendon for him, but you know your team/needs better than me. He only walked 2 last game which is encouraging (6, 7, and 5 walks in last 3) but still looked bad. He has a tough matchup next start against the Indians, so it doesn’t seem to get easier for him in the near future. Hopefully he can bounce back

          • Sean says:
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            @Yost: currently been rotating rendon, Pham, s marte, and Machado (slumping hard right now) between 2 util spots and 3b and just got wil Myers back, so I don’t need 2 extra bench bats. Want pitching but also don’t want to trade a good bat for a pitcher who is more or less a streamer in my eyes. Will just do the wait and see unless someone actually offers something decent even if I have eat a little bit of value difference to help my team. Thanks again.

  4. uncle ernie says:
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    I’ve had an owner pushing Donaldson for a few weeks now with no bites. Would you throw something at him and see if he goes for it. If heathy he could finish strong again. Your thoughts Funny I own all three guys you wrote about plus Murph. I’m a patient man I guess

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I’d buy him if price was low enough

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @uncle ernie: Hopefully you got a big 2nd half coming your way then! But especially if the owner has been looking to shop him, I think you could get a nice buy low price for Donaldson. Have any idea what they’ve been asking for in return?

  5. uncle ernie says:
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    Ill get back to you in reference to return offers for The Don. How do you feel about Desmond? Buy low now. Thinking Markakis (slowing up stat wise) for Desmond. (Possible big 2 Nd half). Thanks

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @uncle ernie: I agree, only thing scaring people off is that average but he’s been heating up and has covered all of the other categories. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a real strong 2nd half out of him. I’d say those are both fair trades, though I’d probably rather part with Markakis than Mazara

  6. uncle ernie says:
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    Or maybe a my Mazara for his Desmond

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds fair

  7. John Stewart says:
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    I actually just traded my $20 Harper (goes to $30 in 3 years) + $5 Devers (goes to $8 in 2 years) for $3 Arenado (4 year deal, then $5 for 5 more years). How’d I do?

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      @John Stewart: I like Harper but LOVE Arenado especially for $3! Think it gives you a lot of flexibility while also locking up a top 3/5 bat, solid job

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