We’ve come to the time of year when the poseurs are generally separated from the guys who are just settling in to have a great season. So far we’ve had overperformers and underperformers, and a whole host of them either way. Some people call them the bulls and the bears. Are you all in on Dallas Keuchel yet, or do you want to see about selling high on him before the bottom possibly falls out? What about old man Tim Hudson? He just keeps delivering time in and time out. Does he continue to anchor your pitching staff or do you try and deal him now, when you can arguably get a number one pitcher in return for him?
This is a new weekly article about those overperformers, or at least who I see as being candidates to deal now before it’s too late to get top value for them. I’ll discuss three pitchers and three hitters each week who I feel fit the bill. Recently I accepted a trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes and Zack Greinke my way for Matt Holliday and Sonny Gray. Gray had been on a roll before the trade, and Greinke had hit a bit of a rough patch. That was my in, and I took advantage of it. In the three scoring periods since the trade Gray has scored a grand total of 36 points, while Greinke has accumulated 54, and Holliday has had 44 points, while Cespedes has racked up 55.
Time will tell if the trade was worth it in the end, but in the short term it has paid dividends for my squad. But it’s all about Selling High.
THREE PITCHERS TO SELL HIGH ON:
- Tim Hudson (SF) – Father Time has been pretty good to Hudson this year, but realistically how long can he keep it up and avoid the fatigue that sets in as the season goes along? I think Hudson is at his absolute zenith right now, and could fetch you a solid top-notch pitcher and batter at this point. If he starts to fade over the next few weeks like I think he will, you’ll be lucky to get anyone willing to take him off your hands. Yes, he has performed like a number one guy all year to this point, but now is the time to cut him loose and reap the benefits of what you can get for him in return. For example: Cole Hamels and Rajai Davis.
- Phil Hughes (MIN) – While he hasn’t been nearly as good as Hudson so far, he has however also been a consistent starter, and most fantasy teams have been able to use him as a quality second starter. Some have even relied on him as their number one starter, which might be a problem going forward. Hughes will return to the mean, which means giving up more home runs per outing that he has been so far. It’s inevitable. If you sell high on him now, you can still get a quality number two pitcher who can get you to the postseason, or a low-end number one pitcher who can solidify your team. For example: James Shields; Kyle Lohse.
- John Lackey (BOS) – As bad as Lackey has been the past two seasons, do you think he’s honestly turned it around enough to not give you heart palpitations anytime he has a bad start? And he’s due for a few bad starts in the near future. He’s been getting the run support so far, but that’s bound to change as we reach the halfway part in the season. He’s had four straight weeks in double digits in fantasy points, so he is the epitome of selling high. Can you take the risk and get rid of him at the apex of his powers? I would, because you could get someone truly elite for him right now, or even two high-end players. For example: Scott Kazmir; David Price; Garrett Richards and Matt Holiday.
THREE HITTERS WHO ALSO FIT THE BILL:
- Charlie Blackmon (COL) – Blackmon has been a pleasant surprise for owners who picked him up off the waiver wire early on or who had the nerve to draft him in the first place, but his first slump of the year made people take notice. I took notice, and I saw that pitchers have begun to adjust to his “tells.” That’s not a good sign, and even though he broke out of the slump with a couple of good outings, all that does is serve to make him more appealing to suitors. Sell him now, and get good value for him before it’s too late, like a low-end consistent number one hitter. For example: Melky Cabrera; Hunter Pence.
- Ian Kinsler (DET) – Kinsler has instant name recognition. Being traded straight-up for Prince Fielder will do that to someone, but Kinsler was already a special hitter even before that. But he’s been startlingly inconsistent this season so far. While he’s been over double-digits in fantasy points in all but one week this season, he has been below 20 points in all but six of those contests. That’s good for you if you are a Kinsler owner because it gives you leverage to trade him for high value. For example: Paul Goldschmidt; Yasiel Puig.
- Adam Jones (BAL) – He’s just starting to heat up, with monster points the past two scoring periods, but this may be as hot as he gets this year. Just like Kinsler he has name recognition, though, and you should trade him now when he has some momentum going, because he too has been inconsistent so far. The other positive with Jones is his power, so take advantage of that when suggesting a trade. You can still get an upper level hitter for him. For example: Dee Gordon; Anthony Rizzo.
The Fantasy Ace