Yikes, let’s get the rest of this Hail Mary Team out so you can go trade for the guys. The first parts have unleashed a Midas touch on some of these guys and may have taken them out of contention for a discount. Mark Reynolds and Hanley Ramirez both had multi-home run games after being mentioned (not implying causation… merely a coincidence) and Reynolds actually hit three over the weekend.
One of the outfielders I had slated for the team has also gone off as Nelson Cruz blasted home runs on Friday and Sunday. His Friday performance also included six RBIs. Perhaps his team manager will focus less on that mini-hot streak and more on the .245 batting average and sub-.300 on-base percentage and not charge you the full price for his services.
Let’s see what else the outfield offers the Hail Mary Team.
Cruz (TEX) – He is on pace for 38 home runs now so he isn’t exactly tanking his manager’s team, nor was he before his recent little outburst, but the 95 RBI pace and aforementioned weak batting average & on-base percentage totals might allow you to squeeze him out in a trade for less than full value. As I have mentioned in earlier parts of this series, with guys like this it isn’t necessarily that I think you can get them dirt cheap rather you can trade your prime asset for him AND someone else which results in a net gain for your team. So please don’t see Cruz or Martin Prado included on these lists and think that I value them the same as Adam Dunn and Dan Uggla.
Carl Crawford (BOS) – He was just getting going when he hit the disabled list. I cannot imagine how frustrating that must be for him after signing the massive contract and joining the Red Sox this offseason. He went on the DL on June 17th, the previous month he was hitting .298 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. The speed was still noticeably absent (just 2 SBs in that hot stretch), but the four category production made it easier to forget the lack of speed.
There is almost always at least some type of discount when trading for guys on the DL so strike as soon as possible with Crawford. When he was hitting like trash in April and May, no one was selling low on him because he was still playing daily and everyone believed he would come out of it (and he was starting to), but when a guy is no longer putting up daily numbers (even if they are below expectations) prices tend to drop.
Jayson Werth (WAS) – Many people believed that Washington would regret the seven year deal to Werth at some point, no one thought that point would be year 1. The fact that they have been poking around .500 despite their $100-million-dollar-man carrying a .709 OPS is quite impressive. In the last three years when he emerged as a big time player that allowed him to get such a contract, he was always good throughout the year essentially putting up balanced halves. In other words, he doesn’t wear down so hopefully the Nats start to see some dividends returned on that hefty contract with a big second half out of Werth.
He is on pace for his third 20 HR-20 SB season in his last four (27 HR, but only 13 SB last year) so he hasn’t been a complete shlub despite what the batting average might tell you. A complete reversal in groundball-flyball distribution and a 10% rise of infield flyballs have been the culprits in his .223 average & .265 BABIP. Add in that he has hit .155 with just 6 RBIs in the last month and there is no way a fantasy manager can realistically ask for anything near full price halfway through the season. At least not with a straight face.
Jason Heyward (ATL) – Skip this one in keeper leagues, he could be hitting .051 and I don’t think a keeper league manager would bail on him. He gets a small pass for some time missed, but a .228 batting average and just 20 RBIs & 30 runs scored in the 62 games he has played has to be leaving his managers wanting more. His scant track record isn’t enough to blindly believe he will have a big second half, perhaps it is simply a sophomore slump for the 21 year old, but if you can get a talent like him at a significant discount, it is worth taking a shot on especially in what is an otherwise lost season for your ballclub.
Corey Hart (MIL) – Hart can catch fire and stay hot for a while as he has posted halves of 21 and 15 home runs within the last three years. The big reason he has been kind of “blah” so far this year is that his groundball-flyball profiles have flipped much like Werth’s. He is a career 41% flyball hitter down at 35% this year meanwhile he’s a career 40% groundball hitter who was at 38% last year, but has rocketed up to 47% this year. If he can get that figured out, he can have a huge second half with a mid-teens home run total if not something pushing 20.
Alex Rios (CWS) – He was quite overrated coming into this year when consider that his 2010 season was essentially a blistering hot May and five mediocre months during which he topped .760 OPS just once (April) and slid from month-over-month from that .760 “perch” in June down to .645 by September after the hot May. Essentially to buy in on Rios is to bet that one of his summer months will match or at least approach his eight home run, 1.106 OPS May from last year. Of course the way he is going this year, he would kill for a .700-something OPS month as his high for 2011 is .685 in June.
Magglio Ordonez (DET) – He finally looks healthy again after the nasty ankle injury last July and what that means is a .300+ batting average with plenty of runs driven in. He won’t be a huge power source, but at 37 you aren’t expecting him to at this point. I have been really impressed watching him the last few days and I feel confident that he is ready to contribute to the middle of that strong Detroit lineup. He should be on the waiver wire of more than a few leagues and I would consider rostering him and getting in now before he is mid-hot streak.