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Fantasy Baseball 2018: Struggling Hitters That Make You Want To Pull Your Hair Out
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Struggling Studs–What Actions to Take?

Struggling Studs–What Actions to Take?

Picking an early round hitter in Fantasy Baseball is tough challenge at times, it won’t usually win you the league, but it surely can cause you to lose the league if you get little production from that premium draft pick. Follow me on Twitter @bieryplox33 if you have any questions surrounding our great fantasy baseball game!

There’s an old adage surrounding the importance of one’s Fantasy Baseball picks: it states that the first round is the most important, and the 2nd is the second most important, and the importance of each pick relative to the other picks is like a slinky. The most important pick is first, like how the slinky has the most distance from ring 1 to ring 2, and so on and so forth until the rings are bunched up. Once I get to round 10 or so, I start taking more ‘shots’.

Personally, I try to avoid ‘risky’ profiles, FWIW, until round 10.  It’s not a perfect system, but I try to be risk averse (I avoided Rhys Hoskins due to the puny sample size), as messing up the early picks can be extremely detrimental to one’s chances of winning. When you have a player under-deliver that you selected early in the draft, that truly can wreck your season, even if you had success late.

These 4 guys listed below have been exactly that; early round flops thus far. I will be advising what the correct move is to do with each of them.

Joey Votto:

This guy is a walking legend, but is nearing his 35th birthday, and can’t realistically improve upon his near NL MVP campaign he had in 2017 where he posted an absurd .320/.454./.578 slash line to go along with nearly a career high in bombs (36 homers.)  The perpetual on base machine is continuing to produce the walks and a plus average, but the power has escaped the introspective Canuck. His slugging percentage is down to a puny (for his standards) .442, that numbers typically represents his OBP, not his slugging percentage.

Votto isn’t putting the ball on the ground more, having any less hard contact than normal, or hitting into any infield fly balls. He’s hitting the crap out of the ball, and the results aren’t the same. Votto is that guy you pick early on to ensure his production, as he’s as consistent as Death, Taxes and San Antonio Spurs’ success. Buy him either at a slight discount, or at face value, especially in this bad batting average landscape.

Jonathan Schoop:

Impossible to tell, but Schoop’s abysmal K and BB rates are very descriptive of his nightmarish 2018 season. The reluctant walker is posting an atrocious slash line of .229/.246/.347. Frankly put, he is unplayable currently. Schoop isn’t hitting the ball hard at all, he’s currently at a career low of 22%, while his soft contact rate is at a career worst rate of 26%. The O’s lineup is a total dumpster fire, 2nd worst in runs scored to only the lowly Marlins. Sell off while you can, and avoid at all costs!


Rafael Devers:

Dynasty darling Devers hasn’t delivered in 2018, struggling with a meek 79 wRC+ and an increased K rate. He hasn’t been seeing much of a change in his pitch mix. I’d expect Devers to pick up and rake in a loaded Red Sox order. Projection systems have Devers finishing out ’18 with about 23-25 homers and a .265 batting average. That seems a bit conservative, but it shows he seems to at least have a nice floor. Combined with his high ceiling, I’d go snatch this guy. Buy now!


Josh Donaldson:

2015 wasn’t that long ago, and somewhat similar results could come from The Artist Formerly Known as Hoskuld from the History channel’s Vikings. If he’s healthy. That’s the biggest issue the 32 year old faces, as he’s currently battling a calf injury, in addition to Father Time. This season, in a very short sample, his underlying numbers remain Donaldson-esque other than his reduced contact rate. That’s not shocking since he’s been playing hurt. Granted he is at a slightly advanced age, I’d bet on Donaldson improving his health, as his performance of late is elite. Since his MVP 2015 season his wRC+’s (league average is 100) have been very healthy: 154, 155, 149 (2015-2017), so the discussion of his demise is greatly exaggerated. The Blue Jays offense has been shockingly productive even without JD, 11th in the bigs. Considering his supreme track record, and solid supporting cast, I’d go see if you could pry Donaldson away for a 6th or 7th round caliber talent.

Go and reach out to these guys’ owners, there’s a strong possibility that they could be had a for discount great enough to make it worth your while. Let me know if you have any questions via twitter @bieryplox33 !

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