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“Bruno’s Gold” Underperforming Players to Target

What’s up everyone? Ben Bruno here and I’m new to the Major League Fantasy Sports’ team. I’ll be writing about underperforming or undervalued players that are worth trying to acquire, among other things for this site. I also currently write for a Washington Nationals blog and a Washington Capitals blog, both part of the Ball Hogs Radio Network, an affiliate of Monumental Sports. If you can’t tell from the other sites I write for, I’m a Washington, DC native and fan of all of their sports teams, for better or worse (usually worse). Enough about me, let’s get into some fantasy baseball advice.

I’ve got two players off to terribly slow starts that I recommend trying to acquire, as well as two “stash” guys, who won’t help you immediately, but could prove to be beneficial down the road. If you like a player who is underperforming, be aggressive and try to trade for him, instead of waiting for him to get hot, thus increasing his trade value. You never know what deal another owner would be willing to do unless you proactively find out for yourself. Here are my suggestions.

Jason Heyward: Heyward is really struggling right now and is sporting a line of .205/.304/.315. While Heyward owners may not be willing to sell low considering his talent, it’s possible that they are also panicking with him on their roster, especially if their team is off to a slow start. He’s the table-setter for the Braves and if he gets on base, he’ll have plenty of chances to score, hitting ahead of Upton (Justin, not B.J.) and Freddie Freeman. Pitchers will have to choose who they want to attack out of those three, and right now it’s Heyward, meaning he’ll see some good pitches to hit. He’s also got some pop in his bat, with the potential for 60+ extra base hits. His line drive percentage is a little low right now, but his fly ball percentage is currently way above his career rate, and while you’d like to see him hitting less fly balls, they should also translate to more home runs (he has just 3 right now).

Carlos Santana: Santana is struggling even worse than Heyward is right now, hitting just .154/.324/.301. The reason his OBP is as high as it is for someone hitting under .160 is because of his wCarlos Santanaalks. Santana has been prolific at drawing walks his whole career, never finishing with less than 91 in a full season. Even if his bat is struggling, like it is now, he will continue to get on base at a solid clip. He also has serious power from the catcher position, which is always hard to come by. Santana had 60 extra base hits last season, and with half of his hits this season going for extra bases, his power is not going anywhere. The walks are already there and it’s just a matter of time before the doubles and home runs return as well. Again, a Santana owner would be selling low, but seeing as how there’s roughly 20 catchers with more fantasy points than him, his owner could be anxious to move him.

Jason Motte: Motte is the first “stash” player, as he’s currently on the DL but pitching in the minors on rehab stints. He missed all of 2013 with Tommy John surgery, and Trevor Rosenthal has since taken over the closer role for the Cardinals. Rosenthal is struggling this year, despite his 10 saves, with an ERA over 5 and a high walk total (11 in 17.1 IP). Motte is more than capable of taking  back this role from Rosenthal, as he posted 42 saves, with a 2.75 ERA, and 86 strikeouts in 72 IP back in 2012. In his rehab stints, Motte has pitched 6.2 innings, giving up zero runs on 3 hits, while striking out 5 and walking just 1. He will pitch in the back-end of the bullpen, potentially immediately as the setup man, but if Rosenthal continues to struggle, Motte would be in line to take over his role. Grab him while you can.

Oswaldo Arcia: The Twins recently activated Arcia off of the 15-day DL, and he was unfMinnesota Twins v Oakland Athleticsortunately optioned to their AAA club, so adding him would again be a stash move. But with the way the current Twins’ OF is playing, it shouldn’t be long before Arcia is recalled. He’s hit well throughout his time in the minors and his power numbers suggest he could hit 25 home runs, while driving in 80 runs (he had 33 extra base hits in just 97 games for the Twins last year). His numbers don’t jump off the page, but Arcia is likely available in your league, and if you had the chance to add a player with 25 HR/80 RBI potential and it only costs your worst bench player, wouldn’t you jump to add him? He will also likely hit toward the top of the lineup, and hitting anywhere near Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer means you are likely to see hittable pitches.

Follow me on Twitter @BenBBruno and check out my most recent post on the Nationals, for Red Porch Reporthere.



  1. Joe Iannone

    May 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Welcome to the team Ben. Great article. I’m one of the guys who invested in Heyward this season as he is getting closer to that power prime age, so I hope you are right. Most competitive leagues are tight on bench/stash spots so, yeah, by mid May it gets tougher and tougher to stomach even for a guy like me who preaches patience, patience, patience. What motivates me to keep him are all the offers I keep gettng for him. I admit it is an odd but effective rating tool.
    As for Motte. you are spot on. My motto is that “Closers Close” and they nearly always find their way back to the role, whether on their own team or elsewhere. Recently, I saw a lot of people asking which Cleveland reliever they should pick up when John Axford had been “demoted”. My first question was “What did the Axford owner do with him? If they dropped him, then that is the guy to pick up.” Same situation is happening now in Balt and NYM, though those are a bit more murky.

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