“Bruno’s Gold”: Players to Buy
An ongoing theme I plan to continue to preach in this space is being an aggressive owner. Being reactive instead of proactive will cause you to watch your league mates playing in the postseason while you contemplate what went wrong. With that said, here are four players that I suggest targeting today. The first two are likely already owned in your league, but it’s possible the second two are available, meaning there’s basically no risk in adding them. So with that said, go be aggressive and go win your league.
George Springer: I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but if Springer is somehow available in your league, add him immediately. If he’s not, I highly recommend trading for him. After getting off to a sluggish start to his MLB career (he was called up in mid-April), Springer killed the ball for much of the month of May and seems to only be getting hotter. His splits at the end of April were .182/.262/.218 and he’s now hitting .269/.361/.510. He has a 10-game hit steak and only had 3 games in May without a hit. He strikes out a ton (currently 30.1% of the time), but he’s got plus power (16 extra-base hits in just 145 at-bats) and decent wheels, capable of nabbing a base here and there. You’ll likely have to give up a decent amount to get Springer, but it will be worth it as this looks like just the beginning for the kid.
Hanley Ramirez: Ramirez missed a few games recently with a calf injury, but he returned to the Dodgers lineup on Tuesday. He’s struggled this season hitting .245/.326/.438, but that could be injury related and behind him now that he’s had some time to rest. Ramirez has serious power, especially from the shortstop position, and with 23 extra-base hits through 50 games, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. He’s also hitting 4th in a powerful lineup – and has the protection of hitting between Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez – meaning that there should be plenty of RBI opportunities for him. The shortstop position has been typically weak this season and a healthy Ramirez could easily become a top-5 fantasy shortstop if he manages to stay healthy. Go get him before the weather really warms up and so does he.
Lonnie Chisenhall: What Chisenhall lacks in power he makes up for in his ability to get on base. He’s currently hitting .358/.416/.520, but has just 16 extra-base hits in 41 games. He’s a singles hitter who doesn’t drive in many runs, but he doesn’t strikeout frequently and is constantly on base, creating run-scoring opportunities. His .424 BABIP is alarming at first, but his line drive percentage is 30% (which would be good for 3rd best in baseball if he had enough ABs to qualify), meaning that there isn’t as much luck involved as it appears. The Indians offense has been productive this season and should only get better with the return of Jason Kipnis, which bodes well for Chisenhall. If your team is lacking power, you may want to look elsewhere than at Chisenhall, but otherwise, don’t hesitate to add him.
Adam Lind: If it’s power you are looking for, consider adding Lind. He only has 84 at-bats on the season because of a DL stint in April, but since returning to the lineup on May 8th, he has basically been an everyday starter. He’s currently hitting .333/.423/.560 with 12 extra-base hits and 13 RBI. He also gets to hit between Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in one of baseball’s best offenses on the Blue Jays. With no less than 23 home runs in a full season since 2009, Lind has shown he is capable of driving the ball (he had 50 extra-base hits in just 465 at-bats in 2013). His current OPS is .982, and while that likely won’t last, look for it to land around his OPS of .854 last season. Grab him now while he is cheap.