Early Under-Performers: Buy, Sell, Hold?

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Articles, Buy and Sell
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By David Kerr

Yesterday, I looked at three players, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, and Clay Buchholz, who have started the season by putting up quite gaudy numbers. Today, I want to look at two players who have done the opposite and whether you should buy, sell, or hold on to them. Let’s start in Los Angeles.

Josh Hamilton

Over 76 games dating back to last year’s All-Star break, Josh Hamilton is batting .247 with 16 home runs and 53 RBIs. Minus the average, those are solid power and run producing numbers. At one point early last season, Hamilton was the hottest hitter in baseball and it wasn’t even close. He hit a slump that saw his average drop over 100 points. This season he looks lost at the plate. On Wednesday night against Oakland, I watched him strikeout on three pitches with the bases loaded; strike three was a pitch way out of the zone that he reached for. He just seems uncomfortable. This is a player who is a career .299 hitter in April that also started 2012 batting .395 in that very month. Maybe it’s from jitters because he’s adjusting to a new team or maybe he’s lost a step. Whatever it is, I don’t think it will continue. Hamilton is a hitting machine and his price tag will never be lower this season than it is right now. I don’t think he’s going to put up the same type of power numbers that he put up while playing half of his games in Texas, but I do think hitting cleanup behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will soon pay dividends. If someone sours on Hamilton, find a way to acquire him. His track record is too good for him to all of a sudden be a notch above mediocre.

Recommendation: HOLD or BUY. Once he starts to hit (and he will,) the window will be closed.

Giancarlo Stanton

As one of my favorite players headed into this season, I think you probably already know what my recommendation will be. Let me tell you why. No one in the major leagues has a better chance to hit 45-50 home runs. I don’t care what the lineup around him looks like. I don’t care whether opposing teams will pitch around him (he already has a 8/11 walk-to-strikeout ratio.) When Stanton gets locked in, the ball will start flying. Just look at his ISO increase over the past three seasons. It has went from .248 (2010), to .275 (2011), to .318 (2012). I can’t stress enough the power that this guy possesses. Add that to the fact that he’s only 23, I can only imagine the numbers he’ll put up in the next 3-5 years. If you’re in a dynasty or keeper league, he’s one of the top five guys I’d look to acquire. Oh, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try to trade for him this year either in redraft leagues. If you already own him, don’t lose faith. The power numbers are coming… very soon.

Recommendation: HOLD or BUY!!

If you have a long form Fantasy Baseball question, please e-mail it to me at askrotobaseball@yahoo.com. Also, you can click the button below to follow me on Twitter where I will give you instant answers to all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s!


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