by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are officially at the mid-point in the season, which provides us all an opportunity to catch our breath and take a long, hard look at what our teams need. Obviously we are all going to try to capitalize on some players we think should rebound after poor first halves, and also try to cash in and players whose performance is likely to regress. Who should we be targeting? Today let’s look at a few middle outfielders worth targeting for your second half surge:
Logan Forsythe – Los Angeles Dodgers
He has missed time due to injury, but that doesn’t make his pathetic .249 average with 3 HR over 214 PA any better. That said, while his power upside may not be what it was last season, considering his 28.5% fly ball rate and 8.6% HR/FB (which is in the area of his 9.3% career mark), the underlying numbers definitely speak to a better average:
- Line Drive Rate – 24.4%
- SwStr% – 7.0%
- O-Swing% – 18.5%
- Strikeout Rate – 26.2%
Those numbers speak to a much better hitter, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit .275+ over the remainder of the season. Let’s also not forget that he hit 12 HR in the second half of ’16, including 7 in August, so we can’t completely discount a surge there as well.
Where he’s really struggled is against RHP (.183), and that’s been a common trend (.239 for his career). Last year he posted a .263 average against them, so there’s hope, but we need to keep it in mind. There’s risk in buying, but considering the cost it’s one worth taking.
Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies
He has shown some power, with 11 HR over 284 PA, but there’s room for further growth considering his 13.8% HR/FB (23.7% last season). The bigger issue, and why he could be available at a discount, is his .224 average and 35.2% strikeout rate. His SwStr% has risen from last season (12.5% to 14.5%), so why would we have reason for hope?
The big problem has been against offspeed pitches, where he owns a 26.42% Whiff% (13.14% in ’16). It’s a small sample, but he does have that number down to 12.50% to start July. It’s not a lot, but it’s something to hang our hats on considering the power potential he brings with him.
Other middle infielders to consider:
- Marcus Semien – Oakland A’s – He’s finally off the DL, so the chance to buy him on the cheap may have come and gone. That said, if the owner in your league is worried about him rebounding, cash in before he truly gets hot.
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals – We talked about him in our corner infielder article, but the same applies here (obviously).
Source – Fangraphs
Make sure to check out our other Buy Low articles: