To Sell High Or Not To Sell High… Can These Breakout Bats Maintain Their Production?

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Knowing whether to sell high on a player and when to ride the wave of the breakout is paramount to fantasy success. Let’s take a look at two first half breakouts and try to decide if they are for real or if we should be looking to move on before it’s too late:

Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
2019 Statistics – .286 (83-290), 20 HR, 50 RBI, 50 R, 3 SB

There was always potential, but did anyone really see this coming?  He entered Sunday hitting the ball extremely hard (45.6% Hard%) and showing an ability to make consistent contact (8.3% SwStr%).  Last season he managed just 14 HR, though with 26 doubles and 12 triples the potential was there for more.  This much, though?  His HR/FB has nearly doubled (20.9% prior to Sunday’s home run, up from 10.9% in ’18), making it hard to envision him maintaining it.

You also have Marte having taken a bit of a pull heavy approach (21.3% Oppo%), though his success against non-fastballs has got to make you optimistic that the success can continue:

  • Changeup – .302 AVG / .509 SLG / .289 BABIP
  • Slider – .286 AVG / .643 SLG / .226 BABIP
  • Curveball – .280 AVG / .680 SLG / .235 BABIP

Obviously there’s a little bit of risk that the power regresses, but he’s not going to be a non-factor in that department.  Throw in that he hasn’t been lucky in his average (.277 BABIP) and isn’t a risk of significant strikeout troubles and there’s reason for optimism.  Maybe he slows down, but he’s not likely to disappear.

Verdict – Not A Must Sell

Franmil Reyes – San Diego Padres
2019 Statistics – .241 (52-216), 19 HR, 33 RBI, 30 R, 0 SB

Whenever he’s been in the Majors Reyes has shown significant power, with 35 HR over 477 AB (31.8% HR/FB).  The question is going to be whether or not he can improve his batting average moving forward.  The issues are two-fold, with a poor BABIP and an inflated strikeout rate.

In terms of the BABIP (.244), the underlying metrics would make you think there’s upside:

  • Hard% – 48.7%
  • Fly Ball Rate – 36.4%
  • Oppo% – 27.3%

So he is hitting the ball hard, doesn’t appear to be swinging for the long ball and has proven willing to use the entire field.  Those numbers should equate to a significantly better BABIP moving forward.

The strikeouts are a different story, with a 17.3% SwStr% and 34.5% O-Swing%.  The fact that he’s struggled to make contact against all types of pitches doesn’t help (Whiff%):

  • Hard – 13.42%
  • Breaking – 24.47%
  • Offspeed – 22.22%

Maybe his 27.8% strikeout rate rises a bit (34.1% in June), but an improvement in his BABIP will help to offset that.  Coupled with his power he should still be able to hit .250-.260, and maybe a little bit more.  That’s enough to anticipate him maintaining his value, so selling high isn’t a must.

Verdict – Not A Must Sell

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

8 COMMENTS

  1. In an auction keeper league, it would be helpful to have some draft value/player value context to some of these decisions. Have you thought about doing mid year values or introducing player value context within these write-ups?

    Love all the work you already do, and pay for the draft guide. Thanks!

  2. Professor,
    I’m going to need to move an OF when Judge returns from IL. In 4xOF format, currently have Jiménez, Soto, Benintendi, Reyes. Benintendi is on no-drop list. I’ve tried trading Reyes for two weeks with no takers. Do I attempt to trade Benintendi (which I’m reluctant to do, though I need a 2B upgrade) or drop Reyes outright?
    T

  3. Hi professor.

    I was wondering if you could help me rank the following players.

    Schwarber,
    Hicks,
    Eaton,
    Bryan Reynolds,
    Jake Bauers,
    Jackie Bradley,

    Thank you

    T

    • Schwarber/Hicks sit atop the list. I love Bauers upside and would actually slot him 3rd. After that, it’s kind of pick your poison/all disposable depending on the situation

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