Baseball is a game which demands patience from its fans. Ironically, fantasy baseball owners are not patient. Constantly bailing on players after a bad week, some will get antsy enough to dump starting pitchers after a single poor outing. It’s this same lack of patience which causes owners to pounce on available players who are producing.
Let’s take a look at some of the ownership trends from the past week of fantasy baseball.
Anthony GruppusoAnthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Conforto - Stock UP
Week 5: 28.6% ownership
Week 6: 75.9% ownership
The absence of Yoenis Cespedes has been a blessing in disguise for Michael Conforto. He’s hitting .325 with seven homers, 20 RBI and a 1.040 OPS. For a player who’s just 24-years-old, Conforto has also shown patience at the plate, drawing a walk in 14.9 percent of his at-bats. Opposing pitchers haven’t figured him out yet (.304/.467/.391, seven hits over the last seven days). Keep all of your Conforto stock if you were lucky enough to buy low.
Jackie Bradley - Stock DOWN
Week 5: 82% ownership
Week 6: 62.8% ownership
What in the name of that ridiculous Green Monster is wrong with Jackie Bradley? He mashed 26 dingers and knocked in 94 RBI last year en route to .267/.349/.486 splits. This season has been the complete opposite. After returning from a stint on the DL on April 21, his numbers have plummeted to a feeble .175/.250/.263 without single extra-base hit. His 2016 production and the allure of a possible breakout make him hard to cut this early. I’d keep him, but on a very short fantasy baseball leash.
Getty ImagesJim Rogash
Marwin Gonzalez - Stown UP
Week 5: 1.7% ownership
Week 6: 36% ownership
Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez has been as hot as a Texas grill in August. In the last 14 days he’s belted six homers, driven in 15 RBI and managed a lofty on-base percentage of .529. His .213 BABIP indicates he’s been fairly unlucky. There may be even more to come in terms of offensive production. Fantasy owners should prepare themselves for inconsistent power. He hit six of his nine homers in a six game span, and just three in the 18 games prior.
Steven Souza - Stock DOWN
Week 5: 72.2% ownership
Week 6: 51.5% ownership
With just two hits in the month of May, Souza is mired in a stretch which has dropped his batting average from .330 to .277. He hasn’t mustered an extra-base hit since April 23 and is striking out at an alarming rate. He’s whiffed 37 times in his last 95 at-bats. All of this before his recent injury. I think it’s time to cut bait on this Ray.
USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Trevor Cahill - Stock UP
Week 5: 6.1% ownership
Week 6: 40% ownership
Cahill only has one quality start this season, but his strikeouts are making up for it. He has 44 on the season and a stellar 11.21 K/9. He cut his 2016 home run to fly ball ratio in half down to 9.1 percent. It’s early, but it never hurts to keep the ball in the park. His recent surge in ownership is most likely due to no earned runs allowed in his last two starts. With the current state of starting pitchers in fantasy, he’s at least worthy of a roster spot.
Jake RothJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Miguel Gonzalez - Stock DOWN
Week 5: 47.8% ownership
Week 6: 31% ownership
Fantasy baseball owners are ruthless. Gonzalez produced quality starts in three of his first four outings. Yes, he was shellacked on April 30 at Detroit, but he even bounced back with a six inning, two-earned run effort. That didn’t stop his ownership from dropping nearly 17 percent in the last week. Gonzalez is worth hanging onto until he proves he’s incapable of being a reliable starter.
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Cody Bellinger - Stock UP
Week 5: 11.9% ownership
Week 6: 42.4% ownership
Since he was called up to the majors on April 25, Bellinger is knocking the ball all over the park. He’s produced six multi-hit games and five homers in 46 at-bats. Bellinger is more powerful against righties as all five of his homers have come against them. In addition to his hitting, it’s looking like he’ll have 1B/OF eligibility with Adrian Gonzalez’s most recent trip to the DL. I’d expect him to hit the rookie wall at some point, but he’s intriguing enough to warrant a roster spot.
USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
Jason Kipnis - Stock DOWN
Week 5: 77.9% ownership
Week 6: 67.4%% ownership
Those who waited for Kipnis to come back from his shoulder injury were not rewarded with his usual production. Kipnis is slashing an anemic .174/.170/.196 over the last 14 days, with four hits and just one extra-base hit. Most players had the luxury of using spring training to work out the kinks – Kipnis’ career .319 BABIP and .271 batting average indicate he’ll get it together at some point. Bench him if you can afford it, but there’s too much upside to bail this early.
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ender Inciarte - Stock UP
Week 5: 13.2% ownership
Week 6: 42.7% ownership
Inciarte has enjoyed a stellar last two weeks. He hit .347 and swiped five of his seven stolen bases. He isn’t known for his power (three home runs total in 2016), but he’s already hit five taters this year. Fantasy owners should be aware of his .200 average against lefties and his strikeouts are up just a touch from 2016. It could be a case of sacrificing average for power. All things considered, his production at the plate and on the basepaths are a valuable asset.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsBrett Davis
Taylor Motter - Stock DOWN
Week 5: 18.2% ownership
Week 6: 7.9%% ownership
Motter’s early season success was derailed by a recent six-game hitless streak that dropped his average to .225. His numbers over the last two weeks have been even worse with a .185/.267/.296 batting line. Without a home run since April 23, I think it’s safe to say that his early outburst was the type of mirage often seen in April. Time to sell.