The Fantasy Fox offers up four sell-high hitters to trade away in the not-too-distant future -- a countdown which recognizes the torrid starts of two corner infielders and one outfield pair ... but at the same time, remains skeptical of their staying power over the next four months. (Photos: Kirby Lee/Matthew Emmons/Peter G. Aiken/Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
1B Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
STATS (through May 17): 5 HR, 23 RBI, 15 runs, .344 BA, .401 OBP, .898 OPS ... REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: 1) Of Fielder's 52 seasonal hits, only 13 have been of the extra-base variety (five homers, eight doubles). 2) In his younger days with the Brewers and Tigers (for the most part), Fielder was an annual lock for 30 homers/100 RBI. But even with his stealth batting average, Fielder isn't a safe bet for 20 homers or even 85 RBI. 3) Since joining the Rangers, Fielder has averaged just homer for every 10 games played. 4) Prince has only one homer on the road. 5) Fielder's 30-day batting average stands at a more reasonable .315. SUGGESTION: Championship fantasy teams can never have enough corner infielders. As such, Fielder may be worth two solid assets in a three-player swap.
3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
STATS (through May 17): 4 HR, 13 RBI, 25 runs, .319 BA, .378 OBP ... REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: 1) Full disclosure here: I've been a keeper-league Moustakas fan for some time, believing an MLB breakout resembling his 2010 production in the minors (36 HR, 124 RBI, 94 runs, .322 batting, .999 OPS) would occur sooner than later. But let's have perspective here: Citing 2011-14, his first four years in the majors, Moustakas had a cumulative batting average of .236. Ugh! 2) It's somewhat alarming that, through 19 home outings, Moustakas has mediocre tallies with batting average (.257), on-base percentage (.309), slugging (.432) and OPS (.741). SUGGESTION: For those with corner-infield depth, Moustakas would be the perfect throw-in piece to a 2-for-1, 2-for-2 or 3-for-2 trade ... involving certifiable stars.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsDenny Medley
OF Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
STATS (through May 17): 15 HR, 30 RBI, 25 runs .340 BA, 1.089 OPS ... REASONS FOR PESSMISM: 1) Through 21 games at Safeco Field, Cruz has accounted for only four homers. He has been an all-world performer in away games, notching 11 homers, 15 RBI, 15 runs, a .381 average and 1.379 OPS. 2) Speaking of OPS ... there's a 514-point differential between Cruz's home/away splits. 3) For the 2011-14 seasons, Cruz only had a cumulative batting average of .265. 4) Citing 2011-13, Cruz never eclipsed the 90-RBI mark in a single campaign. 5) Even with last year's home-run title (40), Cruz may be experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime tear with the Mariners; but it's also time to ask for the moon ... and expect the stars, via trade. SUGGESTION: Ride Cruz's short-term greatness in a 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 blockbuster. Think big!
OF Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
STATS (through May 17): 10 HR, 21 RBI, 24 runs, .233 BA, .388 OBP ... REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: 1) Even with his prodigious homer count, Pederson is nothing more than a three-category asset -- for leagues that chart batting average over on-base percentage. Speaking of which ... it's rare to see a 155-point differential with average and OBP. In fact, it's downright spooky. 2) Through 22 games at Dodger Stadium, the rookie has a blah average of .219. 3) Pederson (two steals) was a 30/30 guy in the Pacific Coast League last year; but for 2015, collecting 15 thefts may be a stretch. 4) Fantasy GMs should cheer for rookies to start out with guns-a-blazing. That hype helps generate rock-solid trade returns ... often higher than a proven veteran might merit. SUGGESTION: Seek out a homer-needy owner -- and creatively spin a golden swap.