Sometimes a change of scenery can be beneficial to a player’s success in terms of fantasy production. With that being said, new Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Ike Davis is someone you should have your eye on.
As a Pirates fan and one who covers the team for a living, there is a lot that I don’t like about the Pirates acquisition of Davis, but I believe the change of scenery will be beneficial for Davis to once again becoming a fantasy relevant first baseman.
There’s a lot I don’t like about the trade, most notably the timing.
Gaby Sanchez is swinging a hot bat and has even done some damage against right handed pitching. If the plan is to go with a straight platoon, I would have rather gotten a larger sample size of Sanchez on an everyday basis.
Then there is the fact that Davis has been brutal lately.
Davis’ stock is about as low as it can get at the moment.
Coming off a 2012 season in which he hit 32 homers and drove in 90 runs, Davis has been nothing short of lousy since. Even during his big 2012 campaign, his OBP slipped to .308.
Last season Davis wasn’t much better, posting an OPS of .661 as he managed to hit nine balls out of the park. He’s not off to a good start this season either, hitting .205 with a homer and five RBIs, although in limited at bats.
Over 407 MLB plate appearances since 2012, Davis has a .205/.329/.337 line with 10 home runs and a rising strikeout problem.
The idea is to get a bat to protect Pedro Alvarez in the Pirates’ offense, not one that struggles to get on base and strikes out a ton. You don’t need two of the same hitters in the same lineup.
The trade devalues Sanchez as a fantasy option even though he was swinging a hot bat, but I like what it does for Davis.
The Pirates didn’t make the move not to play Davis a lot and he will be in there solely against right handed pitching where he has had his most MLB success. Davis has posted a .905 OPS vs. RHP this season and over the last three years has posted an .851 OPS compared to only a .512 mark vs. left-handed pitching.
He will be batting in the middle of the Pittsburgh lineup and the short right field porch should help Davis increase his power output. He’s also looked good at the plate in a small sample size for the Pirates, going 3-for-9 in two games.
I’m banking on Davis staying healthy, which is a big risk, but add it all together and I’m making Davis my top must-add for Week 4. He’s owned in less than one percent of ESPN Leagues and is worth taking a shot on.
Here’s a look at other guys you should target on the waiver wire. As always, players must be owned in less than 40 percent of ESPN Leagues to qualify.