Over the next week, we will be going over the buy low and sell high options for each position. We will follow the positions the way that the powers that be in baseball decided. Since this is the fourth installment, we will focus on position 4, which is second base!
As with each baseball season, there are plenty of players that are well over or well under their career averages. Finding the players that will either shed their horrid slumps, or cool off after hot starts can be the difference between winning and losing your league.
How does one go about finding the overachievers and underachievers? Season numbers vs. careeer numbers are a good place to start. But everyone has to have a breakout season sometime. What if a players is in the midst of one of those? Sometimes you just have to go with your gut…….and hope you are reading the right column!
Buy low candidates:
Brandon Phillips, Reds: His .269 average is right around his career mark of .271, so I wouldn’t expect any fluctuation there. Where Phillips has been consistent though is power. He has 18 home runs in each of the last four seasons. No more, no less. I am suggesting you buy because he has just four home runs on the seaoson and 22 RBI. That puts him on a pace for 10 homers and 58 RBI, which is well below where he has finished every full year of his career. His days of double digit steals are probably over, but I expect his home run and RBI totals to pick up. He should hit at least 15 homers and drive in at least 75 runs. That means he could be in for a big second half.
Robinson Cano, Mariners: Is it really possible to buy low on a guy that is hitting .333? Maybe not, but compared to his draft position, it may happen. Cano has shown very little power in spacious Safeco Field, but I doubt that he stays on his pace to hit just six home runs all season. Cano’s lowest total in a season is 14, in 2005 (his rookie year) and 2008. He has not hit less than 25 since then. Yankee Stadium likely had something to do with that, but for a guy in the prime of his career, I would be really surprised if his sets a new career low. His average is excellent, and he is still driving in runs, so the power will likely come around sometime soon. Don’t give up the farm for him, but find someone frustrated with his lack of power, and dangle someone with good power at the position, like a Brian Dozier or Brett Lawrie, in a package deal.
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: Pedroia’s power was down last year as well, but what surprises me is his low average (.267) and his low steals (just two in six attempts). Pedroia has double digit steals in every year since 2007 except for 2010 (he had nine that year in only 75 games). Is his speed gone at age 30? Probably not, so this puts him in the buy low list. His lowest batting average in a season is .288. While he might not make that mark, I am better that he gets up to at least .280. Pedroia’s numbers are low across the board, so find some frustrated owner and offer him someone from the lower section.