Pitchers and catchers have finally reported. Spring Training games are finally starting. The baseball season is just around the corner.
Ahh, what a time to be alive.
These are the days where I’m fully focused on my dynasty baseball team. Well, I guess I really never stopped, but the intensity has really picked up a few weeks ago. I started to dive into who had a a down year last season based on their standards and projections. I also looked into who ended the 2018 campaign on a strong note and might carry that success into this upcoming season. These are two of the simplest things to look at when considering who is a value when you’re trying to buy a player.
I want to make it clear on what I consider a “buy low” or “buy” because I don’t want there to be any confusion. When you read the term buy low, you likely assume it’s a player coming off of a poor performance or season and his value, likely, has dropped enough to where the possible risk or buying this player outweighs the price. I also consider a buy low, or maybe you want to just call them a buy, a player that’s value I think is about to skyrocket and this is going to be the last chance you have to buy this player at an appropriate price. I have a few of both in this piece, so I wanted to clarify before my twitter feed got flooded.
Without further ado, here is my list of players to buy.
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
This might be a little far fetched, as Carlos Correa, still only 24, is one of the more talented players in all of major league baseball. There was a time where shortstop was one of the shallowest positions in fantasy. The elite shortstops were diamonds in the rough, and Correa was at one point atop that list. However, it’s now been two years in a row where Correa hasn’t played in more than 110 games and shortstop is now one of the deepest positions in fantasy baseball.
Coming off of his worst statistical season, now is the time to pounce on the Correa owner. Correa is a career .277/.356/.477 hitter. He hit .239/.323/.405 in 2018. Correa owns a career ISO (isolated power) of .200 and a career BABIP of .316. He had an ISO of .167 and a BABIP of .282 in 2018. That seems to me that last season was a fluke or the injury played a major role in his down season.
Now I know he’s been hurt. But I also know he’s a former number one overall pick in the MLB draft. I know he’s still only 24 and you can’t convince me he just isn’t good anymore.
This is likely the only time to try and buy this bonafide superstar.
David Dahl, OF, Rockies
David Dahl finally looks like he’s going to be locked into an everyday role. The former first-round pick was the hottest hitter on the planet the final eight games of the season. He slugged six home runs while also driving in 15 runs. He single handily won owners fantasy leagues with that performance.
While there’s always concerns with Rockies hitters and their road splits (Dahl is a career .247/.303/.414 hitter outside of Coors), the 82 home games weighs far more heavily in his favor, in my opinion (.332/.372/.605 hitter at Coors). Especially, if you play in a daily league when you can sit him on the road if you feel the need to do so.
Nick Pivetta, SP, Phillies
All of Philadelphia knows –well, hopes– the Nick Pivetta breakout is coming. The fantasy industry is starting to buy into the idea of Pivetta breaking out also. If you just look at his numbers, you’re probably scratching your head as to why anyone would want to invest in a guy that’s 15-24 in his career with a career ERA of 5.33, and I get your confusion.
However, Pivetta’s pitching WAR (wins above replacement) last year was 2.3. Think about that. A pitcher that was 7-14 with a 4.77 ERA was 2.3 wins better than replacement level. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) was 3.80 last year. Almost a full run lower than his ERA. This is more indicative of how well a pitcher is pitching than some of the mainstream stats that get shoved down your throat.
Not to mention how vastly improved the Phillies defense is going to be. And if you’re not into all those fancy sabermetic stats, just watch him pitch. His stuff is filthy, hence a a 27.1% strikeout percentage which ranked eleventh in all of baseball last year. Right behind….
Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Braves
Mike Foltynewicz just might be my favorite buy this off-season, and I am all alone on this island. For every indication on why I think Pivetta is going to improve his numbers, they will tell you that Folty got very lucky last year and he’s going to regress this year.
Maybe I’m just stubborn but I’m not buying it to the extent that everyone else in the industry is.
When it comes to pitching I try and buy one thing: strikeouts. Folty ranked tenth in baseball in strikeout percentage last year. If you’re a believer in his regression and you don’t think he’s going to have a sub-3 ERA again, I get it. But even if he’s a 3.30 ERA guy with over 200 strikeouts on what I believe to be one of the best teams in the National League, I want that guy on my staff.
And with how low the industry is on him, maybe you get him at a decent price. I know my league mate won’t let me get the discount. Enter: eye-roll emoji.
German Marquez, SP, Rockies
If you love strikeouts and you hate paying a premium for them, German Marquez is your guy. The young righty ranked ninth in strikeout percentage posting a total of 230 strikeouts –good for seventh in baseball– in 196 innings. While owning a pitcher in Colorado isn’t ideal, Marquez’s ERA was nearly two runs higher at home than on the road, the soon to be 24-year-old has shown improvements every year he’s been in the majors and there’s no reason he can’t take another slight step forward.
Again, that might be something you can use to possibly get a discount on Marquez.
Up next I’ll have some guys I’m looking to sell high on in dynasty, who I’m getting late in all my mocks in redrafts and who I’m avoiding in the early rounds of redrafts.
If you have any fantasy baseball questions tweet me @EvansEric10.
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