Buy-low candidates from a personal standpoint: 06/20/10

If Jim Cramer can do it, why can’t I?

Who is Jim Cramer, you ask? He’s an investment/stock person who has infiltrated sports talk radio with advertisements for his website … where he’ll e-mail you before he makes an investment. His punchline: “It’s like if you can read, you can read my mind.”

Well, it’s a little like that here at chinstrapninjas.com. We don’t hold back with the opinions, and we stand behind those opinions. If I suggest you buy low on a guy, there’s a good chance I’m trying to do the same in each of my leagues.

Looking at my personal trading exploits the past couple weeks in some uber-competitive and deep leagues, the following are guys I’m pursuing in all formats.

Jason Kubel, OF. It shocks me, quite frankly, that Kubel is currently owned in just 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. Last year, Kubel hit 28 homers and batted in 103 runs through 147 games of play for the Twins. He finished the season with a .300 batting average. Because he hadn’t posted elevated stats over an extended amount of time, he was undervalued this preseason. During the early stages of this season, he has not lived up to his potential, hitting just nine homers and batting a nauseating .247. However, he’s shown signs of life lately. Six of his nine homers have come in the past month of action. His batting average over that stretch is .277, much closer to his career average. He is someone who should be owned and started on a daily basis.

Aaron Hill, 2B. Hill’s overall season line is horrific … especially his .193 batting average. A blind sloth could connect more often. However, Hill’s batting average is slowly trending upwards, as his his homer totals. Concerns of an early-season injury should be put to rest after he hit five of his nine overall homers in the past month alone. There are few second basemen I’d want to take a chance on the remainder of the season who have Hill’s power potential.

Adam Lind, OF/DH. OK. How in the world could I be hot on the trail of a hitter who’s .156 at the plate over the past month? Let’s just say that I’m not officially hot on his trail, but you better believe I am throwing out low-end deals for him with the plans of stashing his power potential on the bench in hope he ripens like a banana on a sunny park bench. He did whack 35 homers last season. I’d be a little more aggressive to snag him if his career numbers weren’t as hot-and-cold as they are, but there are few hitters this side of Chris Davis who are as loathed by his collective owners, and many are starting to trim the fat. If you can get him cheaply, go for it.

Cole Hamels, SP. Another bad-luck candidate, Hamels overall season stats are not what was envisioned thus far by fantasy owners who drafted him. While his 3.74 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 79.1 innings isn’t horrible by any stretch of the imagination, he also wasn’t setting the world on fire. However, over the past month, he has posted a 2.79 ERA and pitches on a team with plenty of offensive firepower, plus he doesn’t have No. 1 ace stressors with Roy Halladay on the squad. While Hamels hasn’ been the most reliable quantity in the past, I’ll take my chances on him as an upper-tier pitcher at a somewhat discount price.

Jorge De La Rosa, SP. Mentioned in ep’s most recent post, De La Rosa is getting closer to a return to the big show. In fact, recent updates project him to return July 7. We haven’t seen him on the mound officially since April. He had four starts, averaging more than six strikeouts per game. He isn’t going to shave your team ERA in the positive direction, but he has shown progression over the past three years in that department.

Jose Valverde, Closer. Owners who keep a close eye on recent stats may be more stingy with their Valverde. Over the course of the season, Valverde hasn’t racked up as many saves as one would expect considering his situation. However, as the Tigers warm up in the AL-Central, Valverde is seeing his opportunities improve. He notched three saves in the past week alone, and has been lights out from a mechanical standpoint. Like I mentioned in the preseason, the Tigers stand to be a team that is ripe for saves over the course of a season. They just took a little longer than expected getting to that point.

Who are you targeting at the moment in your respective leagues? We’d love to hear who they are and why you’re charging hard for their services.

5 Responses to “Buy-low candidates from a personal standpoint: 06/20/10”


  1. Allen

    Do you find Kubel more of a buy low at this point than his roster companion D. Young? Young is on a terrific hot streak right now. Is it just that, a hot streak, or is Young going to out produce Kubel through the rest of the season? He has more runs scored and only 1 less HR. I’ve had them both rostered this year but find myself back and forth.

  2. ep

    @Allen: I’m sure jzak will chime in, but here are my two cents: Kubel and Young are not birds of a feather.

    Young is likely to get you better overall numbers — a higher average, a couple steals, a couple homers, etc.
    Kubel is more of a pure power type player who hasn’t been able to hit for the same average as he did in the minors like Young has.
    So if you’re digging for 8 homers and 30 RBI in the next month, roster Kubel. If you are fishing for .300 with 8 steals, Young is more likely to give it to you.

    Neither of them are locks for those numbers — in fact, Young showed a lot of power in his early minor league seasons, so that could appear throwing this whole argument out the window — but that’s the likely scenario as I see it.

  3. ep

    jzak,
    I own Hill and de la Rosa in a handful of leagues and have been waiting patiently.

    This sort of thing happens to me in several leagues every year. I have a couple players who are buy-lows as I slog through the first half. I ward off trade offers about this time. Then they start approaching sell-high in the second half and I make the playoffs.

    Every season.

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