It does not take a fantasy genius to know that it is a good idea to sell high on a player like Avisail Garcia if you can. He is roughly the same player that he has always been except his balls-in-play are falling for hits at a ridiculous and unsustainable pace. Nor does it take some giant leap of faith to trade newly acquired and red-hot Zack Cozart for a more useful and higher upside piece. No, the true art of selling high is the ability to say good-bye to a player that you have invested in, a player that you like, but you know has outproduced where he should be at this point in the young season. It is a risky play. Today, I am going to discuss selling Wil Myers high.
After a spring where he showed great plate discpline, Myers has a 14:1 K/BB ratio. While the strikeout rate is not alarming, the lack of patience is concerning. If Myers does not show more patience, he will be entirely reliant on his BABIP to get on-base (and secure potential stolen base opportunities). The BABIP currently sits at .417, propping up a .359 AVG. With respect to steals, Myers has attempted only one over the first 16 games and was caught stealing on that try.
Despite the lack of steals and patience, Myers has still been productive to date, hitting 3 HRs while scoring and driving in 10 runs each in addition to that 359 AVG. The run production pace will definitely tail off, but given the lineup around him, it could tail off more than you would expect after seeing him light up the stat sheet in the season’s first two weeks plus. Myers currently ranks as the 36th overall player and carries dual-eligibility as a 1B and OF.
Aside from the lack of patience, the luck regression and surrounding protection, Myers also has a lengthy injury past. In the more recent past, last year, in fact, Myers came out guns blazing and cooled considerably in the second half. There are multiple factors that point to Myers as an ideal candidate to get out from under, who you can get a significant return for. There are people willing to buy Myers – for instance, my co-host on the podcast said that he would take Myers at the end of the second round if he were re-drafting.
Shoot for a Charlie Blackmon, Joey Votto or Miguel Cabrera. You might just find a frustrated owner, who is ready to move. All you have to do is be willing to move on Myers (and the regression that’s coming).
Takeaways from the last three days of action:
-I am absolutely giddy about Amir Garrett. I own him in a dynasty league and he has far exceeded my expectations in the early going. Last night’s 12 K performance helped ease my doubts about his results thus far. He proved that he could miss bats against a very good lineup. Garrett versus Luis Severino, who has also started red-hot, is a very interesting conundrum. Severino is the upside play, but I think Garrett might actually have the safer floor given that he throws three pitches confidently and has shown the ability to succeed when he’s not missing bats in a short MLB stint and in the Minors.
-One of my favorite sleepers this year was Francisco Liriano, who got off to an atrocious start when he could not escape the first inning in his first start. Liriano (41% owned on Yahoo!) has since thrown 12 innings against Baltimore and Boston, produced 16 Ks to 3 BBs and allowed just 2 ER. Interestingly, a lot of the buzz around Liriano in the preseason was his reunion with Russell Martin as his catcher (sub- 3.00 career ERA with Martin). Of course, in his first start, the Jays decided to give Martin the day off and Liriano was a disaster. I have forgiven him for Toronto’s stupidity and have since tortured my leaguemates with a Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” GIF to accompany each Liriano strikeout. Bottom line, he needs to be owned in more leagues (41% owned on Yahoo!). The valleys are rough, but the peaks are sky high.
-If you can find someone, anyone who believes in Chase Headley, sell him. Despite the ridiculously hot start, there is nothing in the underlying data evincing anything more than a wild string of luck. His Flyball/Line Drive exit velocity is 87.9 MPH. At that level, Headley would be in the company of 2016 power luminaries Gregor Blanco, Erick Aybar and pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. His hard contact rate is down YOY (26% from 31%) and he’s pulling the ball less (34.2% from 41.5%). This is a mirage.
-We pride ourselves on celebrating our hits (Mitch Haniger) and our misses here. For as much as I have pointed out that my issues with Byron Buxton have overwhelmed his fantasy owners, I need to acknowledge that Keon Broxton has been similarly bad and is in dangers of losing playing time. Broxton has a 21:2 K/BB rate, just one homer and two steals on the year. His triple-slash is an atrocious 119./.196/.214. With Brinson (and others) lurking in the minors and the newly acquired Nick Franklin presently on the roster, Broxton may begin to lose playing time if he does not recover the second half 2016 magic fast. I think it is safe for mixed league managers to consider moving on from the Broxton.