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July 31, 2013

Sporer Report

The July 31 Hail-Mary Team

by Paul Sporer


The trade deadline is today for Major League Baseball and it may well be in your league, but most leagues have one that falls later, which is how it should be, in my opinion. By this point in the season, you have a firm idea of what your team is, or perhaps, less fortunately, isn’t. For those of your near the top of the standings, you’re either trying to hold a lead or get that crown. Those of you at the bottom have an eye on 2014 and are playing out the string. This piece is for those stuck in the middle. Your team is too good to finish last and take home that top draft spot (assuming you use inverse order of previous year’s standings), but things haven’t gelled enough to put you in full contention, either.

It’s time to be aggressive and take some chances. Short on steals? Jacoby Ellsbury is going to cost you too much and the net gains will likely be minimal if they exist at all. Same goes for power if you target Chris Davis or Edwin Encarnacion. Instead, you have to go for assets who won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but have the potential to pay off big time. Jose Iglesias has shown us that any major-league hitter can get hot, but obviously I’m focusing on guys with the likelihood of turning it on and helping to drive your team up the standings depending on your need(s).

I call this my Hail-Mary Team. It consists of guys underperforming compared to expectations, some much more so than others, who can be acquired below what they would’ve cost at the draft table or even earlier in the year when they were either thought to just be starting slow or in some cases actually raking. You’re hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, so ideally if you’re going to do this, you’ll want more than one or two of these guys. Additionally, you almost certainly have a star or two on your team;don’t be afraid to trade that one star for multiple Hail-Mary assets.

If you’re stuck in seventh place, you need more than one hole plugged, so go full bore with this strategy. Also, you know your standings, so tailor your acquisitions to where you can actually gain the most points.

CATCHER

Salvador Perez, KC – Perez showed some hit tool, contact acumen in his first spell as a big-leaguer back in 2011, hitting .331 in 158 PA. He added power to the mix with a .301 average and 11 home runs in sample size nearly twice as big last year at 358 PA. Both have caved in this year despite a carbon copy of skills and batted ball profile. He’s a low point, too, with a .188 AVG and .511 OPS in July. His .276 AVG isn’t exactly in the tank, but a paltry .384 SLG has his OPS in that tank at .691. We’ve seen him catch fire before and with the Royals playing better (30-21 since June 1), his team-dependent runs scored and driven in opportunities should improve as well.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/31)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: The 201... (07/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Seven S... (08/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (07/31)

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