Value Picks brings in some familiar faces and a new recruit in response to three changes.
Last week, a few Value Picks members were on notice, and one of them will be leaving us today. Reid Brignac has the benefit of playing with a great Tampa Bay team, but he also happens to be caught in a playing time crunch involving himself, Sean Rodriguez, and Jason Bartlett. With Bartlett back from the DL and Rodriguez still on fire, Brignac's playing time has dropped a bit. It has not helped that he has begun to regress towards the mean; his .272/.339/.385 line is a product of a .355 BABIP that has been steadily dropping for the last two weeks. Brignac does not flash enough power or walk often enough to make up for a 23% K%, so his AVG should fall out of fantasy consideration as that BABIP continues to tumble.
Another week and another singular change in the Value Picks portfolio. This week, Sean Rodriguez and his hot June graduate from Value Picks, and an alumni in Mike Aviles returns to the portfolio. Rodriguez had an off week (.095/.095/.143 in 21 PA) but that did not stop ESPN owners from picking him up off the waiver wires, as his ownership skyrocketed to 41.3% of ESPN mixed leagues. However, don't think that off week was some aberration; Rodriguez AVG is due for some regression. What he can hopefully do to make up for it is take some more walks (right now, he's walking in just 3.2% of his PA) and hit for more power, two things PECOTA expects a lot of. If he is available and you need the middle infield help, he is still a solid pickup, provided you can handle the low AVG.
Value Picks opts for playing time over promise this week.
This week, Value Picks opts for the guarantee of playing time over the promise of stardom. Stepping down for now from the list is Indians top prospect Carlos Santana. While his plate prowess is unquestionable, his well-known defensive problems may keep him away from the majors for a little while. Of course, incumbent catcher Lou Marson isn't looking any better (batted just .087/.222/.217 in the last week), so this may be a competition of "who is the lesser evil," Marson's bat or Santana's glove. Expect Santana to be the last of the major top prospect callups.
Michael Jong covers the light changes made to this week's Value Picks portfolio.
There is not much in the way of changes for the Hot Spots Value Picks portfolio this week, with just one graduation and one new entry to catalog. Moving on up is 2B/SS Cristian Guzman, who had yet another hot week at the plate (.522/.560/.609 his last six games). Guzman still boasts one of the most empty batting averages in all of baseball, and his current .402 BABIP is absolutely unsustainable. For those of you who picked him up, that AVG is sure to drop, but a .290-.300 AVG is certainly within reach. Despite the perenially low walk rates, Guzman should be good for some runs batting at the top of the Nationals lineup. If you do not need the help in AVG, however, there are probably better options going forward.
With fantasy players digging deep for value in their leagues, Value Picks has to wade through some players with glaring holes in their game right now. The newest entry to Value Picks, Reid Brignac, has one major problem in his game currently: he is sitting in a platoon. Heater team expert Ricky Zanker has Brignac taking only 40% of PA at second base as the lefty in the platoon. The good news? Not only is Brignac making the most of his time at the plate, but his platoon partner, Sean Rodriguez, is not capitalizing on his own opportunities. Despite being on the better side of the platoon, Brignac still splits PA with Rodriguez against right-handed pitching; over the last three weeks, Brignac has had 23 PA versus righties, while Rodriguez has collected 11. However, Rodriguez has been awful, hitting .214/.263/.343 so far, while Brignac has shined, batting .299/.365/.448. As a result, there is a good chance that Brignac will receive more of the lion's share of playing time against righties in the future.