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Stock Watch: Buy & Sell Analysis

Another week is in the books, and another top closer was lost with Brian Wilson out for the season following Tommy John surgery. One owner's loss is another's gain, as owners fast on the draw were able to get a closer off the waiver wire in Santiago Casilla. Last week's buy/sell recommended grabbing Casilla at a time when he was still available on many waiver wires. 

Buy

  • Juan Pierre - Two hits yesterday raised his batting average to .333, and he has three steals. Meanwhile, John Mayberry was hitless yesterday and is hitting .189. Pierre may see the majority of at-bats in left field in the (at least) near future. Time to pick him up where available if you are short on steals.
  • Anthony Rizzo / Nolan Arenado - Both are tearing up the minors (Rizzo is hitting .393 with seven homers in 56 ABs at Triple-A; Arenado is hitting .364 with a 1.030 OPS in 44 ABs in Double-A), and in leagues with deep benches--particularly head-to-head leagues -- are excellent pickups in anticipation of potential June callups. Chris Nelson has proven a poor option at third, and Colorado can only wait so long to call up Arenado. The Cubs are already in "Wait for Next Year" mode and should give Rizzo a shot at further developing in the Majors by trading Bryan LaHair or shifting him to a corner-outfield position.
  • Francisco Liriano - He has shown improved velocity between starts (max velocity increasing from 92.7 to 93.3 to 95 in his three starts) despite horrible results this year - 11.91 ERA compared to 5.70 SIERA. If Liriano was cut by an impatient owner in your league, he is worth picking up and taking a chance on in a favorable home ballpark for pitchers.
  • Austin Jackson - He's hitting .300 and leading off for a potent offense, which should result in a 100-run season if he stays in that spot. Most impressively, he entered yesterday with a 14.8% walk rate, which easily beats his walk rates in 2011 (8.4%) and in 2010 (7.00%).
  • Ryan Zimmerman - After having two home runs blown back by a fierce Wrigley Field wind on Opening Day, Zimmerman had been struggling before breaking out with a home run yesterday and line shots the entire series against the Astros. Zimmerman appears healthy and therefore his value should exceed his ADP of 39.6. He's a star player that could still be attainable at a decent price given his .236 batting average.
  • Luke Scott - He's hitting .312 with 14 RBIs and should finish the season as one of the best waiver-wire or late-round additions. Scott is hitting in a great lineup behind Evan Longoria, and he will pad his stats with high-scoring games in AL East ballparks. He also has a decent chance of staying relatively healthy as the full-time DH.
  • Chase Headley - Has shown improved plate discipline this season with a 19% walk rate entering yesterday -- and an even one BB/K ratio. These ratios indicate Headley has developed as a hitter, and his .289 batting average last season was not an outlier. Although Petco Park will keep his power numbers in check, he will steal 10+ bases and have nice counting stats hitting third for San Diego. A draft bargin with an ADP of 232.5.

Sell

  • Jeremy Hellickson - He picked up a win yesterday, and his ERA sits at an impressive 3.26. But his SIERA entering yesterday's start was an ugly 6.18. Perhaps Hellickson is a Matt Cain type who can consistently outpitch his SIERA, but in the AL East, I am not taking that chance, and I am looking to move him before his ERA spikes.
  • Gaby Sanchez - Fast out of the gate last year (.293/3/10/15/0 in March & April) before his typical second-half fade, this year Sanchez is hitting only .244 with zero home runs, five RBIs and three runs. He also has a terrible BB/K ratio of 1:11, which does not bode well for his chances of developing as a hitter, particularly in a cavernous home park. I cut Sanchez in the RotoAuthority League yesterday, and I would recommend looking for other options if you have an abundance of first basemen (in the 12-team RotoAuthority League, I had four first basemen, and we only carry three bench spots).
  • Jake Peavy - Has been dominant this season in two of three starts, and avoided a bombing in his start at Texas. But he carries a massive injury risk and pitches in a park that balls will start flying out of when the Chicago heat sets in. I would inquire to see what you can get in trade for Peavy if you have an abundance of starting pitching, and see if you can turn the 235.0 ADP pick into a top-150 player. But, do not give Peavy away, as his average fastball velocity is up from 91.27 in 2011 to 92.12 in 2012.


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