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Stock Watch: Buy & Sell Analysis

Last week's Stock Watch recommended buying Ryan Cook while there were rumblings of a closer committee in Oakland. In the past week, Cook did not give up a run in four appearances with two saves and a win. The window to buy low has most likely closed.

Buy

  • Anthony Rizzo - Per Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs can promote Rizzo tomorrow while still delaying his free agency from 2017 to 2018. Expect the Cubs to do so in the near future as Rizzo has nothing left to prove in AAA, as he hits .360 with 23 home runs and 59 RBIs in 261 plate appearances. In shallow leagues where Rizzo is available on the waiver wire pick him up immediately. In other leagues, see if the owner stashing Rizzo has a need you can fill and get Rizzo before he is activated and the hype makes him unattainable. Rizzo should enjoy immediate success having learned some tough lessons in San Diego last year, and stepping into a Wrigley Field that plays like a hitter's paradise with the wind blowing out in the hot summer air.
  • Jason Heyward - Quietly adding more of a running game this season with 10 steals (8 of which came in April), Heyward has been hot in June, hitting .351. Riding a modest seven-game hitting streak and with two home runs on Wednesday, Heyward has the ability to go on a tear and carry a fantasy team.  It is encouraging for Heyward's future success that his groundball rate is well down from last year while his line drive percentage is up, and for the first time in his career he is putting the ball in the air more than on the ground. 
  • Miguel Montero - Finally coming out of a season-long funk, now is the time to buy Montero while his season stats still look poor.  In June, Montero has hit .302 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.  This is consistent with Montero's career in which April and May have been his worst hitting months. In the RotoAuthority League, I had a decision last week whether to deal Montero or MLB home run leader among catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia - I decided to move Salty.
  • Derek NorrisSalvador Perez - Staying with the catcher position, Norris and Perez are worth picking up in two-catcher mixed leagues of 12 or more teams.  Norris was called up to split the catching duties in Oakland but could run with the job given the struggles of Kurt Suzuki.  Norris was enjoying success in Triple-A with 8 home runs and 36 RBIs in 236 plate appearances.  Perez's debut this year was delayed by injury but remember he hit .331 with three HRs, 21 RBIs and 20 runs in only 158 plate appearances for Kansas City last season.
  • Dillon Gee - Here's an unheralded starter whose 4.27 ERA does not reflect the skills he has displayed this season.  Gee has boosted his strikeout rate from 6.39 per nine innings in 2011 to 8.24 this year, while reducing his walks by 1.5 over the same nine innings.  This has resulted in a 3.22 SIERA despite a .292 BABIP that is well above his .270 mark from last year.  Gee is also inducing more groundballs this season, and his ERA should creep down when his 17.1% home run per fly ball percentage evens out to a number closer to the 11.1% mark he posted in 2011.
  • Alex Cobb - Another under the radar starter that should be picked up where available on waivers. Cobb's true talent is shown more in his 3.11 SIERA and 3.24 FIP than his 3.82 ERA. Cobb has posted huge strikeout numbers in the minor leagues which gives hope that he can bump his 7.65 strikeouts per nine innings mark.

Sell

  • Ryan Zimmerman - The Washington $100 million man has been nothing short of a total bust for fantasy owners this season.  Zimmerman is displaying no power as his ISO is an unsightly .090, and his home run per fly ball percentage is less than half his career rate.  Zimmerman's swinging strike percentage is higher than it has ever been in any full year of his career, and his contrate rate is lower than it has ever been in any full season of his career.  To make matters worse, Zimmerman's plate discipline has regressed as he is posting his worst BB/K rate since 2008.  This seems to be a lost season for Zimmerman that will be explained next Spring as the result of a nagging shoulder injury that required the off-season to heal.  Sell Zimmerman to other owners that view him as a "buy-low" opportunity.
  • Carlos Marmol - Fresh off being labeled as a buy in this column when he was available on waiver wires as recently as last week, now that Marmol has the closer job back savvy owners will be looking to deal him to save-starved owners that were left without a chair in the year of the closer carousel. Marmol is a WHIP-nightmare while walking 10.53 (!) batters per nine innings this season, and the Cubs will be begging teams to take him off their hands where he might end up pitching the seventh or eighth innings on a contending team.


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