Buy Low Candidates – Analyzing BABIP to determine which players have gotten unlucky thus far in 2013

We have not even finished 20% of the fantasy baseball season, and already full on panic is starting to set on in the minds of fantasy owners.  Did they make a terrible draft pick, or has their guy just been supremely unlucky?  Lets take a look at the top 30 worst BABIP’s in MLB through May 5th, 2013, and see who has been unlucky – making them an excellent buy low candidate with 85% of the season still left to be played.

I tried to keep it as simple as possible.  I have ranked the top 30 worst BABIP this season (from worst on down), and provided their contact ratios along with career averages to assist in your research.  I will include a little analysis for the players that I think are relevant enough to deserve it.

Top 30 Worst BABIP in MLB – Through May 5th, 2013

1Adam DunnCHW20130.15316.941.541.5
There is a rumor floating around that Adam Dunn’s hitting coach has taught him to swing at a location, instead of looking for the pitch.  Whether or not that is true, I wouldn’t buy on Dunn at this point in the season.
2Aaron HicksMIN20130.16711.15038.9
3Chris YoungOAK20130.17214.739.745.6
Once Coco Crisp returns healthy there just won’t be enough at-bats to go around in the crowded A’s outfield
4Josh ReddickOAK20130.18213.440.346.3
If you are already a Reddick owner, I would hold on.  He is struggling to return from a wrist injury which could explain his lower LD% this season, and I think once he gains his strength back he could start hitting bombs again.  If you aren’t already an owner, there is no reason to make a move for him at this time.
5Yunel EscobarTB20130.1882045.734.3
6Zack CozartCIN20130.1927.855.336.9
Cozart has had a rough start to the season as evidenced by his .192 BABIP.  His Line drive percentage will certainly creep into double digits, and if you are in a deep 12 team format that uses a MI, Cozart should certainly have a spot in your fantasy lineup.
7David MurphyTEX20130.19522.835.441.8
Murphy is the forgotten man in the Rangers OF, but so far in 2013 he has just been unlucky.  His line drive percentage at 22.8 is terrific, so the .195 BABIP can mainly be attributed to bad luck.  Keep an eye on Murphy, once the hits start falling we should see the high average hitter everyone was looking for when they picked him up as a sleeper this preseason.
8Jose BautistaTOR20130.19714.741.244.1
Not sure if Bautista is considered a buy low candidate or not.  Depends on your format I assume, and how much value his owner places in him.  Most of Bautista’s percentages are in line with his career averages, and while he has never had a high BABIP, you pick him up for one thing, and that is the POWER.
9B.J. UptonATL20130.19714.546.439.1
I’m not going to lie, I am NOT one of B.J. Upton’s biggest fans.  His swing seems to lazy to me, and he just doesn’t seem to exude the raw power of his brother, but we are reaching the point now where B.J. is actually being dropped in standard leagues.  Look at the BABIP, he is currently 100 points below his career average.  Once the hits start falling, Upton should provide enough power and speed that he is worth an OF3/4 at the least.
10Edwin EncarnacionTOR20130.20019.235.445.5
Everyone thought they were getting the next Jose Bautista with this pick.  Encarnacion’s hits just haven’t been finding the holes yet, but he is clearly a hold player as the power is still there.
11Matt JoyceTB20130.2039.544.446
12J.J. HardyBAL20130.20417.649.133.3
13Ike DavisNYM20130.2072141.937.1
14Pedro AlvarezPIT20130.21020.946.332.8
15Maicer IzturisTOR20130.21220.752.926.4
16Adam LaRocheWAS20130.2132532.842.2
17Jeff KeppingerCWS20130.21726.439.634.1
18John BuckNYM20130.22114.137.248.7
Buck just doesn’t have the sustainable power to make him a player worth holding on to, oh yeah, there is also a guy named Travis D’Arnaud that should be here in a few months taking Buck’s starts away from him
19Jonathan LucroyMIL20130.22220.241.738.1
If you need a 2nd catcher, Lucroy should be one of the first names on your list.  For a catcher Jonathan has tremendous power, and the BABIP nearly 70 points below his career average suggests that a market correction is in order.
20Will MiddlebrooksBOS20130.22221.835.942.3
Everyone is down on Middlebrooks right now, but the kid is young and the hits will start falling as the weather warms up.
21Mike MoustakasKC20130.22717.126.356.6
Yuck!  Look at that sky high FB%.  Moose doesn’t have enough power to be launching the ball in the air that often, and it certainly explains his poor start to the season.  Looks like he needs to practice hitting a ball off a tee…
22Albert PujolsLAA20130.22819.845.334.9
Amazing what a little plantar fascitis will do to your BABIP.  Those grounders that Pujols hits deep into the hole used to be infield singles, but are now outs thanks to his reduced mobility.  The good news is the bat is still there, just don’t expect too many triples.
23Nolan ReimoldBAL20130.23015.443.141.5
24Miguel MonteroARI20130.23116.35528.8
25Martin PradoARI20130.23220.749.130.2
The ultimate multi position eligible player, Prado’s percentages are right in line with his career averages and he can’t get this unlucky all season.  Buy on Prado now while the price is right.
26Victor MartinezDET20130.23619.635.544.9
Assuming V-Mart is a catcher in your league he deserves to be rostered because he will be in the Tigers lineup everyday as the DH.  His FB% is higher than we would like to see, but there is still plenty of season left.
27Adrian BeltreTEX20130.23816.84340.2
I seriously doubt anyone is selling on Beltre, but it never hurts to ask, right?
28Andrelton SimmonsATL20130.23921.143.335.6
29Michael MorseSEA20130.23916.346.337.5
30Trevor PlouffeMIN20130.24224.236.439.4

That is it for today.  Please let me know what you thought of my analysis in the comments section below.

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Founder at Fantasy Team Advice
FTA Founder.Born in So Cal, living in Denver.Angels and Rockies fan.You can find me in the forums
  • byczko


    I loved this analysis!! I logged onto your site to find any news on Reddick! It’s great to see which players should be bought or sold right now. It gives me that advantage to know which players to target off waivers or for a trade. Luckily, I don’t have any of the ‘sell’ guys on your list.

    Keep up these types of articles. SUPER helpful!


    • __KJ__

      Glad to hear it, we had a record setting day (by fantasy baseball standards) as over 3,000 readers came in yesterday, so it looks like this is an article I will be making a weekly habit