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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

Player Team BABIP LD% GB% FB%
1 Adam Dunn CHW 2013 0.153 16.9 41.5 41.5
 SELL Career 0.255 19.8 33.6 46.7
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
2 Aaron Hicks MIN 2013 0.167 11.1 50 38.9
Career 0.290 Rookie Rookie Rookie
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
3 Chris Young OAK 2013 0.172 14.7 39.7 45.6
 SELL Career 0.260 18.2 33.8 48
Once Coco Crisp returns healthy there just won’t be enough at-bats to go around in the crowded A’s outfield
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
4 Josh Reddick OAK 2013 0.182 13.4 40.3 46.3
 HOLD Career 0.266 20.4 31.6 48.1
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
5 Yunel Escobar TB 2013 0.188 20 45.7 34.3
Career 0.268 18.7 54.9 26.4
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
6 Zack Cozart CIN 2013 0.192 7.8 55.3 36.9
 BUY Career 0.276 17.3 45 37.7
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
7 David Murphy TEX 2013 0.195 22.8 35.4 41.8
 WATCH Career 0.291 19.3 44 36.7
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
8 Jose Bautista TOR 2013 0.197 14.7 41.2 44.1
 BUY Career 0.258 15 38.6 46.4
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
9 B.J. Upton ATL 2013 0.197 14.5 46.4 39.1
 BUY Career 0.293 17.6 44.3 38
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
10 Edwin Encarnacion TOR 2013 0.200 19.2 35.4 45.5
 HOLD Career 0.264 18.6 36.1 45.3
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
11 Matt Joyce TB 2013 0.203 9.5 44.4 46
 SELL Career 0.282 18.7 36.5 44.8
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
12 J.J. Hardy BAL 2013 0.204 17.6 49.1 33.3
 BUY Career 0.265 16.9 44.5 38.7
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
13 Ike Davis NYM 2013 0.207 21 41.9 37.1
 SELL Career 0.278 18.7 41.2 40.1
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
14 Pedro Alvarez PIT 2013 0.210 20.9 46.3 32.8
 SELL Career 0.291 17.9 48.1 34
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
15 Maicer Izturis TOR 2013 0.212 20.7 52.9 26.4
 SELL Career 0.284 20.4 44.8 34.7
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
16 Adam LaRoche WAS 2013 0.213 25 32.8 42.2
 SELL Career 0.285 20.7 37.9 41.3
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
17 Jeff Keppinger CWS 2013 0.217 26.4 39.6 34.1
 SELL Career 0.284 21.2 49.7 29.1
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
18 John Buck NYM 2013 0.221 14.1 37.2 48.7
 SELL Career 0.266 17 41.9 41.1
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
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
19 Jonathan Lucroy MIL 2013 0.222 20.2 41.7 38.1
 BUY Career 0.295 21.6 42.1 36.3
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
20 Will Middlebrooks BOS 2013 0.222 21.8 35.9 42.3
 BUY Career 0.303 21.6 41.4 37.1
Everyone is down on Middlebrooks right now, but the kid is young and the hits will start falling as the weather warms up.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
21 Mike Moustakas KC 2013 0.227 17.1 26.3 56.6
 SELL Career 0.287 17.9 34.7 47.3
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…
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
22 Albert Pujols LAA 2013 0.228 19.8 45.3 34.9
 HOLD Career 0.272 19 41.1 39.9
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
23 Nolan Reimold BAL 2013 0.230 15.4 43.1 41.5
Career 0.273 14.8 46.6 38.6
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
24 Miguel Montero ARI 2013 0.231 16.3 55 28.8
Career 0.304 19.8 41.8 38.3
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
25 Martin Prado ARI 2013 0.232 20.7 49.1 30.2
 BUY Career 0.301 19.9 47.4 32.7
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
26 Victor Martinez DET 2013 0.236 19.6 35.5 44.9
 HOLD Career 0.288 20.5 43 36.4
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.
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
27 Adrian Beltre TEX 2013 0.238 16.8 43 40.2
 BUY Career 0.291 19.1 41.1 39.7
I seriously doubt anyone is selling on Beltre, but it never hurts to ask, right?
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
28 Andrelton Simmons ATL 2013 0.239 21.1 43.3 35.6
Career 0.294 18.6 51.1 30.4
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
29 Michael Morse SEA 2013 0.239 16.3 46.3 37.5
Career 0.301 19.3 48.1 32.6
BABIP LD% GB% FB%
30 Trevor Plouffe MIN 2013 0.242 24.2 36.4 39.4
Career 0.268 18.3 39.9 41.8

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

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K J

Lead Writer / Editor at FantasyTeamAdvice
Lead Writer and Editor of FantasyTeamAdvice.com. Our website allows fantasy sports fans and writers the opportunity to dish out their own unique brand of fantasy advice to over 2,000,000 readers per year (and still growing!). You can find me in the forums on a regular basis interacting with one of the fastest growing fantasy sports communities on the web today.

2 Comments

  1. byczko

    May 7, 2013 at 00:10

    KJ-

    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!

    Christopher

    • __KJ__

      May 7, 2013 at 04:18

      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

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