2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball: Three to Add, Three to Keep, Three to Drop– First Basemen

As the season goes along, the demands of a fantasy player change. Real baseball is heading for the trade deadline and fantasy players have the same considerations. There are fewer and fewer surprises, so keeping track of who will surge in the second half and who will wane in the second half becomes paramount. So, the drop category isn’t so much a pure drop category but more of a who will likely wane down the stretch. So, they are more sell high candidates than out and out and drop.

The same is likely true of the add candidates. I have cross-checked them with the own percentages and all of them are below 50 percent owned. In some cases the numbers warrant adding them and inserting them in the lineup. In other cases it is a bet on them surging in the second half. Guessing is what is and should be taken for a grain of salt, but it’s why we get paid the big bucks.

(Numbers accurate through Monday July 3rd)

Three to Add

Lucas Duda— New York Mets

Key Stats: .253, 14 HR, 24 Runs, 30 RBI, 0 SB, 31 BB

What is going on?

The numbers don’t look great, but we are currently at the half way point. That puts him on pace to hit between 25 and 30 home runs. If he can stay healthy he can add 40 runs and 40 RBI at least in the second half. If you have a black hole at first he can fill it ably. If you want to deal your strength to fill other holes then he could be a nice stand in for the remainder of the season.

Barriers to Launch

As always, health has been the major concern for Duda. That’s why he wasn’t picked by many and why his run producing numbers are low.

Mitch Moreland— Boston Red Sox

Key Stats: .263, 12 HR, 39 Runs, 41 RBI, 0 SB, 33 BB

What is going on?

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate drops to zero. One of the benefits of being a deep team is that you can afford to be patient and wait for the cream to rise to the top. Just like the rest of the team, he got off to a slow start, but he is up to career norms. He won’t make anyone forget David Ortiz, but he will keep them afloat and he will help keep your team afloat.

Barriers to Launch

The key will be run producing opportunities and that shouldn’t be a problem.

Josh Bell— Pittsburgh Pirates

Key Stats: .230, 15 HR, 39 Runs, 38 RBI, 2 SB, 35 BB

What is going on?

If this column space has sustained any consistent criticism this season it has been the desire to play it safe and go with players that have already made their move. Bell represents a desire to go for broke. The numbers above aren’t worthy of an add, but his pedigree is. He profiles as a .260-.280 hitter. In order to get there he will need to hit .300 most of the way from here. That’s possible and if he does it he would be more than worth the add.

Barriers to Launch

If the Pirates start selling there might not be enough good hitters around him.

Three to Keep

Matt Adams— Atlanta Braves

Key Stats: .286, 13 HR, 29 Runs, 39 RBI, 0 SB, 15 BB

What is going on?

I know exactly what you are thinking. Freddie Freeman will come back soon and they will likely bump Adams for that. The word is that they will try Freeman at third and if that doesn’t work they can trade Adams to a contender. Either way, he has earned every day at bats at least for the rest of the season. The lack of patience has always concerned me, but at least he has realized his power potential this season.

Drop if…

His power returns to obscurity.

Miguel Cabrera— Detroit Tigers

Key Stats: .262, 11 HR, 29 Runs, 39 RBI, 0 SB, 36 BB

What is going on?

There is a whole context in fantasy sports about the aging veteran and what to do with him. Nothing is more insidious than the memory of a great player. The problem with a player like Cabrera is that they aren’t quite bad enough to cut and no one will give you fair market value for him. The best bet is to acquire one of the guys from above and go through a carefully planned platoon. Good luck.

Drop if…

You have someone better on your roster. Still, get something for him.

Carlos Santana— Cleveland Indians

Key Stats: .230, 10 HR, 48 Runs, 46 RBI, 3 SB, 46 BB

What is going on?

We all have that family member that always seems to be on the verge of making it on their own. We assume it will happen one day and it just never does. Santana is the same way. At different points he looks like a breakout candidate, but sooner or later we have to appreciate him for what he is. He is a low batting average guy, but he puts up good power numbers and gets on base. You may not get the walks in your league, but you will still get the runs.

Drop if…

He gets hurt.

Three to Drop (Trade)

Brandon Belt— San Francisco Giants

Key Stats: .235, 16 HR, 45 Runs, 42 RBI, 3 SB, 49 BB 

What is going on?

The Giants are a fascinating study this season for anyone that is not a Giants fan. The sum of their parts is somehow much greater than the whole. There’s lots of big names there and none of them are playing badly, but they are losing just the same. Somehow it depresses run production even in the face of solid performance otherwise. They are likely to start selling here pretty soon, so it will get worse before it gets better.

Keep if…

Those around him suddenly play better.

Yulieski Gurriel— Houston Astros

Key Stats: .292, 10 HR, 36 Runs, 39 RBI, 1 SB, 6 BB

What is going on?

He is on a hot streak and so dealing him now would seem counterintuitive, but check out the walk total. He will have another cold streak, so get what you can get while someone in your league thinks they are getting the next great thing. There are reasons to like him as he hardly every strikes out and he is in the deepest lineup in baseball, but those will only mask his shortcomings.

Keep if…

No one will give you anything of value for him.

Eric Thames— Milwaukee Brewers

Key Stats: .243, 21 HR, 51 Runs, 41 RBI, 2 SB, 49 BB

What is going on

Winning in fantasy baseball is all about managing inefficiency. Someone in your league doesn’t pay close enough attention to these things. Yes, the numbers above look great. In the last 28 games, Thames was hitting .180, 7 HR, 9 Runs, 13 RBI, and had 13 walks. He also struck out 34 times. Teams are beginning to figure him out, but there is at least one owner in your league that will rely on the overall numbers above.

Keep if…

He goes on another hot streak.

 

 

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