Kyle Blanks is the top name on ESPN’s most dropped list, but is one man’s trash another man’s treasure? This new weekly series will take a look at a few recent drops and see if there is a chance for these rejected players to bounce back and provide value for teams willing to take a chance on their talents.
There is no doubting Blanks’ power potential, he hit one home run every 14.8 at bats last season and one every 14.5 at bats so far in 2010, but his AVG has yet to come around.
Blanks’ problems stem from poor early season plate discipline as he has swung at a ton of bad pitches and failed to make contact on 36 percent of his swings. That approach has led to 11 strikeouts, only one walk and some weak ground outs and fly outs. However, Blanks has shown in the past that he has the ability to take a walk 10.5 BB% last season (13.9% at triple-A). That gives us plenty of reason to think that his approach can change for the better as we move forward.
Still, Blanks doesn’t profile as a guy who is ever going to consistently hit for a high AVG. That means he’ll have to do some serious damage in the power department. Out of his six hits this season, four have gone for extra bases (two doubles and two home runs). Due to his spot in the order, Blanks has collected six RBI despite only having six hits. That’s as many RBI as Matt Holiday and Justin Morneau have to date.
Owners who can afford to take a hit in the AVG department may want to consider adding Blanks as a source of some nice power and RBI.
Mike Napoli -22%
Fantasy owners drafted Naopli expecting him to do basically what he has done for the past two seasons, hit 20 home runs. However, playing time has been scarce for Naopli as Jeff Mathis continues to get the majority of starts behind home plate.
The Angels aren’t exactly off to a good start (3-6) and they are 24th in Major League Baseball in runs scored, but Mathis is hitting .333/.346/.458. Seven of his eight hits have been singles, so not much damage is being done with Mathis at the plate. Also, his current BABIP is .389, which is destined to drop.
Before too long Mathis will fall into a slump and Mike Naopli will get more at-bats. If you have the roster space, stashing Napoli wouldn’t be the worst idea. If not, at least keep a close eye on this situation. As soon as the tide begins to shift Napoli’s way, he’ll be worth an add in all formats.
Mike Gonzalez -18.5%
This is a great chance to snag a closer and stash him on your DL. Honestly, I don’t really understand why Gonzalez is getting cut this much. There aren’t exactly great options in that Baltimore bullpen and Gonzalez should resume closers duties upon his return.
Julio Borbon -14.8%
Borbon is hitting .103/.103/.103. As cool as that looks, it’s not what fantasy owners want to see. Despite only reaching base three times on the young season, Borbon does have a stolen base.
This is a clear case of owners overreacting to an early season slump. Owners drafted Borbon in the mid rounds or higher on draft day, yet 29 at-bats into the season it is time to give up?
Borbon is pressing a bit in his first chance to open the season on a Major League roster, but once he settles in things should turn around. If he was dropped in your league and you could use some serious stolen base numbers, this is your chance to snag some serious value.
Geovany Soto -12.9%
Coming off of a miserable 2009 season, Soto has not put up good numbers out of the gates early this season. However, look past the AVG for a second and you’ll see a player that has been a bit unlucky.
Soto is hitting only .176 on the young season, but has five walks to his five strikeouts. He hasn’t been expanding the strike-zone much at all (19.5 percent swings at pitches outside the strike-zone) and four of his 12 balls put in play have been classified as line drives.
This would be a great time to buy low on Soto because of the slow start complied on top of a poor 2009 season. He has a BABIP of .182 right now, which is extremely skewed. As soon as the hits start falling, the AVG will rise and combine with good power numbers.