Going Streaking! A Hot-Hot July

The month of July is coming to an end and, while trade rumors dominate the blogoshpere, there have been a number of fantasy baseball surprises that have made an impact. Who to buy and who to sell? Let’s go streaking…

Emilio Bonifacio – 62% owned
How much do you love a player with 3B/SS/OF eligibility that has hit .395/.489/.421 with 21 runs scored and 14 stolen bases his month? LOTS! Off course, no one can keep this pace forever and Bonifacio’s BABIP this month is incredibly high (.492!). That being said, he’s still playing everyday and he’s still running wild when he gets on base (and he’s taking plenty of walks). As long as you are OK with his stolen base numbers alongside a .275 AVG the rest of the way, you could very well hang on to him. That being said, if you can sell high based on his July numbers, you absolutely do.

Cameron Maybin – 38% owned
Before getting sidelined by a hip injury, Maybin was flying through July with a .341 AVG and 11 stolen bases. His .403 BABIP for the month is certain to drop off, but I have my concerns as a whole with regards to his 2011 numbers.

While Maybin has made an adjustment to his once worrisome strikeout numbers, most of his peripheral numbers don’t profile well given his skill set. I mentioned earlier today, Pedro Alvarez’s whiff rate, which puts him in the same category as a number of low AVG, high power sluggers. Maybin’s whiff rate isn’t much better than that (27.5 percent whiff rate for his career) and he doesn’t have much of a power game. In fact, almost all of his offensive success is predicated on his speed. Maybin has a low 13 percent line-drive rate and a high 55 percent ground ball rate. He also has the second highest infield hit rate in baseball (min 300 PA).

Given his ground ball rate and plus-speed, we can certainly expect a higher-than-normal BABIP from Maybin. However, if that BABIP rate drops from it’s current .357 level, especially if his hip injury lingers and affects his speed, his overall results are going to regress fast.

Carlos Ruiz – 25% owned
Obviously, as the case is with both Bonifacio and Maybin, Ruiz’s huge BABIP this month (.403) is going to regress, but there is a reason to think that Ruiz can help fantasy teams in need of catching help down the stretch. Some players just seem to perform better in the season’s second half and Ruiz is one of those players…

Career stats
Pre all-star: .247/.341/.353
Post all-star: .281/.376/.449

Unless someone is offering up more than what you’d expect, hang on to Ruiz and hope his career trend continues the rest of the way.