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FBB MarketWatch 4/15

Welcome back to the latest installment of the FBB MarketWatch.  The place where players are broken down and advice is given on what you should do with that player.  In fantasy baseball it is always smart business to try and maximize production.  Sometimes that can be achieved by holding and reaping the rewards of the ball players.  And sometimes it is best to move a scorching hot player for someone poised to blast off.  Let me be your team building advisor.  Make sure to find me on twitter for FBB MarketWatch dailies.  Search the hashtag #FBBMarketWatch.

Bryce Harper

Let me begin by getting the obvious out of the way.  Bryce Harper is one of the most talented players on the face of the planet.  Baseball fans have known his name for nearly a decade and a half.  So far in 2021, Harper is absolutely smashing the ball.  All of his hard-hit metrics are through the roof.  There just are not many players in baseball that are hitting the ball like Harper.  Only 3 players have hit a baseball harder in a single instance than the Phenom.  His stats are not nearly as nice to look at as his batted ball data.  Two things that will always be there is his plate discipline and his on base percentage.  Bryce currently has the same number of walks as he does strikeouts.  Given his ability to kill the baseball it has yet to translate into mass production for your fantasy team.

Advice

Harper is batting .231, has only 2 homers, and has only 11 runs + RBIs.  If you are the team builder who selected Bryce late in the 1st or the 2nd round, just stand pat.  You do not want to move a proven superstar just before he heats up.  Harper’s batted ball data is so darn juicy.  If the team builder who rosters Harper in your league is disappointed, please do them a favor and take Bryce Harper off of their hands.  Because the hype for the outfielder is always so high sometimes even a mediocre stretch can cause panic.  You will still have to pay the piper, but Harper’s juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

Looking at his data, he may be getting unlucky.  Bryce Harper’s expected batting average is over 100 points higher than his BA.  His expected slugging percentage is a whopping 300 points higher than what he has slugged so far.  Take his batted ball data, his expected statistics, and the fact that he is getting on base at about a 40% clip, Harper is a buy!  You may not be able to acquire him, but I believe he’s worth a try.

Max Fried

When Max Fried was drafted, he donned a round 5ish price tag.  Right now, his fantasy managers are starting to regret the selection.  So far, I know it is early, the lefty starter is getting hit.  Let me be more specific.  Max Fried is getting hit super hard.  In 11 innings he has surrounded 23 hits.  Of those 23 hits just about 11 of them were hit hard.  That has resulted in an ERA of 11.45 and a WHIP of 2.55.  However his strike out ability is still there.  Fried has struck out 14 batters in those 11 previously stated innings.

Advice

The Atlanta Brave’s pitch analytics look very similar to 2020 so that does not explain why he has been so bad this year.  Max Fried had a MRI on his hammy.  Turns out that it was hurt enough to land him on the IL.  If his woes are injury related, that could be good for his squads but than again it could also be very bad.

I am not trying to buy low on Max Fried.  Even though the injury is being classified as minor.  It resulted in an IL stint.  On the other side of the coin, if I roster Fried, I am happy for that minor injury.  Why would you want your SP 1 or SP 2 to be placed in the injured list?  Firstly it is not an arm injury.  Secondly a minor hamstring injury presents a reason for his issues.  No matter what I am trying to get out from under the lefty.  Trade him now.  As long as the hammy is not a long term injury.  You should be able to get sometime for him.  Given Fried’s ADP just a couple weeks ago he still has value.  Are you taking 85% on the dollar?  If you’re lucky but that’s okay.

Keston Hiura

The 3rd year second, well first basemen, has been a straight up buster in 2021.  Hiura is not even batting .115 and seems lost at the dish.  Keston Hiura is known to strike out. So fantasy team builders knew that going into the season.  But his K rate is up about 4% and when you compound that onto the fact that his walk rate is down 4% you are starring at a potential disaster.

Despite the high strikeouts, the first baseman has usually made up for it by crushing the baseball.  Well that is not the case so far this year.  Hiura is below the 20th percentile in hard hit rate.  Nine percent lower than 2020 and 20% lower than 2019!  The worst part may be that you will not find relief in his expected stats either. This should not make you feel good since you needed to take Hiura within the first 75 selections.

Advice

I do not roster Hiura in any leagues but if I did, I would hold.  I don’t like to sell on players when they are at their rock bottom.  Bench for now or endure the K’s if you can but do not sell.  Now if you roster Keston Hiura please stop reading.  Thank you for your valued time but please overt your eyeballs.  Okay, now that they are gone.  Go and buy Keston Hiura.  I do not enjoy parting ways with players at their bottom, but I do LOVE acquiring players at their lowest.  I mean who doesn’t.  At this point there is a chance that the fantasy manager in your league is growing weary of Hiura’s negatives.

Even in shallow leagues it is worth seeing if you can get Hiura for pennies on the dollar.  Last year he started slowing and then blasted off.  I really like his skillset so I will gamble that pattern repeats itself.

Be sure to come back next week for another edition of FBB MarketWatch.  Now get out there and wheel and deal.  Send me some of you trades on twitter.  Make me proud.

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 – Matt Desrosiers (@MattyKiwoom on Twitter)

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