As we draw closer to the midpoint of the Major League season, the trade market continues to be ripe with opportunity for owners who are willing to make a modest investment in a talented player who has been a disappointment this year. Owners who are ready to take a risk
As we draw closer to the midpoint of the Major League season, the trade market continues to be ripe with opportunity for owners who are willing to make a modest investment in a talented player who has been a disappointment this year. Owners who are ready to take a risk on a buy-low asset should pay special attention to a trio a frustrating second basemen and a pair of starting pitchers who have likely left their owners wanting more.
Ian Kinsler, second baseman, Tigers
Many owners where ecstatic to make a major draft-day investment in Kinsler, who was locked into the leadoff position in a talented Tigers lineup after producing 28 homers, 83 RBIs and 117 runs scored a year ago. But the second baseman has seemingly lost his power stroke, having produced just five long balls and 14 RBIs across 208 at-bats this season. Those who are looking for middle-infield power can trade for Kinsler on the expectation that his 48.1 percent fly-ball rate and career-best 39.2 percent hard-hit rate are predictive of a looming power surge.
Rougned Odor, second baseman, Rangers
With a lifetime 3.9 percent BB/9 rate, Odor has always been highly dependent on his batted-ball fortune to generate fantasy value. And his fortune has been mostly bad this year, as he owns a .249 BABIP that pales in comparison to a lifetime .285 mark. However, the 23-year-old is on pace for roughly 30 homers and 15 swipes, which means that he is a series of base knocks away from approaching the expectations that were held by most owners on draft day.
Dustin Pedroia, second baseman, Red Sox
Although he is posting a helpful .296 batting average, Pedroia has fallen well short of overall expectations by producing two homers, 24 runs scored and a pair of steals across 213 plate appearances. In terms of personal production, the second baseman could return to form when his minuscule 3.1 HR/FB percentage draws closer to his lifetime 7.7 mark. And the sparkplug could also see an uptick in counting-stat production when a Red Sox lineup that led the Majors in runs scored last season improves on its 15th-place standing this year.
Jose Quintana, starter, White Sox
Quintana was marketed as one of the most reliable rotation members during draft season after posting at least 200 innings and an ERA between 3.20 and 3.51 in each of his previous four campaigns. But the southpaw has been anything but consistent this year, producing a 5.07 ERA (4.32 FIP) and logging quality starts in just seven of his 14 outings. Owners who have room to stash Quintana until he finds his form could have a stable stud on their hands once he brings his 3.5 BB/9 rate closer to his lifetime 2.4 mark.
Marco Estrada, starter, Blue Jays
Estrada has been arguably the most disappointing fantasy starter this month, going 0-3 with a 12.08 ERA and a 2.45 WHIP across three outings. But his recent struggles have been mostly due to poor batted-ball luck (.533 BABIP), and his trio of poor outings included a solid 14:3 K:BB ratio across 12 2/3 frames. Wise owners will look to pounce on league mates who fail to realize that the right-hander logged a 3.28 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP across 425 2/3 innings as a member of the Blue Jays prior to his June swoon.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.