We are well into the fantasy baseball season and there have been many surprises and breakout players through the first seven weeks of the season. Some of these “surprises” will have an expiration date. You wouldn’t drink spoiled milk. Why would you keep a player who has gotten off to a great start but will show a lot of downside, as the summer commences?
The following players numbers look good on the surface but when you dig deeper they will not be able to keep up their current pace. Don’t be fooled into trading for these players from an unscrupulous owner. If you own any of these players, you should trade them now while you can still get exceptional talent in return.
Shelby Miller – P
The top pitching prospect going into the season has not disappointed owners. He has more than exceeded expectations. A major regression is coming. Take this opportunity and trade him before he can damage your pitching staff.
Most owners will see his numbers and jump at the chance to land him on their team. I traded him for Troy Tulowitzki, which is outstanding value. I get the best hitting shortstop in the game while my fellow owner gets a very good pitcher but not the great pitcher he thinks he traded for. You should be able to get first or second round value for him right now.
His strand rate before Monday’s start was a ridiculous 87%. This is completely unsustainable. His strand rate now stands at 82.7% after giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five in Monday’s start. Expect his strand rate to settle into the low to mid 70’s for the remainder of the season.
Monday’s start is very telling. He pitched well but he only threw five innings giving up three runs. You can expect shorter outings for him as the summer heat takes its toll.
Another factor that should worry owners is his workload. Shelby Miller has never thrown more than 150 innings in a professional season, which he accomplished last season. He has already thrown a third of those innings this season and it is not even June.
The Cardinals may limit his innings towards the end of the season. I can’t see them risking his arm especially if they are in the playoff hunt in September. They will want him fresh for a possible postseason appearance.
Jean Segura – SS
Before the three homer bonanza from Miguel Cabrera last week, Jean Segura was ranked number one on ESPN’s player rater. Only the most astute owners had even heard of him coming out of spring training.
He is currently hitting .355 with a K/BB ratio of more than 2:1. His average is nowhere near his 2012 minor league average of .304. In reality, I see him hitting closer to .290. His inflated BABIP of .385 is also not sustainable. He will go through prolonged slumps this summer.
Unless he is going the Melky Cabrera route, his power numbers will fall off soon. He currently has seven home runs and his career professional high is ten. Another, unsustainable number.
He plays a scarce offensive position and his speed is legit. He stole fifty bases in 515 at-bats in A-ball. He has already stolen 14 bases and has only been caught twice. This legit stolen base number is what you can sell your prospective trade partner on. There aren’t many players who have fifty stolen base capability.
A lot of owners will shy away from making a deal for him. If you can find a sucker who is in need of stolen bases and average you might land yourself a great deal in return.
Manny Machado – 3B
At this point in his career Manny Machado is overrated. He was one of the top sleepers going into this season and was hyped relentlessly in the minors. You might be able to receive more on your ROI (return on investment) than any other player currently ranked in the top fifty fantasy players based on all the hype.
Manny hit .257 and .266 in his first two full seasons as a farm hand with the Orioles. He is hitting a very lofty .318 in the first seven weeks of the season. His .354 BABIP is not going to happen over a full season. It will not be long before he begins a lengthy slump. His average is not sustainable.
You can sell owners on his youth and how his power numbers will only increase from here on out. Make sure you talk about his slugging percentage being at a career high. Let me be the first to tell you that his power numbers are not going to make a huge jump this year. He is on pace to hit fifteen home runs this season.
He is striking out at nearly three times his walk rate. This number will catch up to him soon and no amount of adjustments will be able to compensate for his whiff rate.
He is scoring runs at a prodigious rate, thanks to Adam Jones and the surprising Chris Davis hitting behind him. His run scoring rate should stay consistent, as his current OBP of .351 lines up with what he did in the minors.
One of the owners in your league will jump at the chance to land Machado for their team. You should jump on a premium player with a track record in return.