I have found five hitters whose BABIPs really jumps off the screen and five whose BABIPs are just entirely too low. I will use this to dive deeper in their stats and explain why you should be trying to Buy Low/Sell High on these players.
High BABIP Players
Fowler has the highest BABIP in the league amongst qualified hitters, at .515. That is much higher than his career rate of .343. When looking deeper into Fowler’s numbers it is clear to see that regression will soon settle in. Fowler currently sports a .314 Isolated Power) which is significantly higher than both his career rate and his career high of .174 in 2012. Fowler is a good player and could recreate his 2015, which would likely make him a top-36 outfielder this season. However, he is not THIS good. Try to sell him now if you can, especially while owners may be all over him and the Cubs.
Murph aka “Babe Ruth” has a BABIP of .487, the second-highest in all of baseball. That number jumps off the charts for any hitter, but especially for Murphy, who, if you don’t count 2008, where he had a .382 BABIP in just 49 games, he never posted a BABIP over .350. His career mark is just .316. Even if you are a believer that a late-season adjustment will lead to more power, you can’t buy into his .286 ISO and .714 SLG. Murphy is a very solid Fantasy player. But, is he a game changer? No. Try and unload him while last year’s playoff run and this year’s hot start are fresh in people’s minds.
Many overlooked White coming into Spring Training. However, he won the first base job and got off to a great start. White has the 10th highest BABIP amongst qualified hitters, at .414, along with a .380 ISO. His .340/.404/.720 slash line and five home runs all jump off the page. However, that does not seem sustainable when looking at his minor league numbers, where he showed a knack to bat around .300, but without much power. The time to sell White may soon be coming to an end. He has just three hits in his last 23 plate appearances and has struck out 39 percent of the time during that stretch.
Puig has a .372 BABIP, which currently ranks the 11th highest amongst all hitters. He currently has a .315/.393/.463 slash line. However, he has just one home run and his .148 ISO would be the lowest of his career. Yes, his average will decrease with his BABIP, but it may not be to the extent you are imagining. Puig has cut down on the strikeouts, but more importantly he is hitting the ball harder. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Puig had a 35 percent hard hit rate, which would be the highest he’s posted since his rookie year. Additionally, he is hitting more fly balls, which should lead to more home runs. His BABIP is sure to drop, but an increase in home runs will also be a factor. Puig is on track for a big season, and you should try to land him while his owner may still be skeptical.
Lindor currently has a .389 BABIP. You’d expect a speedy player to be towards the top of the list in BABIP, since he can beat out grounders for infield hits. His ISO has dropped from a .169 last season to a .128 so far. Coming into the year there were doubts if the power surge he had after being called up last season was legitimate. Given those concerns, with the slow power start, it would not be a terrible idea to sell now, while his name can still fetch a sizeable return. He should continue to provide average and 20-plus steals.
Low BABIP Players
Santana currently has a .167 BABIP, the third lowest amongst qualified hitters. Perhaps more worrisome to owners is that fact that he has just a .280 OBP. That is largely due to the fact that he is only walking 12 percent of the time, which would be the lowest rate of his career. The BABIP should normalize to around his career rate of .261, which would be an increase of nearly 100 percentage points. As that happens there will be a big increase in his OBP, which is .364 in his career. Santana could be a steal in OBP or points leagues.
Everyone knows Rizzo is a stud, but he currently has the fourth-lowest BABIP in the league, at .154. He is off to a slow start with a slash line of .189/.348/.453. But, does anyone believe that will continue? It will still cost a lot to land him, but if an owner can flip, say, Edwin Encarnacion for him, it is worth it.
Tulo has a .184 BABIP, .125 ISO, and a slash line of .161/.284/.286 so far in 2016. All are career lows. Yes, you can make the case that he is not the same hitter outside of Coors Field. But he is still one of the best hitters at his position and will have a monster hot streak to average out his numbers. Jump now while there are still doubts.
It has been a rough start for Grandy, who has a .195 BABIP and is hitting just .175. However, he is a notoriously slow starter. Last April he hit just .231 with one home run and ended up finishing a Top-15 outfielder in points leagues. That is where he is most valuable and owners should buy him before he gets hot.
The Todd Father’s BABIP sits at a not-so-pretty .200. He only has a hard hit rate of 18.6 percent, which is concerning. However, as many know, he can be one of the streakiest players in baseball. This guy will put your team on his back when he heats up and there is a good shot that his current owner is worried, given last year’s second half.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
All stats entering games of Thursday, April 20.
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