BP Fantasy Beat
Left field is up this week in our mid-season reports, and the position has had no shortage of quality bats available to help out your team this season.
Part of the reason for the
In an obviously small sample, Tatis has achieved equally unsustainable marks of a .381 BABIP and a liner rate of nearly 26 percent; you can expect the latter to fall closer to 20 percent as the season wears on. Tatis has also seen a boost in his average because of his success with infield hits this year -- 15.8 percent of his hits have been of the infield variety, a big number for anyone, but especially for Tatis, who was closer to four percent in his younger, faster days. Adjusting for these two factors should knock his BABIP down around 50-60 points, meaning he's more of a .270/.320/.475 hitter instead of a well above-average stick. That's also not too far off from his PECOTA forecast for the year (.265/.340/.437), which should help reinforce how unrealistic this quick start is.
This doesn't mean he can't help your team. Because the Mets are loaded with bats, and Tatis has already driven in 28 runs during his short time up from the minors. He also has three stolen bases, so it's possible he can help you out in a few categories, even if his rates predictably dip some. The question is whether or not you're enough in need of a left fielder to go out and pick him up; with so many other options around for the position, he may be more valuable as a sell-high candidate to the optimist in your league, rather than as a permanent solution for yourself.
The most upsetting thing about
We don't know what caused the dip, but it's there, as seen in his .226 BABIP, a far cry from last year's more normal .312 output. Given his 18.8 percent liner rate, Byrnes should have a BABIP closer to .308, which would boost his line significantly were he to play at that level from here on out. Of course, it's tough to fix your numbers when you aren't taking the field, and Byrnes was recently moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL due to his hamstring issues. He'll either be back during the end of August, or maybe not at all, which is a problem for owners who expected him to boost their stolen-base totals and give them solid left-field production.
The best thing for your team going forward is to drop him this year and call his season dead, but keep in mind that his poor performance so far, besides being partially due to his injury issues, was significantly altered by poor luck. With a career .287 BABIP that is a bit lower than the average due to years in Oakland, a park that reduces BABIP, this year's .226 is far too low to expect a repeat going forward, especially given his liner tendencies. While fantasy owners were far too eager to scoop up Byrnes in this season's drafts because of his career year in '07, the fickle crew will just as likely let him sit there in next season's draft due to his current issues. Keep an eye on him, and draft accordingly.
He's shown better work against lefty pitchers during this time frame (.283/.302/.450 against .222/.286/.289), which isn't so much an improvement as it is just getting back on track, considering that he hit .299/.326/.427 against southpaws in '07 and is a right-handed batter. Because of the lack of power and OBP, Young is a player who may be more valuable today in fantasy baseball than in the real game. This can change going forward of course, as he has plenty of growth and potential left to fill out, but for this year, he's a guy who should hit for a lofty batting average, steal a few bases for you, drive in some base runners and score some runs. Outside of the average, none of those figures is going to be outstanding, but he's capable of swiping 20 bags if he can just get on base, and with the Twins as a team hitting better the past two months (.291/.348/.438) he's a candidate to reap the benefits of those extra runs. With his line as poor as it is despite his recent upswing, he's most likely still available via free agency or in a buy-low situation.
The Giants haven't had many bright spots this season, but
Lewis has a few issues that make him inconsistent and may cause problems during his future, striking out far too often for a hitter with the little pop he shows. If you strike out 27 percent of the time, you need to keep your BABIP up and hit for power in order to maintain some form of utility during your worse days. Lewis does walk, with free passes in 10 percent of his plate appearances, but his ISO of .170 doesn't show up on the road, and isn't high enough to make up for the punchouts, especially when you consider that much of his success this year is due to his .361 BABIP. With liners 17.7 percent of the time, his BABIP should be closer to .297, meaning that Lewis' line is highly inflated by those two good months.
His redeeming quality is that he does steal bases, and as we've seen, his doubles totals rocket at home. Due to the drop in production we can expect because of his BABIP, and the inconsistencies of his H/R numbers, Lewis is the perfect sell-high candidate, especially because he can steal bases, and will therefore be overrated by at least one steal-hoarding owner in your league. Deal him before he has another of the bad months that will drop his value and hurt your own team's standings.