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  • Making moves on your fantasy baseball waiver wire? These players can be on the other side of that transaction.
By Michael Shapiro
May 02, 2019

The fantasy stars seemed aligned for Jurickson Profar as he entered 2019. The versatile infielder joined a potent A’s lineup following an offseason trade from Texas, ready to serve as a super utility man after a 20-homer campaign in 2018. The new start hasn’t gone as planned.

Profar has been abysmal with the bat through 28 games in Oakland. He’s slashing .165/.223/.272, homering just twice in 112 plate appearances, and his most recent slump should send him to the waiver wire in all but the deepest leagues. He has two hits in his last 31 plate appearances, failing to register an extra-base hit in eight straight games. His struggles at the plate have been mirrored by a spate of defensive struggles. Profar’s seven errors lead all second basemen. He was held out of the lineup on Tuesday, and his status as an everyday player is now in question.

Profar’s rough start to 2019 comes on the heels of a career year. He posted a .793 OPS with 77 RBI to go with his 20 dingers last season, making the most of his first full season in the big leagues. Yet in retrospect, last year’s power surge may have been an aberration. He posted a .099 isolated slugging in 2016, ranking 246th of the 268 players to log at least 300 plate appearances. With the Arlington boost now gone, Profar’s power deficiencies have reared their ugly head. The 26-year-old can still salvage this season, though, for now, consider him safe to drop from your roster.  

With that, let’s to the rest of this week’s Droppables.

Jay Bruce, OF, Mariners

Casting Bruce into the pool of Droppables would have been heresy through the season’s first 12 games, a stretch in which Bruce bashed seven homers and drove in 13 runs. But the three-time All-Star has fallen off a fantasy cliff since his blistering start. Bruce is slashing .186/.271/.395 in his last 14 games, hitting just two home runs in that time. He’s struck out in 32% of plate appearances thus far, the worst mark in his 12-year career. Seattle’s offense has begun to show some serious regression after its hot start, slashing .207/.322/.322 as a team in its last seven games.

Jose Leclerc, RP, Rangers

Leclerc is out as the Rangers’ closer after posting an 8.44 ERA in 13 appearances, allowing more homers in already this year than he did in the entire 2018 season. He has issued nine walks in 10 2/3 inning, helping him to a troublesome 2.16 WHIP. That combination is dangerous at Globe Life Park, one of the friendliest hitting environments in the league Walks can be deadly in Texas, especially as the summer heat takes hold over the next few months. Perhaps Leclerc stabilizes in coming weeks and returns to his 2018 form, reclaiming the closer’s job in the process. For the time being, though, that appears nothing more than wishful thinking.

Yuli Gurriel, 1B, Astros

Gurriel is in prime position to succeed, with plenty of RBI chances hitting in the bottom half of the Astros’ potent lineup. Yet he’s failed to take advantage, slashing a meager .240/.292/.375 through 113 plate appearances, with his batting average dropping 49 points from his fourth-place Rookie of the Year finish in 2017. With just one homer and nine RBI on the season, Gurriel doesn’t warrant a fantasy roster spot even in one of baseball’s most explosive lineups. Expect Tyler White to earn a greater share of plate appearances in the short term, while Yordan Alvarez lurks as a permanent replacement Triple-A Round Rock.

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