Hitters Available Under 40%/Cuttable at 60%+ #6

One issue I’ve had with pick up articles in the past is that so few ever recommend anyone to cut so which is arguably tougher than recommending who to pick. Sure, a player in question should probably be on a roster, but should it be your roster? I have a group of interesting free agents but also a player at each of those positions who you can consider cutting as well.

This article is designed mostly for 10- and 12-team leagues as a lot of these guys aren’t available in 15+ teamers and the recommended cuts are likely worth giving a bit more time to in deeper formats as well. I’m using ESPN’s roster rate for guidance.

Previous Volumes

Available Under 40% | Cuttable at 60%+

Varsho is finding more playing time in the outfield and starting to deliver some production. He has a .911 OPS in the last week with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 6 R in 25 PA. His strikeout rate is at 29% on the year, but down to 16% in this last week while his walk rate is at 9% on the season and 12% last week. I’m particularly excited for Varsho in 2021 and expect to have him on many target lists.

Sanchez has become a staple here, but it’s because he has a comically high roster rate at this point in 1-catcher leagues. Another dreadful week for Sanchez (.067/.125/.267, 1 HR), but keep clinging to those projections for the final few weeks, I’m sure he’s about to start hitting them!

Cooper is back from the IL and hitting well with a .277/.333/.553 line in 51 PA with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and 9 R for the Marlins. He’s been playing daily at DH so with that locked in time, he’s a nice consideration with 1B/OF eligibility.

Remember when Votto hit homers in the first two games and three of the first eight? He had a .956 OPS at that point. Since then, he has another three homers but with just a .202/.314/.337 line. He’s uncharacteristically striking more of late, too, with a 27% rate over the last two weeks.

France has been traded into a full-time role with the Mariners and he’s continued to rake. After putting up a 135 wRC+ in 61 with San Diego, he’s at a 151 early on with the M’s in 24 PA. I really like him as an everyday player.

Now Villar isn’t even running so his weak line is even tough to swallow. At least with Miami he snagged 9 bases (albeit in 14 attempts), but he’s yet to take off in nine games with Toronto so his .499 OPS is particularly rough. If you can’t really move up with a handful of steals (2-4) the rest of the season, it’s time to move on.

Candy has jumped 20 points in roster rate but remains the recommendation because he hasn’t slowed down. Since last Friday he’s hitting .467/.529/.900 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, and 7 R in 34 PA. He’s actually been on fire for over a month. After starting the season 2-for-21, he’s hitting .374 with a 1.084 OPS, 7 HR, 28 RBI, and 25 R in 134 PA.

Gurriel’s has had an ice-cold September hitting just .163/.159/.279 with 1 HR in 44 PA. He and Candelario are actually pretty similar so I’m perfectly open to just playing the hotter of the two over the final few weeks here. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Candelario spike a dream season like Gurriel’s 2019 when we get back into full 162-game seasons.

Simmons has been electric since returning, hitting .348 in 71 PA. He does have a passable .803 OPS, but I highlighted his AVG specifically because that’s why you’d pick him up. AVG is always more movable down the stretch than many fantasy managers realize, but it’s especially movable down this stretch given the 60-game season. An influx of hits like Simmons delivers can bring multiple points in the standings.

With Baez’s inclusion, I want to re-issue the reminder that these aren’t must-cuts, but rather suggestions of a potential tough cut if you’re backed into a situation that calls for it. I don’t necessarily want to cut Baez, but I’m not against it if I simply don’t have another cut. I don’t believe his talent is gone and I’m not going to rank him 300th or something next year, but I don’t think he’s a must-hold the rest of way, either.

Pillar is about to get his first big Coors homestand with all six of next week’s games coming in his new digs. He’s only played two games there as a Rockie so far and has just a .597 OPS in his eight total games, but I’m betting on Coors with this one.

The fleeting gains from Gallo’s 2019 are long gone (and never should’ve been expected to hold in the first place given that they were fueled by a .500 BABIP v. lefties) putting him back in that batting average drain power category. Are his 8 HR enough to take on the .182 AVG? That’s a decision you can make based on your roster, but don’t let the name value alone make you think you have to hold on.

We hoped you liked reading Hitters Available Under 40%/Cuttable at 60%+ #6 by Paul Sporer!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

Leave a Reply

9 Comment authors
Logi Berradl80Jackie T.Giant Slormwallach Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Baez is probably the most jarring (and cautious) idea for a cut, but unfortunately not much is explained as to why. I know Baez has recently declared that he sorely misses watching tape in-game, so perhaps you feel that he can’t make an adjustment this late. Do you think he’ll produce more than Simmons for the last two weeks?

Jackie T.
Jackie T.

His plate discipline has suggested he’s not as good as his counting stats and prone to wild fluctuations for his whole career.


This. He strikes out so much and walks so little that his value is entirely tied to whether or not he’s hitting home runs.

Whenever that isn’t happening, for either a good reason (injury, tired, getting lots of tough breaking balls) or a bad reason (just unlucky), he becomes useless.

Logi Berra
Logi Berra

Yeah, what they said. People have been calling him overvalued since his breakout due to his terrible plate discipline. He’s been even worse in that regard this year, raising his strikeout rate to 33%. Throw in some bad BABIP luck (he’s at .270 compared to his career .334 mark) and his overall line looks pretty ugly. With only two weeks to go, unless you’re in a keeper league, I don’t think cutting him is that bold of a move.