Hitters Available Under 40%/Cuttable at 60%+

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. Some of these are difficult cuts, but consider that we’re the equivalent of about 3 weeks in at this point so I think your bar for cutting someone needs to be lower than past seasons.

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.

Available Under 40% | Cuttable at 60%+

Pickings are a little slim behind the dish, but Jansen is off to a decent start after being highly touted in 2019 and failing to deliver on the hype. He’s hitting .235/.381/.412 with 1 HR and matching strikeout and walk rates at 19%.

Meanwhile, Molina has sputtered out of the gate at .222/.222/.222 in 18 PA. It’s obviously super early and veteran catcher will likely find his level, but he’s not so good that you must hang onto him in a 1-catcher league.

The former superstar is rather far removed from his last .400+ SLG season, at least full season. He had a .448 for 157 PA in 2018, but he was at .398 and .399 in 2019 and 2017, respectively. It’s not like .400 is even a great bar for power, but it highlights how much he’s struggled there recently. He reported to the initial Spring Training looking trim and fit and maintained it into the actual season. With legs back under him, the power has returned early on with 3 HR thus far. He only has 4 total hits, but the pop is there.

Encarnacion has just a .105/.150/.263 line thus far with 1 HR. In a season like this where you can’t really wait for things to pick up with non-superstars, especially if you have multiple slow starters, EE is someone you can reasonably cut right now and arguably re-acquire him if and when he starts popping off. If Cabrera doesn’t feel all that different from Encarnacion outside of his 2-HR game, consider Daniel Murphy (40%) as the Rockies are finally getting some home games going.

Yes, I’m doing back-to-back Tigers and I like this one even better than Cabrera. Schoop has 3 HR, too, but with a better .269/.276/.615 line in 29 PA. His playing time is locked and he’s an easy .250 AVG/20 HR (over a full season) lock.

Escobar is coming off a brilliant season last year (.269/.320/.511, 35 HR, 118 RBI, 94 R) and while I don’t think he’s going to keep hitting .148/.207/.222 this year, he’s an easy bet to be worse than his 2019 and I could understand moving on from him for someone like Schoop. I want to be clear that these aren’t easy cuts and several of these will turn it around, but I think this season more than any before requires quick action.

I love that Franco has a lower OBP (.276) than AVG (.286). But he does have a couple homers and plays every day with the Royals. He’s good for a few big hot streaks every season so you can get some fantasy goodness from his hot streaks. If you don’t have the stomach for Franco, I like Tommy La Stella (33%), too. He hasn’t hit his first homer yet, but I think there was some legitimacy to his power spike last year.

Look, it’d be tough to cut him, but he’s been completely underwhelming as a major leaguer and he’s hitting the ball on the ground at 68% clip so far this season. Obviously, I still like his long-term outlook. It’s just hard to have a lot of confidence in his short-term outlook given everything we’ve seen in his 544 major league plate appearances.

This is the easiest move to make in this list as I’m stunned that Adames is on just 12% of rosters and Segura is off to a wretched start (.167/.231/.167) after a pretty meh 2019 (.280/.323/.420, 12 HR, 10 SB in 618 PA). Adames is hitting a robust .333/.455/.500 and he hasn’t even popped his first homer. I had him tabbed for a breakout ahead of the season so I’m definitely on board with him here. I’d also prefer J.P. Crawford (15%) and Nico Hoerner (10%) to Segura. Dansby Swanson isn’t widely available at 65%, but that’s an easy swap for Segura, too.

You’ll have to trust me that I had Hernandez on this list when I made it yesterday afternoon before his 2-HR game. Honestly, I was worried I’d wake up him to soaring in roster rate and being unavailable for this, but he’s still at just 28%. I’ve been a Hernandez backer for a while, and he’s been solid-if-unspectacular the last two years so this might just be a hot streak to start the season. Orrr he could be tapping into his full skillset and ready to be a difference maker. You’ve already missed 4 HR and 2 SB, but let’s ride the hot hand.

Benintendi is coming off a down year and off to a horrid start (.095/.321/.143) as his 24% BB rate is the only positive in his profile. He has just a 14% hard hit rate which explains the 8%-line drive rate. If he starts to get hot, consider jumping back on board, but holding an otherwise bland profile in such a downturn doesn’t seem wise in shallow leagues (his 60-game pace last year was 6 HR/SB).

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

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

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Jim
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Jim

When Simmons returns, Fletcher will move to 2B and La Stella will sit.

viceroy
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viceroy

Or take ABs from Albert

kevinthecomic
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kevinthecomic

Moreno won’t let Albert sit.

jrogers
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jrogers

Is Fletch someone who needs to play 7 days a week? Also there’s usually 3 games before/during/after Ohtani pitches, when Pujols can DH and La Stella gets time at 1B.