Pick Up All the Giants

Yeah, it’s a day late, as yesterday I was too busy demanding you pick up all the Rockies for their seven game homestand. But, if you’re in a daily transaction league, you still have three games to benefit from the Giants visiting Coors Field. So let’s have a look at some Giants hitters who might be available in your league and are owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues.

LaMonte Wade | 1B/OF 5% CBS Owned

Wade enjoyed an out-of-nowhere small sample breakout last year, contributing in both power and speed, en route to a .343 wOBA. It made him an interesting sleeper this year, but injuries have limited him to just 211 PAs. All that’s really changed this year is he has become an even more significant fly ball hitter and his BABIP has plunged. All those fly balls certainly justify a drop in BABIP, but a .209 mark is probably well below where he should settle in at.

He also hasn’t even attempted a steal yet after attempting seven last year, which is a red flag, as he figured to deliver a nice combo of power and speed this year. That said, for just three games in Coors, you’re not picking him up in the hopes he’ll steal a base anyway.

Keep in mind that the Rockies are expected to face one lefty out of their three games and Wade could be benched, and therefore only start in two games.

David Villar | 3B 15%

The 25-year-old Villar wasn’t much of a prospect heading into the season, but enjoyed quite the Triple-A performance, which followed a strong Double-A performance in 2021. He posted a 27.8% HR/FB rate and .342 ISO this year, even with just a league averageish .306 BABIP.

The upside here of the power breakout is he has already been an extreme fly ball hitter. So hitting a higher rate of his flies out of the park gives him some serious home run upside. Oddly, his maxEV stands at just 103.9 MPH, which is far below what you would expect from someone who has shown such power.

He’s not only someone worth picking up for his games at Coors, but he should be held onto the rest of the way as well, assuming his maxEV increases and his power is supported by that future higher number.

Brandon Crawford | SS 48%

It’s no surprise that Crawford couldn’t repeat last year’s big career year that saw him easily post the highest wOBA of his career, along with his highest ISO. But the decline this year is a surprise, as it puts him well below his career average.

What’s interesting is his maxEV has remained stable, his strikeout rate is in line with past years, and everything looks fairly normal. It’s just his HR/FB rate and BABIP that are down, though not significantly from his career averages. He also stopped stealing bases, so last year was the complete fluke.

While I don’t expect him to recapture last year’s magic, I don’t think he deserves this much of a performance decline. For a couple of games in Coors, it’s worth taking a shot that he knocks a couple of homers.

Joey Bart | C 32%

The former top prospect has shown big power this year, along with tons of strikeouts. His 23.4% HR/FB rate is backed by an elite 114.3 maxEV, but oddly his ISO stands at just .169 as he’s posted a low doubles rate. Because of all the swings and misses that have led to strikeouts, even a .328 BABIP hasn’t been enough to save his batting average, which sits at just .221.

So right now, Bart looks like your prototypical power hitter, or power-hitting catcher, almost Mike Zunino-like. Lots of power and nothing else. The good news is that Coors reduces strikeouts and inflates BABIP, so it covers up a lot of Bart’s flaws.

This is exactly the type of hitter I want to gamble on for a couple of games in one of the league’s premier hitter’s parks.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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