Dynasty Fantasy Baseball: Middle Infielders to Buy Low
Playing in a dynasty Fantasy Baseball league can be both fun and challenging. It puts you in the general manager’s chair of a fantasy team that you have complete control over. Balancing the major and minor league roster can be a challenge, especially in a deeper league. But ultimately, you are in control of your team and dictate the direction you want your team to go.
A major part of success in a dynasty Fantasy Baseball league is knowing the appropriate time to buy or sell a certain player. In a way, it is kind of like playing the stock market. If you know the right time to buy and the right time to sell, you can find yourself building a successful dynasty. While trading is not everything, it is a big part of being successful in Fantasy Baseball.
After a crazy 2020 season, it could be time to buy players who underperformed and sell guys who may be at peak value. Last week, Eric Cross looked at “Dynasty Middle Infielders to Sell High.” Today, we will dive in on several middle infielders that you should consider buying low in your dynasty Fantasy Baseball league. The shortstop and second base positions offer many players to sell-high on, but let’s take a look at several you can buy-low.
What?! Your league is not planning on using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
Dynasty Middle Infielders to Buy Low
Gavin Lux, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Wow, the hype on Gavin Lux faded QUICK! This situation feels very similar to Kyle Tucker, a former top-five prospect who never got his chance to shine with the big league club. His dynasty value dropped significantly before his 2020 breakout with the Astros. This is exactly what I think will happen with Lux. Once he gets his consistent shot at playing time, the value will really take off.
Lux began his ascendant to prospect stardom after he dominated high-A and double-A in 2018, slashing .324/.399/.514 with 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases. His strong start to the 2019 season led Lux to vault to the top-five status of rankings by midseason. Between double and triple-A, Lux slashed .347/.421/.607 with 25 home runs and ten stolen bases. The hype was out of control and the dynasty Fantasy Baseball cost to acquire him was through the roof.
Lux even had a small cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2019 but was not overly impressive. Lux arrived late to summer camp in 2020 due to undisclosed reasons, and when he arrived, he looked nothing like himself. He was optioned to the alternate training site when the season began to continue his ramp-up. Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez split time at second base, which caused Lux not to be called up until August 27. He made just a handful of starts, and most of his at-bats came off the bench.
Much like Kyle Tucker, when Lux gets consistent at-bats, he will skyrocket up dynasty Fantasy Baseball rankings. Even though he is projected to begin the year on the bench in 2021, according to Roster Resource, Lux can shine with regular playing time. His value could continue to fall if he finds himself on the bench to start the year. So buy-low on him, but keep in the back of your mind that the value could dip even lower.
Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
Keston Hiura has many similarities to Lux in that they both peaked in value after 2019 but have seen a huge drop since. Unlike Lux, Hiura debuted and dominated in 2019, slashing .303/.368/.570 with 19 home runs and nine stolen bases in just 348 plate appearances. Between triple-A and the Majors, Hiura hit 38 home runs and stole 16 bases. He looked more than primed to fully breakout in 2020. Instead, he came crashing down to earth in the shortened season.
Hiura played in 59 of the Brewers’ 60 games but slashed just .212/.297/.410. He did manage to hit 13 home runs and steal three bases. But outside of the counting stats, it was a season Hiura wants to forget. His strikeout rate spiked to 34.6 percent, and his walk rate dropped to just 6.5 percent. Hiura also hit the ball on the ground more, and his hard-hit rate took a tumble. Additionally, Hiura’s zone contact rate dropped nine percentage points to 67.9 percent, the worst in the league. Luis Robert was the only player in baseball with a higher swinging strike rate. There are definitely reasons for concern.
So, why should you buy low on Hiura then? Hiura openly admitted that he struggled to get his timing down during the season. Could the long layoff and the lack of time to ramp up have affected this? Surely so. Hiura was one of the best pure hitters in the 2017 draft and the Minor Leagues at one point in his career. In his three-year career at UC Irvine, he slashed .375/.466/.581 in 165 games. Fast forward to his 965 MiLB plate appearances, and he slashed .317/.382/.546. I have a hard time believing that Hiura just forgot how to hit after dominating every level he has been at.
There are plenty of reasons to believe that Hiura can rebound, but adjustments need to be made. He remains my second-ranked second basemen for dynasty Fantasy Baseball leagues, and the price is likely lower than that. Trust the history of Hiura’s skills and performance and check in with the person who owns him in your league. It could pay off to buy Hiura now.
Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies
This article seems to be following a trend. Brendan Rodgers is the third player we will discuss, and much like Lux and Hiura, he dominated as a prospect but has failed to live up to the hype after his MLB debut. For some prospects, the lack of a 2020 Minor League season gave opportunities to get a chance with the big league club. That was not the case for Rodgers, who did not make the team out of camp and appeared in just seven games before a season-ending shoulder injury occurred. The Shoulder strain he suffered was mild, but it was the same shoulder that caused issues in 2019. The injuries alone give plenty of reasons for concern moving forward. You have to wonder if the shoulder injuries have hurt his performance on the field as Rodgers has managed to slash just .196/.235/.227 in 102 Major League plate appearances.
At his peak, Rodgers was a top-ten prospect by several ranking sites and for good reasons. Rodgers has all the intangibles you look for in a player, plus he produced on the field. Plus, getting to play your home games in Coors Field with Rodger’s kind of profile makes it even better. As a prospect, Rodgers showed plus power and hit 66 home runs in 387 Minor League games. While that does not seem like a ton, it averages out to 27 per 162 games. The power would play extremely well in Coors.
Rodgers was also graded as a plus hitter. In those 387 Minor League games, he slashed .296/.352/.503. Rodgers hits a healthy amount of line drives and fly balls, leading to a higher BABIP. Coors Field will only help inflate that. When he does hit the ball in the air, it has traveled far. Rodgers’s average fly ball distance was substantial in his stops in the Minor Leagues.
We know Brendan Rodgers is more than capable of being a great Fantasy Baseball asset. It is more the question of whether he will get healthy and have consistent playing time. His value has dropped like a rock, so it’s time to go out and acquire Brendan Rodgers in your dynasty Fantasy Baseball league.
Others to Consider Buying-Low
Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
A rough 2020 season led Javier Baez’s redraft ADP to drop from 36 before the 2020 season to 71 in 2021. Baez struggled, slashing just .203/.238/.360 with eight home runs in 59 games. His contact and whiff rates were among the worst in MLB. Baez was vocal about the inability to watch the video of their previous at-bats and how it affected his game. “To be honest, it sucks because I make my adjustments during the game,” he said. “I watch my swing. I watch where the ball went, where the contact was. I’m mad. I’m really mad that we don’t have it.”
Baez did have the highest strikeout rate of his carer at 31.9 percent. Despite not being a high OBP hitter, Baez has always hit for a solid average, with a .282 batting average between 2017 and 2019. Baez will rebound in 2021, so check in with the owner and see if you can acquire him on the cheap.
Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
After taking a major step forward in the second half of 2019, many bought into a breakout in 2020 for Rosario. Instead, the speedster slashed .252/.272./.371 with ZERO stolen bases. He only attempted one steal all year. Andres Gimenez was a better option at shortstop, and the Mets thought about putting Rosario to center field. With rumors that the Mets are running for several high-end free agents, Rosario could be out of a job. His value is low right now, but his 2019 season was a great one. He slashed .287/.323/.432 with 15 home runs, and 19 steals that year. There is value to be had, and Rosario just turned 25, meaning he still has plenty of time to develop into that top prospect we once knew.
For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2021 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020 and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.