Patience with bargain-bargains will pay off for league managers

It’s easy to panic when players are struggling early in the season (hello, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story and countless others).

Roto Rage always preaches patience, even when things look really ugly. Just because a player doesn’t excel right off the bat (pun intended) doesn’t mean he won’t as the season and warmer weather progress.

The worst thing you can do is drop a player for a cold start — especially one that you drafted as a key player on your team (that’s why benches exist). The last thing you want is a player you drafted due to your early impatience to help your competition.

It’s been said a million times, but we’ll say it again: It’s not how you start, it’s how you end.

Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers fought mightily (and even that’s putting it mildly) in his first 14 games, hitting .078 — yes, that’s right, .078 — with no homers, three carries, an RBI and 16 strikeouts. He had a base percentage of .172 and a slugging percentage of .098 (.270 OPS).

Among players with at least 50 plate appearances, Rodgers averaged last, slugging percentage and OPS, and had third-worst OBP.

Those numbers made Roto Rage look silly because he called him one of the best draft bargains and the most underrated second baseman going into the season. It also made any fantasy owner nervous about using a valuable mid-round pick to snag it – and rightly so.

Gleyber Torres was a hot hitter for the Yankees in May and an excellent bargain for fantasy baseball executives.
Gleyber Torres was a hot hitter for the Yankees in May and an excellent bargain for fantasy baseball executives.
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

However, when May struck, Rodgers was like Lincoln Hawk, tipping his hat before facing Bob “Bull” Hurley in “Over the Top.”

In his first 14 games this month, Rodgers was 21-to-58 (.362) with two homers, 16 RBIs, 11 runs and just 10 strikeouts. He had a .569 slugging percentage and a .373 base percentage (.942 OPS).

Although Rodgers went into the weekend with the fifth-worst walk rate (1.6 percent) in the majors this month, he averaged 11th, 30th in runs and ninth in RBIs. He also placed 17th in slugging percentage and 27th in OPS, quite a reversal after his terrible start.

Will he be as good for the rest of the season? Not with the untenable .413 BaBIP he had this month, but Rodgers won’t be nearly as bad as April. He’s available in 60 percent of ESPN leagues, so now’s a good time to strengthen your team by taking advantage of impatient owners who dropped him (or pick him up again if you were the one who dropped him). Has).

Here’s a look at some other players who have started to turn things around after slow starts:

In his first 17 games, the Reds’ Tommy Pham hit .186 with three homers, four RBIs, 17 strikeouts and .667 OPS. In his last 18 games, the 34-year-old increased his average to .240 after going 19 to 66 (.288) with one homer, eight RBIs, 12 runs, two stolen bases and a .784 OPS. He’s a solid veteran outfield player who remains available in 55 percent of ESPN leagues.

Gleyber Torres was an All Star in his first two big league seasons but didn’t look like that player at all in 2020 or 2021. Despite being one of Roto Rage’s most popular bargain draft targets, it looked like nothing had changed in his first 11 games (.143, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 R, 9 SO, .491 OPS) . The 25-year-old flipped the script in his first 24 games since April 21, going 23 for 81 (.284) with four homers, 17 RBIs, nine carries and an .816 OPS.

The Marlins’ Avisail Garcia is still batting just .213 for the season, but the 30-year-old came on Friday with at least one hit in nine of his previous 11 games while going 13-to-45 (.289) with two homers, five RBIs, a stolen base, five runs and a .727 OPS in that span. He’s in the top 1 percent in the league for maximum exit velocity.

Last year’s World Series MVP Jorge Soler hit .167 after his first 26 games for Miami, but raised his average to a still-awful .195 after going with four homers, 10 RBIs and a 10-for-37 (.270). .929 OPS in his last nine games.

Justin Turner of the Dodgers hit .168 with one homer, 13 RBIs, 20 strikeouts and .469 OPS in his first 26 games but went 10-to-33 (.303) with three homers, 15 RBIs and 1.070 OPS. about his previous nine games before Friday night.

Big hits

Freddy Peralta SP, brewer

In his last three starts, he’s 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA, a 25-4 strikeout walk rate and a 0.177 opponent average. Has a 1.57 ERA with 38 strikeouts, six walks and an average of 0.168 opponents in his last five starts.

Paul Goldschmist 1B, Cardinals

Entered Friday on a 12-game hit streak, going 22-for-50 (.440) with four homers, 16 RBIs, 10 carries, a stolen base and 1,333 OPS over that span.

Paul Goldschmidt started on Friday with a winning streak of 12 games.
Paul Goldschmidt started on Friday with a winning streak of 12 games.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Tony Gonsolin SP, Dodgers

Has not allowed more than two earned runs in his first seven starts and is 3-0 in his first three starts this month with a 1.69 ERA and a .132 opponent average.

Kolten Wong 2B, brewer

At least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games on Friday, 15-to-47 (.319) with three HRs, six RBIs, 10 runs, five stolen bases and 1,041 OPS.

Big puffs

Joc Pederson OF, Giants

Watched his average drop from .353 on April 27 to .222 on Tuesday after going 2:39 (.051) OPS in his first 13 games this month with one homer, four RBIs, two runs, 11 strikeouts and a .284.

Steven Matz SP, Cardinals

Allowed seven homers in his last three starts while going 0-2 with an 8.56 ERA and an opponent average of .263 and .949 OPS over that span.

Chris Taylor OF/2B/3B/SS, Dodgers

Joined Patrick Wisdom for most strikeouts (38) from April 19 through Thursday. He hit .207 with a .675 OPS in that range.

Chris Taylor, despite being an All Star last season, has had a cold spell.
Chris Taylor, despite being an All Star last season, has had a cold spell.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Nathan Eovaldi SP, Red Sox

He’s 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA, seven homers allowed and a .351 opponent average in his first three starts this month. No wins since April 13th.

Check swings

Brandon Nimmo had at least one hit in 15 of his first 17 games this month and went 20-to-66 (.303) with seven RBIs, 12 carries and an .819 OPS. He went into the weekend eighth in the NL in walk rate (13.7 percent), ninth in percent (.391), and 13th in runs (23). He also had the 15th lowest strike rate (15 percent) in the NL.

– After struggling in his first 26 games (.141, no homers, six RBIs, four carries, .341 OPS), the Royals were Whit Merrifield entered the weekend with a 10-game hit streak where he was 16 for 43 (.372) with two homes, 10 RBIs, 10 runs, three stolen bases and .949 OPS.

Whit Merrfield has resumed play after a slow start to the 2022 MLB season.
Whit Merrfield has resumed play after a slow start to the 2022 MLB season.
Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

David Bednar, who is available in 35 percent of ESPN leagues, has a 27-3 strikeout walk rate for the Pirates while maintaining a .90 ERA and a .132 opponent average in his first 16 appearances. He’s also 8-for-8 in rescue odds.

Team Name of the Week

Harold & Kumar Rocker Go to the White Castle

Submitted by Brad Smith Patience with bargain-bargains will pay off for league managers


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