You have enjoyed the first month of the fantasy baseball season with these hitters. Now it's time to cash in.
Every player has a price. No hitter or pitcher should be off limits in a fantasy league. Even if you have Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, pull the trigger if someone in your league is willing to give you a small army for them. However, there are some players who, if you own them, should be a priority if you are looking to deal. Here are three of them.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals
This one is oh-so obvious, but if you aren't trying to trade Zimmerman, you just aren't trying. The dude is the No. 1 player on ESPN's player rater! A .432 average. A 1.337 OPS. Zimmerman hasn't hit more than 26 home runs since 2009, and he has 11 through his first 26 games this year. He's been even better in the past week, going 15-for-26 at the plate with three homers and 12 RBIs. How is he doing this? Well, he's smacking the heck out of the ball with a 43.8 hard-hit percentage. A .469 BABIP helps, too. I hope you are laughing along with me at the absurdity of those numbers. Zimmerman has always been a quality hitter while healthy, which has been somewhat rare in recent years; he has averaged just 90 games played over the past three seasons. Try to trade Zimmerman because odds are he'll likely get injured at some point. Try to trade Zimmerman because he is absolutely due to come back down to earth sooner than later. Or try to trade Zimmerman just to see if you can sell someone on his current player rating. But do try to trade him.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Actually, I'm not an ardent supporter of unloading Judge. Or at least I wasn't until I saw which players he was being traded for on Wednesday, via Yahoo Fantasy's Trade Market. That list includes Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, Jose Bautista AND Francisco Lindor, Chris Sale and (with Francisco Rodriguez) Manny Machado. That's not bad, eh?
Is Judge going to hit 35-40 home runs? Yeah, probably. We know he has power to spare. But while he has made big strides to cut down on his strikeouts and take more walks, he is not going to be a .300 hitter. And considering the kind of return on investment Judge has been netting, you're doing yourself a disservice if you are not at least attempting to see what you could get for the rookie. I do want to stress, however, that you should wait for a deal you like. Make someone pay full price because, again, his power is totally legit and special.
Avisail Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox
You will have to do your best used-car salesman imitation to get much for Garcia since most casual fantasy baseball owners probably don't recognize the name. Others will just say, "Isn't that the guy who hasn't done much of anything since being compared to Miguel Cabrera at the beginning of his career?" Yeah. But this year, Garcia is raking at a .382 clip with five homers, 17 RBIs, and he is the No. 17 hitter on ESPN's player rater. And, man, it feels like one big fluke. He is hitting more fly balls and fewer ground balls at a noticeable rate. But other than that, there's really nothing else to explain his hot start. Oh, other than his MLB-leading .460 BABIP (as of Wednesday night). Garcia still doesn't walk much, still chases too many pitches, still whiffs quite a bit and still doesn't hit the ball hard enough. He has just gotten lucky. Get out while you can.