by Jason Martinez
One really good question came my way and I'll do my best to give you a really good answer in today's 'Fantasy Baseball Outsider' Mailbag.
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Tommy S. asks via email: I'm looking to trade for a struggling player at a very low price. Out of these 3 players - Colby Rasmus, Nick Hundley, James Loney - who is the most likely to turn things around quickly?
First of all, it's a great strategy to target one of these players. All have past success and you could get a great value if an owner is already going into panic mode on one of them. Each of these three players are, in fact, off to very slow starts. Let's take a look:
OF Colby Rasmus, TOR: The left-handed hitting center fielder hasn't hit at all since the Jays acquired him last July. The 25 year-old is hitting .162 (25-for-154) with 3 HR, 6 BB, and 42 K. If he wasn't a star in his sophomore big league season (.276-23-66; 28 2B, 12 SB, 63 BB), he was a 'star in the making', at the very least. But he declined in 2011, and the Cardinals surprisingly included him in a deal with Toronto to acquire pitching help. Do you think the Cards would've traded Rasmus away if they really believed he was going to bounce back and become the player he was in 2010? I don't think so. And the World Champs are looking pretty smart right about now.
|Hundley is 0-for-19 to start the year|
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.
1B James Loney, LAD: The Dodgers' first baseman is off to a 1-for-20 start, and if that doesn't sound familiar, just look at his 2011 season. He was hitting .165 on April 23rd. He was also bad in July, but all you have to do is take a look at the other four months of 2011 to know that the 27 year-old first baseman will eventually come around. Loney hit .293 with 5 2B, 2 HR, and 6 RBI in May; .337 BA, 3 2B, HR, 10 RBI in June; .367 BA, 6 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 10 BB in August; .348 BA, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 8 BB in September. The guy will hit. It's surprising that he does go in these long stretches of terribleness, but he should be fine.
So I'll say 'yes' on pursuing Hundley and Loney, but Rasmus' continuous struggles are a bit concerning. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Hundley. While you probably already own a solid first baseman, if not an All-Star caliber one, catchers with Hundley's offensive potential are hard to find.
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