I was looking at Fangraphs leaders and laggers across several statistical categories this morning, and came across the laggers in slugging percentage. I was surprised at who was on the list. I won't call it a Buy list, because I don't think any of these players are available in any league. These are guys who should start hitting for more power going forward. Let's just say that April is behind them, for the most part, and the power will start showing up real soon.
1. Adam Dunn, CHW-Dunn has certainly disappointed fantasy owners this month, hitting just .155-.302-.268 with 2 HRs and driving in 10 runs. His .268 SLG% ranks him with the likes of James Loney, Brendan Ryan and Alcides Escobar. Pretty bad company. The problem with Dunn is he is striking out 41% of his at bats, but he is still hitting plenty of flyballs. He is hitting 52% of his balls in play in the air, yet his HR/FB% is just 9.1%, well below his career average of 22.1% The power will come soon enough,
2. Hanley Ramirez, FLA-Hanley is hitting .210-.304-.272 with no homers and 8 RBIs so far in 2011. Disappointing is an understatement. Hanley in still striking out at a respectable rate-16%, and is actually walking more this season-12%. but his problem is he has turned into Derek Jeter at the plate. He is hitting 58% of his balls in play on the ground, making his 51% GB% in 2010 not look so flukey. His flyball rate is just 28%. He has made some adjustments at the plate recently, so I would expect his GB% and FB% to improve going forward. Otherwise, he will have a hard time knocking Troy Tulowitzki off the top perch amongst fantasy shortstops.
More power hitting rebounders after the jump:
3. Pedro Alvarez, PIT-as I have mentioned a few times here, Alvarez is off to a slow start, but, while frustrating to his owners, it was kind of expected, because he struggled at each new level in the minors before making the necessary adjustments at the plate. This year, Alvarez is hitting .207-.266-.287 with 1 HR and 7 RBIs. He is striking out at a 35% clip and walking just 6% of the time. Like Hanley Ramirez, he is hitting too many ground balls. He is hitting 55% of his balls in play on the ground, while hitting just 34% of his balls in the air, down from 40% last year. Last year, his HR/FB% was around 18%, and this year it sits at just 5%. I think things will turn around soon for Alvarez.
4. Alex Rios, CHW-I am surprised that two White Sox hitters, who call U.S. Cellular Field their home, are on this list. Then again, it is April and it is pretty darn cold in Chicago in April. Rios is the owner of the lowest SLG% in baseball. I was going to say "on the planet", but that is another term that is so overused at this point. Buster Olney even used it yesterday. Wouldn't saying MLB mean the same thing? Ok. back to Rios. He is hitting .158-.245-.200 with no homers and 4 RBIs in 95 at bats. This after hitting 21 HRs last year. Maybe Rios is being too patient at the plate as he is walking more than ever and striking out a tad less than last year. His FB%, while lower than last year, is not drastically lower.
5. Carlos Gonzalez, COL-while I was of the opinion that Cargo would not duplicate his 2010 season this year, I did not expect to start out of the gate this slow. He is hitting .216-.268-.284 with 1 HR and 12 RBIs. His K rate and BB rate are right around his career averages, but he has the Jeter Fever as well. He is hitting 57% of his balls in play on the ground and only 24% in the air. His infield flyball rate is extremely high at 25%, so that should come down. Cargo just needs to hit more balls in the air and rid himself of the Jeter Fever.