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Buy/Sell: June’s Hitting Standouts

We saw a lot of encouraging performances this June, but are these signs of future success or just another hot streak?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to look at some of the players who had killer months (in June) and whether or not they will continue this success the rest of the season. If there is someone I didn’t cover that you still have questions about, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Now let’s get right into the list!

Ian Desmond, 1B, Colorado Rockies (Sell)

If you own Desmond, I would recommend trying to sell him now. Nothing he has done this past month looks at all sustainable. So far this season he has an insane 42.1% home run to fly ball ratio, which is 9.5% higher than what he would he would be projected if he hit every fly ball with hard contact. On top of that, he doesn’t even have the pull percentage or hard contact rate to show he can match the league average. Now he does play in a hitter-friendly park, but that can only do so much for him due to his ground ball heavy profile. I promise you that I have never seen a ground ball go over the fence for a home run. This season he has a 61.6% ground ball rate, which puts him in first among all qualified batters. Desmond has been known to outperform his peripherals before, but I would be looking to sell after his hot June, in which he hit .261/.387/.568 and hit an astonishing eight home runs.

Ketel Marte, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks (Buy)

Marte has been making a lot of contact, which is excellent when you boast a career-high 35.1% hard contact rate. The concern, however, is his 16.4% line drive rate. It is worth noting that this is way out of line from his career norm, as he has posted an average to above average line drive rate each of the past three seasons. If he can get back to hitting line drives just 20.0% of the time, we could be looking at a monster second half for the Diamondbacks second baseman.

Derek Dietrich, 3B, Miami Marlins (Buy)

Dietrich isn’t necessarily a buy high, but I wouldn’t be selling him either. He is more of someone to hold for the time being. His current 24.4% strikeout rate looks out of line when you look at his 79.9% contact rate and 49.9% swing%. With someone that makes that much contact while also swinging at an above average rate, you should expect that strikeout rate to be below 20.0%. I was actually surprised to see his that 37.7% hard contact rate is actually 3.8% lower than his Statcast hard hit rate. He hits enough fly balls, which combined with his hard contact rate gives him the potential to put up 25+ home runs. Sadly, his 38.2% pull percentage and pitcher-friendly park will hurt some of his power potential. With his 26.1% line drive rate, however, he should be able to put up good enough numbers to at least make him a top 250 fantasy player this season.

Max Muncy, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Buy)

Muncy has been an absolute beast for the Dodgers this season. He has always shown elite plate discipline at the major league level, which is evidenced by a career 36.4% swing rate and 19.6% chase rate. Although his patient approach is great for walks, it will somewhat hurt his batting average as it cuts into his strikeouts. Luckily, with a 78.0% contact rate this season, he should be somewhere around the 23.9% strikeout rate he currently boasts.

With this patience also comes a lot of power. Muncy already has 17 home runs on the season and has shown no signs of slowing down. His .076 ground ball to fly ball ratio and 46.7% hard contact rate are some of the best in the league. If his batted ball profile continues at its current rate, then you should expect something around a .268 batting average while averaging a home run about every 19.3 plate appearances. Muncy is a must add if he is still currently on waivers, and could end up being a top 50 hitter by season’s end.

Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Buy)

Pederson is the real deal and is ready to prove all his doubters wrong. His struggles since joining the league can be mostly attributed to his high strikeout rates, although there are other reasons as well. In the past two seasons, however, he has posted an above average contact rate, which has helped him drop his strikeout rate to an impressive 14.6% this season. Now this strikeout rate is likely to rise around the 19.0% mark, but don’t sell high on the Dodger outfielder just yet. If we neutralize his current batted ball profile, he has a projected BABIP of .295. This is .035 higher than his current BABIP and would give him a .271 batting average if his strikeout rate does end up at 19.0%. His 11 home runs are right in line with what his neutralized batted ball profile projects as well (11.02), so expect his power output to continue at its current rate. He is still a below average hitter against left-handed pitchers, but he is a must-start when a right-hander is on the mound.

Poll

Which player are you most excited for ROS?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Ian Desmond, 1B, Colorado Rockies
    (10 votes)
  • 11%
    Ketel Marte, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks
    (16 votes)
  • 4%
    Derek Dietrich, 3B, Miami Marlins
    (6 votes)
  • 60%
    Max Muncy, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
    (84 votes)
  • 16%
    Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
    (23 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now