As the fantasy baseball season starts to form, it’s time to start trimming the fat. You should be in full roster churn mode as players are who they will be at this point. Below are three free agent third basemen to consider. As always, two are available in 50% or more of Yahoo! leagues, with the third available in 90% or more. [Jeff]
Travis Shaw, Milwaukee (42% owned)
Travis Shaw was a hot pre-season bounce back post-hype sleeper who started hot, then fell on his face. He’s bounced back from the bounce back, as he’s smacked three home runs in the last four games. He’s a power machine who should be owned in at least half the rosters out there, despite the fact he is not. His power should stay, given his home ballpark. He even stole a base already, but don’t expect him to steal another.
Ryan Schimpf, San Diego (27% owned)
Schimpf has atrocious top-level fantasy baseball stats for the season, other than the three dingers so far. He has a .119 average, 6 runs and 6 RBI. However, a much better season bubbles just under the surface. He’s swinging less… at everything. That type of plate discipline has led him to an astonishing walk rate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help his batting average. However, his average will certainly change, as his BABIP is .077. To put it another way, most hitters in baseball get a hit about 300 times every 1000 times they put the ball in play; Schimpf gets just 77 hits under the same situation. Natural regression will bring Schimpf out of the basement. That’s a hot streak you’ll want to ride.
David Freese, Pittsburgh (10% owned)
Sneaking in just under the wire of 10% ownership, Freese presents the type of glue guy that deep league rosters need to prevent bottoming out. He has completely flipped his walk rate and strikeout rate this year, but his BABIP is in line with career norms. If he can keep this up, it’s solid production from soneone who gets everyday at bats. This season, Freese increased his flyball rate and kept everything within his career norms. He seems to have changed his approach, as he’s swinging less and connecting more compared to his career norms. Freese’s swinging strike rate has decreased by about 2/3. So far, it seems to be legit.