Last week we took a look at pitchers who were lucky (click here) and unlucky (click here) based on BABIP.

Today, let’s take a look at the 10 hitters who have had terrible luck and determine if they could be good buy-low options (all statistics from earlier in the week):


1. Carlos Quentin—Chicago White Sox: .160 BABIP

I was a big believer in Quentin heading into the season, and my opinion on him hasn’t changed from a bad five weeks. I know he’s never had the best BABIP (.221 last season, .248 for his career), but he’s just not as bad as he’s been (.172 BABIP in 2010).

Since he hasn’t shown tremendous power (four home runs), is coming off a down year (.236 average), and has been extremely unlucky, he certainly is a player that some owners may be prepared to cut bait on. If that were the case, I would be buying in a heartbeat.


2. Aramis Ramirez—Chicago Cubs: .170 BABIP

Is it really worth me spending the time telling everyone why we need not worry about Aramis Ramirez? I know there are concerns about him coming off last season’s injury, but that’s more toward his power than anything.

While the HR/FB rate is way down (5.5 percent after being between 11.6 percent and 18.7 percent from 2003 to 2009), the average should still be able to come back. It’s a shallow position, so if someone is selling, I’m buying.


3. Paul Konerko—Chicago White Sox: .192 BABIP

It may come as a surprise that he’s on this list, given his .284 average, but he clearly has benefited from a 30.2 percent HR/FB rate.

We all know the power is going to regress, but when it does the luck on balls put in play should improve (his career BABIP is .280). This easily could be a big season for Konerko, rewarding those who took the gamble on him late in their drafts.


4. Casey Kotchman—Seattle Mariners: .198 BABIP

Yeah, he’s struggled and has been unlucky, but does anyone really care? First base is an extremely deep position, and Kotchman offers little to no upside in the power department.

Yeah, he’ll likely get hot at some point and post an average that makes him worth using for a few weeks, but that’s about it. Leave him on the waiver wire, and if he’s showing signs, use him as a short-term fill-in. That’s his only real value.


5. A.J. Pierzynski—Chicago White Sox: .202 BABIP

As a catcher, he’s always had value, especially in two-catcher formats. He has moderate power (11 to 18 home runs from 2003 to 2009) and generally posts a usable average (.284 for his career).

Amazingly, he’s striking out a career-low 5.5 percent (his career mark is 12.4 percent), so even while his luck improves, his strikeouts will likely increase, offsetting things some. Throw in the fear that the team turns to Tyler Flowers at some point in 2010, and you get an option that likely isn’t worth acquiring.


6. Nick Johnson—New York Yankees: .214 BABIP

He’s now on the DL with a wrist injury, hurting his potential as a buy-low candidate. Talk is that he will miss “several weeks,” so the only people who can even take a chance on him are those who play in formats with larger benches, because he otherwise may not be worth the roster spot. 

However, when he does return, it’s a good bet that he’ll be in line for a bit of a hot streak. He’s never been a player to strike out an obscene amount, yet he had a 31.9 percent strikeout rate in the early going. He also was putting the ball in the air more, at 40.8 percent (since 2002 he had only once been above 35.6 percent). I’d expect him to right the ship, making him a great sleeper for the second half.


7. Melky Cabrera—Atlanta Braves: .220 BABIP

Who really cares, honestly? The only fantasy owners who should be interested in him are those in NL-only leagues or those in the absolute deepest of mixed leagues. He really is a fourth outfielder on a good team, and while he’s had some bad luck, there just isn’t much upside to speak of.


8. Carlos Pena—Tampa Bay Rays: .221 BABIP

He’s never been one to post a great average, thanks to his inability to lower his strikeout totals. While his .189 average is extreme, he has been at .247 and .227 the prior two years, so the upside may not really be too high. If you’re buying Pena, it’s for power only, so whoever has him is likely not growing frustrated due to this type of start.


9. Akinori Iwamura—Pittsburgh Pirates: .222 BABIP

He’s a better hitter than this (.194), and at second base, with some upside, there may be some value.

I know, he has little speed or power, but when you are in a deep league that requires a middle infielder, if you can hit for average and score some runs, you are usable in the short term. There are a lot of people in search of help thanks to the rash of injuries (especially among shortstops), so this is a name that I’d keep a close eye on.


10. Mark DeRosa—San Francisco Giants: .224 BABIP

He’s had some poor luck and hasn’t hit many home runs (3.6 percent HR/FB rate), which helps explain his .194 average. He’s hit over 20 home runs each of the past two seasons, so he should improve there.

He also should start hitting to some better luck, meaning he’s a good bet for an all-around breakout sooner rather than later. Given the positional flexibility he likely offers, you need to just be patient and wait for him to get healthy and to turn things around.


What are your thoughts on these players? Who do you think is a good buy-low candidate? Who are you looking to avoid?


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