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Fantasy Baseball Buy High/Sell Low: Kolten Wong, Whit Merrifield, Cody Bellinger (2022)

by Brian Entrekin | @bdentrek | Featured Writer
May 17, 2022
Kolten Wong

We have made it through another week of the MLB season, and that means we have another set of players to buy high or sell low based on their recent performances and a full-season outlook.

It is still challenging to get a great feel on a player as many underlying metrics have not had enough time to develop fully, but we are getting closer as we have played a little over a month of baseball. That said, let’s look at a handful of players that you should buy high or sell low:

Buy High

Kolten Wong (2B – MIL) 

What a week for Kolten Wong as he hit safely in four of five games with two home runs and four stolen bases. Wong also walked 25% of the time with a 100% Z-contact and 88.4% contact rate. Wong was locked in last week, and his season is looking a lot better over the previous few weeks. Wong is now hitting .257 with three home runs and eight stolen bases.

Wong always had excellent power and speed profile while hitting near the top of the Brewers’ batting order. This past week is just a glimmer of things to come as Wong should finish with 15+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases, returning great fantasy value to your roster.

Julio Rodriguez (OF – SEA)  

It was a slow start to the season, but Julio Rodriguez appears to be getting comfortable in the bigs. He racked up nine hits this past week with a .391 batting average. He struck out 24% of the time this past week too, which isn’t great, but it is much better than his previous weeks.

“JRod” is now hitting .264 with two home runs and 10 stolen bases. As he gets more comfortable at the plate, the power numbers should continue to develop. He will not get demoted, so go and trade for him wherever you can, as his power and speed combo will be outstanding.

Whit Merrifield (2B/OF – BAL) 

I have received a lot of questions and concerns about Whit Merrifield’s start to the season, but this past week should let many breathe a sigh of relief. He finished the week with a six-game hitting streak with 10 hits, two home runs, and two stolen bases. In addition, Whit racked up a .194 ISO with a .829 OPS and 139 wRC+.

He was quite free-swinging this past week, and maybe that was needed to get him going. Nevertheless, it was a much-needed big week, and there should be more weeks to come for Whit.

Nestor Cortes (SP – NYY) 

The legend of Nestor Cortes continued to grow this past week. He made two starts and threw over seven innings in each start. Cortes pitched 15.1 innings with 18 strikeouts and one run allowed. After this great week, Cortes now has a K-rate of 32.5% to go with a 25.2% K-BB. Cortes continues to go deep into games and what he is doing on the mound is no joke. So buy in now before the Cortes train leaves the station for good.

Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL) 

Guess whos back? Back again. Freddy Peralta’s back. Tell your friends. So many were worried about Peralta, but he threw 5.2 innings while allowing one run and striking out eight in this week’s start. That makes four straight starts of at least five innings with three earned runs or less and at least six strikeouts. Peralta has locked in as a near ace fantasy pitcher again, so go and trade for him immediately.

Sell Low

Marcus Semien (2B/SS – TEX) 

It has been a horrible season for Marcus Semien and this past week made things even worse. He collected one hit over his six games for a .042 batting average. Semien did not walk and compiled a .042 ISO and -75 wRC+. He also had no barrels with a 40.8% O-swing and 10.1% SwStr. He is now hitting .157 this season and NO home runs. When you dig more into Semien’s profile, it is not great. I did not expect an MVP-type repeat for Semien, but this is dreadful. Jump ship while you can.

Eduardo Escobar (1B/2B/3B – NYM) 

Eduardo Escobar’s first season in Queens is not going well and last week was another significant bump in the road. He collected only two hits on the week for a .105 batting average to go with a 33.3% strikeout rate. Escobar seemed lost at the plate with an alarming 68.9% contact rate and 16.1% SwStr. Escobar is now hitting .205 with only one home run. I am not overly optimistic about him returning another 20 home run season with his current slow start.

Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD) 

Cody Bellinger did hit safely in four of seven games last week, and all four hits were extra-base hits. Yet, it was still an awful fantasy week. He only hit .133 with a horrific 41.9% strikeout rate. Bellinger had a 42.7% O-swing to go with a 12.2% SwStr. He is hitting .202 with five home runs and a 32.8% strikeout rate. It is horrible for Bellinger managers, and we all have to begin to agree on that. He will have a good week here and there, but as a whole, he will hurt your fantasy team in a big way.

Mark Melancon (RP – ARI)

The Mark Melancon roller coaster ride was in full force this past week. He pitched four times, collected two saves, and had two blown saves resulting in losses. He allowed seven runs over the two blown saves. What may be even more concerning than the blown saves is the face Melancon had no strikeouts over all four appearances. For now, Melancon has the closing gig, but continued blunders will eventually push him out of the roll for Ian Kennedy or another option. Trade Melancon while he still has the title of closer in his profile.

Gregory Soto (RP – DET) 

Like Melancon, Gregory Soto has struggled this season and has lost his stranglehold on the Tigers’ closer role. Soto made three appearances this past week and collected one save and one hold while allowing two runs. He only collected one strikeout in each game and now has 10 strikeouts over 10.1 innings, which is less than ideal. Soto has five saves with few strikeouts, a 3.48 ERA, and 5.65 xFIP. There are a lot of concerns with Soto keeping the jobs with Michael Fulmer around and the up-and-coming Will Vest even collecting a save.

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Brian Entrekin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Brian, check out his Twitter @bdentrek.

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