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Dynasty Baseball Buys and Sells: Time to Fade Arozarena?

This week’s edition of Dynasty Baseball Sells features a batter still under the age of 30, with multiple 20 HR/20 SB seasons under his belt, but who is starting to show some troubling signs. And also a pitcher who is off to a tremendous start, but has some question marks. The Dynasty Buys consist of a pitcher I think will rebound from a tumultuous 2023 season and a middle infielder off to a freezing cold start. In case you missed it, you should also check out last week’s edition of Dynasty Baseball Buys and Sells

Dynasty Baseball Buys

Nico Hoerner, 2B, Chicago Cubs

Hoerner has had a rough start to the 2024 season, to say the least. He’s only collected five hits in his first 36 at-bats. He has zero homers, zero RBI, and zero stolen bases. After hitting leadoff in two of his first five games, he has slid down to the seventh spot in the lineup for the last six games. I am sure some managers have cut bait in shallow dynasties or have already traded him away.

However, I believe you should be trying to buy Hoerner right now in dynasty leagues. He may not provide the eye-popping fantasy stats you would see from a top fantasy star, but he is in some pretty elite company with his fantasy numbers. In 2023, he was one of only three players to accumulate 175+ hits and 40+ stolen bases. The other two joining him in that club were Ronald Acuña and Bobby Witt Jr. To take things even one step further, Hoerner is one of only four players to combine for 300+ hits and 60+ stolen bases over the course of the 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

Even after his slow start, Hoerner should be able to hit for a .280+ average with 10 homers, 100 runs, and 40 stolen bases. I consider him a dynasty buy and you should see if you can get him from a frustrated manager at a discounted price due to his slow start to the season.

Carlos Rodon, SP, New York Yankees

It wasn’t very long ago that Rodon was considered one of the top starting pitchers in fantasy. He finished top-five in the 2021 AL Cy Young race after throwing only 132.2 innings. Every starting pitcher that finished in the top-11 threw at least 155 innings. In 2022, he finished sixth in the AL Cy Young race, while putting up a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 178 innings.

Last season, Rodon was hardly worth rostering in any league. He finished the 2023 season with a 6.85 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and less than a strikeout per inning. His poor performance could have been injury-related as he dealt with a forearm strain and lingering back issues for most of last season. Whatever the reason was, he was downright terrible in 2023.

There are signs that Rodon may right the ship in 2024 and beyond, making him a solid dynasty buy. He is averaging the highest velocity on his four seam fastball in his career at 95.8 MPH. This has helped lead to a 1.72 ERA in his first three starts. There is still something left to be desired with his 1.47 WHIP and 7.5 K/9, but it has been a positive turnaround so far from his tumultuous 2023 season. I don’t think we will see the 2021 or 2022 version of Rodon ever again, but I think he will be a much-improved pitcher from his 2023 season going forward.

Dynasty Baseball Sells

Jordan Hicks, SP, San Francisco Giants

Hicks signed a four-year deal worth $44 million in the offseason with the San Francisco Giants. He is off to a blazing start in the 2024 campaign. He has allowed only two earned runs through his first three starts while giving up only 12 hits and three bases on balls through 18 innings.

I think Hicks will be a solid starting pitcher, but my big issue with him will be his durability over the course of a long season. The last time he has thrown more than 80 innings in a season was back in 2017 in the minor leagues. The St. Louis Cardinals experimented with Hicks as a starting pitcher, but it never worked out due to injuries. Hicks debuted in the majors in 2018 and only had eight career starts before this season.

Hicks has also struggled with control issues in the majors. He owns a 4.7 BB/9 rate in his career. He is also sitting at only a 6.5 K/9 rate through his first three starts this season. However, the durability issue is my main concern with Hicks. I don’t think he will be a workhorse that you can count on to get you 150+ innings year in and year out. I’m not even confident he will ever reach 150 innings period, which is why I consider him a strong dynasty sell.

Randy Arozarena, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Arozarena is considered one of the premier outfielders in fantasy. He has put together three 20 HR/20 SB seasons and one 20 HR/30 SB season. Last season he set career highs in homers (23) and runs (95). Also, Arozarena is still in the prime of his career, just turning 29 years old in February.

However, there are some troubling patterns over the course of Arozarena’s career. He has seen his batting average drop every season of his career. In 2019, Arozarena hit .300 in a short stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished last season with a .254 average, which was a career low. This season, he is currently hitting .217, so the disturbing trend of his batting average dropping continues to be an issue for him.

While Arozarena hit a career-high in homers last season, his slugging percentage has dropped every season since 2020. In his first season with the Rays, he slugged .641 in 23 games. In 2023, he finished with a career-low .425 slugging percentage. His slugging percentage has continued to drop and sits at .370 through his first 11 games this season. Due to both, his batting average and slugging percentage declining every season since 2020, I would consider selling Arozarena in dynasty leagues.

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