The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

The Fantasy Baseball Redraft Cut List: Hitters

Just last week, I went over several pitchers to consider cutting in redraft leagues that were off to a horrid start for one reason or another. Today, we switch our focus to hitters that have been nothing but gigantic black holes and detriments to fantasy squads they’ve been rostered on. There are all guys drafted within the top 150 picks or so on draft day, so it’s understandable to be a bit reluctant dropping them. But you want to do well in your fantasy league right? Sure, one reason you play fantasy baseball is because you enjoy the game and have fun, but the point is to do well, and rostering players like Andrew Benintendi and others is hindering you from doing just that.

If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. New to the dynasty format or just love rankings? Then check out Eric Cross’ recently updated Top-500 Dynasty Rankings, Top-250 Dynasty Prospects and Top-100 FYPD Rankings.

Also, make sure to check out the Fantrax Dynasty Baseball Podcast and Five Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast Weekly for more dynasty talk.

Hitters to Cut in Redraft Leagues

Andrew Benintendi (OF – BOS)

This one stings as a Red Sox fan. However, as I’ve mentioned numerous times, we need to make quick and sometimes painful decisions in a shortened 60-game sprint of a season. Even before Andrew Benintendi hit the IL a few days ago, he was going to be included here. If you want to stash him on your IL, fine. But I’ll still recommend dropping him once he’s back in action, so might as well just cut your losses now and keep that IL spot open for someone that can actually provide value to your fantasy team this season.

Saying that Benintendi has been bad this season is an insult to the word. In his 14 games before landing on the IL, Benny racked up four hits in 39 at-bats with one double and one steal in three attempts. He was walking a bunch which kept his OBP above .300 but in no way, shape, or form has Benintendi been someone worth starting this season. And now, he’s not even worth rostering.

Nothing against the color blue, but it’s a less than ideal color to see when looking at statcast data sliders. This ain’t golf, folks. Lower numbers aren’t what you’re shooting for with these sliders. Benny is in the bottom 20th percentile in exit velocity, hard-hit%, xBA, xSLG, K%, and Whiff% with xwOBA and Barrel% not too far behind. For fantasy purposes, his most “impressive” metric is his 54th percentile sprint speed.

If Benintendi were coming off his .271/20/20 season in 2017 or .290/16/21 season in 2018, I might still be willing to stash in hopes that he can get the led out of his pants and turn it around. But Benintendi underwhelming isn’t anything new. His .266/13/10 line last season wasn’t worth rostering, but since he has the bigger name, plays for the Red Sox, and has the former top prospect pedigree, he remained rostered universally. Don’t make that same mistake this season.

Rhys Hoskins (1B – PHI)

This one was an easy decision. In Rhys Hoskins’ time as a Major Leaguer, he’s been relied upon for two things: Power/run production and OBP. That’s it. So far in 2020, the OBP has still been there and is actually at a career-best .419 mark, but the power ran away and hid like John Kruk after an errant Randy Johnson fastball.

Industry friend and podcast promoter @BaseballPods said it best on Twitter Friday when he said that 358 players had more RBI than Hoskins has this season (one at the time). That one RBI was one more than his home run total too. He’s now up to five RBI, but too little too late in my book. Simply put, Hoskins ain’t doing a damn thing for fantasy teams this season. Even a .424 OBP can’t salvage the fact that he’s bringing absolutely NOTHING else to the table for those that roster him right now.

In general, Hoskins’ season is a bit peculiar. The barrel% has dropped for the third straight season, but outside of that, his metrics are fairly in line with what he produced in 2019, including all of his power metrics and expected stats. At this point, I’m not saying Hoskins won’t bounce back to 2019 levels, but were his 2019 levels that exciting to begin with? We’re talking about a .226/29/85 line across 160 games. You can find plenty of low-AVG guys that can pop 25-plus over a full season. If you’re in an OBP league, I might hold for a tad longer, but in AVG leagues, Hoskins can be set free into the waiver wire abyss.

Amed Rosario (SS – NYM)

This one is disappointing. After improving as a hitter in 2019, Rosario’s fantasy stock was firmly on the rise with many calling him a breakout pick for 2020 and someone ready to join the top-20 dynasty shortstops. Not so fast. Rosario hasn’t been able to carry over any of that 2019 momentum into 2020, slashing .200/.200/.292 with one lone homer and zero steals across 16 games. Nope, that OBP is not a typo, Rosario hasn’t walked yet this season while striking out 14 times. His statcast data doesn’t hint at an immediate turnaround either.

That’s a lot of blue when it comes to making contact and impacting the ball. Not that Rosario was supposed to be a big power asset for us this season anyway, but this isn’t a great followup to his semi-breakout 2019 campaign. It’s gotten to the point that he’s even losing a little playing time with Andres Gimenez now up with the big club. If Rosario isn’t getting on base and providing steals, he’s no use to us in redraft leagues this season, especially now that he’s losing playing time to Gimenez who at least is stealing bases.

Edwin Encarnacion (1B – CHW)

Is father time starting to catch up with Edwin Encarnacion, the man with 416 home runs and 1245 RBI in his 16-year Major League career? It sure is looking like it. EE has been one of the more consistent power bats in baseball for nearly the last decade with eight straight 30-plus homer seasons dating back to 2012. That’s been his saving grace in fantasy, along with his solid walk rate, while his batting average dipped below .250 in each of the last two seasons. At least he was getting on-base at a decent clip and hitting plenty of dingers. Not anymore.

It’s a very small sample size, but there’s a reason for that and a reason for Encarnacion’s struggles this season. For most of the season, Encarnacion has dealt with SC joint inflammation in his left shoulder and the injury kept him out of action for nearly a week earlier this month. While my personal playing career ended in high school, I experienced plenty of injuries to my left shoulder, including joint inflammation and know first-hand how much it can hinder a right-handed hitter’s ability to impact the ball. That’s been very evident in Encarnacion’s time at the plate this season.

Again, it’s an extremely small sample size, but an explainable one when you factor in the shoulder woes. Encarnacion might be back in the lineup now but he’s only 1/17 since returning, albeit, that one hit did leave the yard. On the season, Encarnacion’s average exit velocity is a meager 80.7 mph which is the 5th lowest mark in baseball and nearly 10 mph down from last season. That 80.7 mark is lower than Victor Robles, Jarrod Dyson, and Mallex Smith. Yuck. On top of that, Encarnacion’s hard-hit rate is down to 23.1% and he’s struck out 19 times to only one walk. We you’re not 100% right at the plate, it shows. And with only around 38-40 games left in the season, there’s not much time for EE to get back to his former slugging ways.

Victor Robles (OF – WAS)

When you look at Victor Robles’ first full season at the surface, you’d probably be fairly impressed. Robles racked up 86 runs, 17 home runs and 28 steals last season, albeit, with an uninspiring .255/.326/.419 slash line. But then you take a gander at his baseball savant page and saw a puke-worthy 83.3 mph average exit velocity and 23.0% hard hit rate, both of which were among the worst in the league.

It couldn’t get much worse, right? Wrong! While Robles’ hard-hit rate has crept up just a tad, his exit velocity has actually declined to 82 mph which is in the 2nd percentile of hitters. But he’s at least stealing bases right? Also wrong. Despite a 87th percentile sprint speed, Robles has attempted only one steal thus far and was thrown out in the process. In a full 162-game season, I’d likely bench him and hope for a turnaround, but not in a shortened 60-game season that is already 1/3 over. With Robles still not impacting the ball, not stealing bases, and cemented in the bottom of the Washington batting order, creating any value for fantasy teams is going to be tough.

Khris Davis (UT – OAK)

There’s one reason and one reason only that you were drafting and rostering Khris Davis this season. You were hoping for a return to former glory when he’d hit .247 every season with 40-plus dingers. Well, that doesn’t appear to be happening as Davis is performing even worse than last year with a .149/.273/.234 slash line and one long home run so far. His exit velocity and hard-hit rate don’t offer much confidence either, sitting at 23rd and 30th percentile respectively. If Davis isn’t an asset in the power department, there’s literally no need to roster him in any fantasy league. Davis should already have been dropped, but if he wasn’t, he definitely should now.

Others To Consider Dropping or That Should Have Been Dropped Already

Oscar Mercado (OF – CLE): Not only has Oscar Mercado struggled mightily this season, he’s also not even starting regularly anymore. Anyone holding Mercado should cut their losses and move on. He’s cooked for 2020.

Justin Upton (OF – LAA): You can literally just cope and paste what I said about Mercado here. Upton is a shell of himself this season with a .107/.190/.214 slash line and is only a semi-regular lineup fixture now that Jo Adell is up with the big club.

Elvis Andrus (SS – TEX): If you want to hold onto him because he has three steals, fine. But are those few steals really that valuable when Andrus isn’t hitting for any power and sports a .184 AVG and .244 OBP? Shortstop is very deep this year so you can likely find a decent replacement on the waiver wire that’s performing better than Andrus is right now.

Andrew McCutchen (OF – PHI): Personally, I had hope that the former NL MVP could have a resurgence this season in Philadelphia as the leadoff man for a potentially potent Phillies lineup. Unfortunately, that hasn’t even been close to being the case. McCutchen isn’t hitting for power, isn’t stealing any bases, and sports a lowly .192/.259/.269 slash line. If you want to roster that type of production, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Media Credit: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire, Baseball Savant

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2018/2019 and we’re not slowing down in 2020! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.