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There are 81 hitters in the American League that have enough at bats to qualify for the batting title. Of those hitters, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is 81st (dead last) in hitting with a .203 batting average entering Friday.
At the moment, David Ortiz has contributed nothing to your fantasy squads, and if you’ve started him in your utility spot for the whole year, chances are he’s cost you quite a few categories by himself. He has just four home runs, a .299 on-base percentage, and a putrid .338 slugging percentage. He hit just .143 in May! Does he have any value left?
Yes, and please don’t be the dumb manager in your league and drop him. Despite his awful start, he still has trade value, but at this point if you haven’t traded him already, then don’t. He’s starting to turn a corner and maybe salvage his season, so he’s worth hanging on to.
So far in eight games in June, Ortiz is hitting .310 (9-29) with three HRs, seven RBI, and four walks. He’s got a .394 OBP and .655 SLG this month and has hit safely in seven of the eight games. His HR Tuesday was blasted to straightaway center field, and his HR Thursday was an opposite-field shot over the Monster off lefty CC Sabathia, so his longballs are not coming cheap. Luck appears to be on his side too, as he reached safely on an error when Johnny Damon failed to catch an easy fly ball in left field Thursday night.
If you don’t own Big Papi, be careful in trying to acquire him. During his roughest times, he was a terrific buy-low candidate, but chances are you weren’t successful in acquiring him as most managers probably figured he’d bounce back at some point. If you can still get him for a low price, do it, but I bet that’s not possible anymore.
Some managers may try to exploit you due to Papi’s recent hot streak. If someone offers you Big Papi for someone drafted rounds later…like Raul Ibanez, politely refuse the deal and consider never trading with them again. If you have a lot of pitching and determine someone like Joe Saunders, Francisco Liriano, or Roy Oswalt is expendable, each of these players could complete a fair one-for-one deal for Ortiz.
Time will tell if David Ortiz’s recent hot streak is for real. His track record says buy, buy, buy! But, Papi’s advancing age, slowing bat speed, surgically-repaired wrist, and rumors of past steroid use are a bit concerning. If you don’t own him, buy safely. If you do own him, hold on…for now.