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One thing that all fantasy owners have in common is that we tend to elevate our panic levels to critical conditions. Due to this, we may lose faith in under-performing players and quickly rid ourselves of the burden. I myself let San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval go rather quickly after he didn’t live up to my standards (3 HR, 15 RBI coming into Friday). If I want someone to barely hit .300 with no power, then I will draft David Eckstein.
Mediocre players with catcher eligibility aside, let’s shift our focus. I am currently employing Rockies’ 3B Garrett Atkins on one of my rosters. Coming into Friday, Atkins is not quite living up to his potential. To be blunt, he SUCKS! Hitting .195 with 3 HR and 13 RBI does not make him worth while at all. Atkins has been pushed up and down the batting order to get his swing back, but it has not been working so far. Now, why have I held onto him for this long, but dropped Pablo Sandoval after two weeks?
Maybe it is because of where he was drafted. Maybe it is because I have no other players with 1B eligibility. Maybe it is because since he is playing like crap now, he is due for a breakout. Well the answer is: not really for #1, sort of for #2, and YES for #3. Garrett Atkins is a good “buy low” candidate right now and history proves it.
Throughout his career (with 2008 being the exception), the month of May has treated Atkins worse than Chris Brown treats Rihanna (BA-ZING!!!). Just look at the numbers. Below we have his numbers in May and the final season total in parenthesis:
2005: .237, 4 HR, 10 RBI (.287, 13 HR, 89 RBI)
2006: .278, 3 HR, 8 RBI (.329, 29 HR, 120 RBI)
2007: .188, 1 HR, 7 RBI (.301, 25 HR, 111 RBI)
The 2008 exception was the same in the power numbers when he had 2 HR and 9 RBI, but his average improved to .305 in May of that season. His season total for ’08 were .286 avg, 21 HR, 99 RBI.
As you can see, Garrett Atkins is not under-performing this month, he is doing exactly what he always does in May: Playing Like S**t. So am I worried? Not at all! I am doing what any good owner does which is riding out the rough patch with a good player and just waiting patiently for the payoff. You can probably trade for Atkins in your league and not give up a whole lot to do it.
Atkins may suck now, but he is always good for his usual output (20+ HR, 99+ RBI) every season. The man is not even 30 years old, he is in his prime…in Colorado no less. If you own him, don’t unload him just yet. Let’s just see what happens in June.