Sell High takes a look at fantasy players who are performing above expectations and posting statistics well beyond their previously understood fantasy value. These players can be shopped via trade and, based on their currently inflated value, dealt to another fantasy owner for a profitable return. Today's Sell High focuses on Tampa Bay super-utility player Ben Zobrist.
Ben Zobrist's 2010 slide was the fantasy free-fall heard 'round-the-world. After a breakout 2009 season where Zobrist became the waiver-wire steal of the century, he burned fantasy owners to the tune of a .238 batting average and just 10 home runs last season.
Heading in to this year's fantasy drafts, some owners cautiously took a risk on the Rays' versatile slugger. Zobrist gave owners something to smile about in the Rays' first game of the season when he hit a ninth-inning homer against Orioles reliever Jim Johnson
. However, Zobrist then went into a 12-game homer-less drought, bringing owners back to Earth.
But if there was ever a time in which you could get solid value on Zobrist, it's now. He's finally starting to heat up with the long ball, hitting four home runs in his last nine games. While owners may object to acquiring a player who is still hitting an abysmal .203, an owner whose team is suffering from a lack of home run power may be very interested in Zobrist, and you should be able to get a nice piece or two in return.
The problem with Zobrist is not with fantasy owners, nor with his hitting. The problem is that he is a classic overachiever. While he is a plus-defender, Zobrist has never been a top-notch hitter, and after his stellar 2009 performance he made people think he was something he clearly isn't. Furthermore, as a 29-year-old, it's unlikely that he'll be able to simply turn on a "hitter's eye." Zobrist has already lost Evan Longoria
, Carlos Pena
and now Manny Ramirez
as lineup protection and, while he's been able to hit well lately, it's not likely to last.
Start shopping him around now and look to ditch Zobrist immediately after his hot streak.