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Buy Low: Nick Markakis
Joseph Merkel | Tuesday May 3rd, 2011
Nick Markakis could wind up as the steal of the year. (Getty)
Nick Markakis could wind up as the steal of the year. (Getty)
Buy Low takes a look at fantasy players who are slumping or generally aren't instilling much confidence in their owners.  These players can be targeted via trade or on the waiver wire and, upon a return to form, can help you win your fantasy leagues.  Today's Buy Low focuses on Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis

In his sixth major league season, Nick Markakis has become known primarily for four things:  his doubles-hitting ability, his underdeveloped home run power, his strong outfield arm, and his league-wide reputation as one of the game's most consistent hitters.

After an absolutely dismal April, the Orioles outfielder was hitting just .206 (as of May 1st).  While Markakis has never been much of a fast starter, he has a March/April career average of .266, but a .303 BABIP.  That means that April has statistically been his unluckiest month of any in his career.

While Markakis' draft stock has fallen over the last couple of years because his home-run potential has never really peaked, his doubles totals and batting average have stayed steady from year to year.  He has never finished a season hitting less than .290 and it's doubtful that is suddenly going to end.

Picking up this Orioles outfielder could very well end up being the steal of the year for any fantasy owner.  He's had at least an .800 on-base plus slugging (OPS) in every year of his career, with the exception of the .799 OPS mark in his rookie season of 2006.  After accumulating just a .568 OPS through his first month in 2011, Markakis can be expected to really start cranking out some hits the rest of the way.

Now that his batting average has dipped so low, Markakis shouldn't be too pricey to acquire in most leagues.  If he gets back on track and goes on a Ben Zobrist-like hitting tear, be sure to grab him immediately.
Joseph MerkelJoseph Merkel is a freelance journalist that has been with Baseball Press since early 2011. His knowledge of sports and baseball in particular, have taken him from, fan, to enthusiast, to sports journalist. You can contact him at Joseph.Merkel11@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Joseph_Merkel.