Week 15 Hitter-
A.J. Reed (Owned in 11.6% of ESPN Fantasy leagues)
This is a make it or break it series for Reed’s 2016. With the signing of Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel, Luis Valbuena will now probably primarily play at first base. With that said, if Reed wants to stay in a big league uniform for the rest of the season, he will have to earn his spot this weekend at Seattle.
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In his 35 at bats, Reed is hitting .143 with a .558 OPS. He has shown glimpses of the power that everyone talked about, hitting two home runs and driving in four in his first 13 games.
However, his plate discipline has been absolutely atrocious. In his 41 at bats, he already has struck out 16 times. That amounts to 39% of his plate appearances. That overshadows his 12.2% walk percentage, which is his highest since he was at Single-A Lancaster.
Reed was not ready for the majors when he got called up. He did not fix his offensive problems at Fresno before he got here, like hitting against southpaws and his strikeout percentage. However, now that he is up, if the Astros send him back down, the second ranked prospect in the system will possibly be viewed as a bust to the fickle Astros fans and fantasy owners.
To be a successful series, Reed needs to show some consistency for fantasy owners to earn a spot. If he earns an at-bat tonight against the Mariners’ starter James Paxton or any other left-handed pitcher, Reed needs to rise to the occasion and battle in those at-bats.
His talent is undeniable. His fantasy worth in 2016, however, is up in the air. We will see this weekend if he is worth the pickup.
Next: Week 15 Pitcher