The Spin, Buy Low/Sell High hitter edition: Perfect time to test the waters with Salvador Pérez

Salvador Pérez #13 of the Kansas City Royals
Salvador Pérez has been on a heater — so now's the time to sell high on him. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

We're almost into the second week of May. The hitter stats are starting to have enough weight, we can start identifying good buy-low and sell-high hitting candidates. Here are a few names from my cheat sheet; see how they match with yours. We'll attack the pitchers on a later date.

The Spin check-in coming off the weekend. (Banner by Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)
The Spin check-in coming off the weekend. (Banner by Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

Some might look at that .221 average and think Nimmo has been a fantasy sinkhole, but the rest of his profile is steady. He's scored 17 runs, driven in 21; hit three homers, stolen two bases. His preseason Yahoo rank was 129; he's currently 161st in 5x5 booked value. The shortfall is very slight.

Nimmo's Baseball Savant sliders are in his corner. Most of the stats are pinned to the right side, mostly above league average. His expected average, per his contact profile, is 71 points higher than his actual average. His slugging should be 144 points higher. Although Nimmo's strikeout rate is around league average, there isn't another batting skill where he doesn't easily outpace the MLB norm.

I love this type of player, a broad set of skills without one glittering trait. Bill James told us a long time ago, this is the type of player who's often underrated. See if you can sneak Nimmo under-market price in your league.

This is another broad-skill player who we presented as underrated before the season. Reynolds isn't off to a horrendous start — .243/.344/.397 — but he's earned a .272 average and .479 slugging through his opening month. His walk rate is in the 89th percentile of the league, he always has a reasonable strikeout rate and he barrels the ball about 9.5% of the time, putting him in the 71st percentile. The steady norms Reynolds established in 2022-23 are the way to bet here; he's been a slight underachiever to this point, but it's not his fault.

I know it's not easy to find faith with the last-place Cardinals, but in certain pockets, I want you to do it. Start with Nootbaar.

His .169 average is comically unlucky — his hard-hit profile suggests a reasonable .259 average — and that .273 slugging is a stone-fluke too — the Statcast page offers a .457 slugging. Unfortunately, the Cardinals are buying into Nootbaar's results thus far, not his components — he slotted nine in a recent game this weekend. But let's bet on talent and assume Nootbaar will quickly rise up the lineup when the results start to normalize.

The player we saw the last two years — 118 OPS+, .786 OPS, good power, some speed — is what I expect from here on out. Add him in shallow leagues, seek a deal for him in deep ones.

Altuve is one of the few Astros who hit the ground running to open 2024; this could easily be a sub-.500 team for the balance of the year. But Altuve's batting profile has some under-hood problems; his average is 57 points higher than his batted-ball table suggests, and the Savant stats say Altuve's slugging percentage is 76 points higher than expected. And I wonder if Altuve will continue to run at his current clip (seven steals); his sprint speed is merely in the 67th percentile, and he is in the midst of his age-34 season.

Altuve is too good to fall off the map, but it's highly possible April will go down as his best month of the year by a considerable margin. I might try to time the trade market on him.

It hurts to give this one out, as Pérez is off to a torrid .328/.388/.566 start with an AL-best 30 RBI, and the Royals have been one of the biggest offensive surprises of the opening month. But like many of his teammates, Pérez's quick start is fueled by an otherworldly performance with runners on base — .426/.492/.852, with 29 RBI. That's never going to last.

Perez is also navigating his age-34 season, and we have to be mindful of the heavy catching workloads Kansas City has put on him throughout his career. Let's be blunt, it's not like I expect Perez to face-plant. But you currently have some juicy stats that could be presented in the trade market.

This one makes me a little sad, as Joe was a reserve-round pick in NL Tout Wars and he's been one of the biggest surplus earners through the opening month. But it's pretty obvious he's playing over his skis. That .290 average should be 57 points lower based on his hard-hit profile, and his .460 slugging is about 91 points too high per the competent stats. And remember, the Pirates have commonly viewed Joe as a short-side platoon player, not an everyday staple. When his stats start to normalize and stabilize, he'll probably lose a lot of his current playing time. You can't blame the Pirates for riding the hot hand, but I don't expect Joe to remain an everyday player for the balance of the year.

One other key point — I acknowledge selling Joe in a deeper mixed league might be difficult. He didn't have much of a pedigree into the season and I doubt your opponents are hot after him in trade. Just know what we see now is likely not sustainable. Perhaps you just cut him for a later flavor of the month in June.

It's not like the fantasy world has gone batty for Wong — his roster tag remains a modest 29%. But I could easily see many of his new managers in deep leagues abandoning ship when the luck evens out.

Wong currently has a .346/.373/.577 slash, with five homers. That's excellent. But his batted-ball profile suggests a .248 average and a .434 slugging. All of his hard-hit metrics are below the league average, some of them far below the median.

Maybe Wong is a little better than the .235/.288/.385 semi-regular the Red Sox used for most of last year. But I don't think he's much better than that. His first month has mirage written all over it.