Fantasy insight: Do not add Jose Iglesias


Jose Iglesias throwing to first base.
Don’t expect Jose Iglesias’ run to last much longer.

After finishing with my work-related activities, I browsed a couple of fantasy baseball providers to see which players were the most added and dropped the past week. One surprising name found itself as one of the 10 most added players: Jose Iglesias. Since getting called back up to the majors on May 24 he is hitting .444/.500/.593 in 62 plate appearances. This hot streak fueled the optimism for fantasy owners as he is now owned in 40 percent and 26 percent of ESPN and CBS leagues respectively.

Iglesias is the best defensive shortstop in baseball, and if he’s not, he’s certainly in the team photo. He has tremendous range, soft hands and a big arm, but defensive aptitude is not what fantasy owners are looking for.

It’s highly unlikely these results are going to continue. I could cite the .508 BABIP or 53.2 percent ground ball rate as reasons why this is not sustainable, but let’s look at his tool set (ability). He lacks the strength to make solid contact against mid-90s fastballs, has average speed, which means he will not turn those ground balls into infield hits, and  gets eaten up by off-speed pitches as evidenced by a career .214 batting average against these pitches (in the majors). Some fantasy owners will look at the sample this year, but I’ll rely on the nearly 1,100 at-bats in the minors where has a slash line of .257/.307/.314. Even though Will Middlebrooks came off the DL today, the Red Sox did not send down Iglesias. In fact, manager John Farrell said Iglesias will play at least three times a week on the left side of the infield, which means he’s going to split time with Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew.

Iglesias isn’t going to play every day, offers no power or speed upside and will most likely have a batting average less than .240.  If you haven’t done so already, drop Iglesias and pick up Mike Aviles, who is playing every day with Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL or Munenori Kawasaki who already has seven stolen bases.

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