Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Sometimes, patience pays off in fantasy baseball.
For example, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis looked like one of the worst hitters in baseball the first six weeks of the season.
In his first 39 games, Davis hit .215 with four home runs, 12 RBI, 21 runs, a putrid 44/3 K/BB and a .619 OPS.
But Davis has gone 24-for-65 (.369) with seven doubles, six homers, 15 RBI, 17 runs, an 11/8 K/BB and a 1.186 OPS in his last 18 games and his season numbers now look a lot more respectable -- .262, 17 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 38 R, .795 OPS.
Everyone who dropped Davis on May 18 missed out on the hot streak and now probably wishes they had him back.
But I said SOMETIMES patience pays off. Sometimes, it doesn't.
Even the most patient and loyal fantasy owners should admit it's time to move on from the five players below, who have shown very little in 2014.
Domonic Brown, LF, Philadelphia Phillies - In a 39-game span last season from April 27 to June 8, everything clicked for Brown. Pitchers were trying to throw inside to him and he wasn't missing anything. He hit 17 home runs during that span, most to dead right field and none to the opposite field. Then, opponents figured him out. In 136 games and 482 at-bats since June 8, 2013, Brown has hit .239 with 12 home runs. This season, his line-drive rate is just 16.7 percent and his ground-ball rate is 55.2 percent. He's swinging at a higher percentage of pitches outside the strike zone and a lower percentage in the zone while making more contact outside the zone and less contact in it.
Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City Royals - From 2009-11, Butler averaged 47 doubles and 18 home runs per season. In 2012, some of those doubles started leaving the park and he hit a career-high 29 round-trippers with 32 doubles. Since then, not only is he hitting fewer home runs but his doubles have declined as well. In 582 at-bats last season, Butler hit 15 homers and 27 doubles. This year, he has one measly homer and 12 doubles in 225 at-bats. Since the start of 2013, Butler has pounded balls into the ground at a rate of 52.9 percent. He has hit fly balls at a 40.9 percent rate in June, which is encouraging, but all he has to show for it is a .208 average, three doubles and zero home runs in 24 at-bats.
Chris Johnson, 3B, Atlanta Braves - Johnson nearly won the NL batting title with a .321 average in 2013, but he needed an astronomical .394 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), tops in baseball and 97 points higher than the league average, to accomplish that. His high average helped cover up his otherwise mediocre numbers (12 HR, 68 RBI, 54 R, 0 SB). This season, Johnson's strikeout and walk rates are both markedly worse than 2013 and he isn't having the same luck on batted balls (.329 BABIP). As a result, he's hitting .251. Like last season, his other numbers are below average for a third baseman -- two homers, 14 RBI, 12 runs and one steal.
Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres - Similar to Brown, Headley had one magical run -- he hit .309 with 23 home runs, 73 RBI, 56 runs and a .984 OPS in 74 games from July 14 to Oct. 3, 2012 -- and hasn't done anything since. Headley has batted .237 with 18 home runs, 70 RBI and a .714 OPS in 187 games since the start of 2013 and prior to 2012 hit .269 with 36 home runs, 204 RBI and a .735 OPS in his first 529 major-league games.
Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees - As a 26-year-old who grew up in New York a die-hard Yankees fan it pains me to write this, but Jeter is toast. Pitchers are gunning fastballs at him and he can no longer handle them. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Jeter has faced a fastball (four-seam and two-seam) 68.3 percent of the time this season, third-highest in baseball. He's been worth 6.9 runs below average against the pitch, 13th-worst. Jeter is hitting .254 with one home run, 12 RBI, 17 runs and just one steal. Even at the position with the worst talent pool in fantasy, he isn't worth owning.
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