What about hot starts in the league?

PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 26: St. Louis Cardinals’ Tommy Edman #19 in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates during an MLB game at PNC Park on August 26, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The MLB season is in full swing, with some players doing better than others. But which surprising contributors get stuck here?

At the start of the season, there are a variety of names at the top of the offensive stat leaderboards that come as a surprise. For example, Cleveland Guardians utilityman Owen Miller is currently at the top of the MLB in many offensive categories, including batting average, SLG percentage and OPS.

More on him later.

While the lackluster performances of the likes of Dansby Swanson, Jo Adell, Joey Votto and Josh Donaldson are somewhat concerning, our primary focus will be on the hot starts of players across the league and whether to buy or sell those strong starts.

MLB Buy or Sell: Tommy Edman and Austin Meadows

Buy or sell? St.Louis Cardinals INF/OF Tommy Edman

26-year-old Tommy Edman has been a jack of all trades for the cards since his debut for the team in 2019. Edman is a Switch-hitting utilityman and a defensive extraordinaire, capable of playing second, third and short, and above average on all three outfield courts. In 2022, he is expected to be used primarily as a second baseman, where he won his first career gold glove last season.

At the plate, Edman hits from both ends and does it exceptionally well. With no glaring weaknesses against right- or left-handers, Edman has high contact skills and has many different ways of getting to base. He doesn’t stroke much and also takes his fair share of walks.

Through his first 10 contests and 39 plate appearances this year, Edman has a .371/.421/.714 slashline with three homers and a 1.135 OPS. While those numbers are obviously not entirely sustainable, a .300 batting average a year with around 15 homers and 25 steals isn’t out of the question for this young Cardinal.

Conclusion: Buy

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KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 15: Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers bats in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 15, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Buy or sell? Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows was on the road again this offseason when he traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Detroit Tigers. The 27-year-old Meadows is defensively limited to the outfield corners, where he’s at least a passable option.

For the Tigers, Meadows should fit well into their lineup with his tremendous power from the left. He’s an annual hazard of hitting 20-30 home runs and has had two top-20 finishes on the AL MVP poll over the years, but there are some glaring holes in his game that need work on, if he wants to remain successful in the big leagues.

Strikeouts have been an issue for Meadows since his debut in 2018, as he has struck in more than 20% of his plate appearances every season since. While he draws a lot of walks, the Ks have to come down.

Another problem for Meadows is his inability to hit left-handed pitching. The Tigers have announced he will be part of a move in the outfield of the corner and will see as little time as possible against one-handed pitching. In his career, he has only 16 homers with a .240 batting average against lefties while hitting 54 homers and a .272 batting average against righties.

At the start of the season, the tall outfielder has a .313/.436/.375 slash in his first 39 plate appearances. Despite not hitting a home run this year, he has tied six walks for seven strikeouts, but has to fall behind as play accumulates and sees the inevitable bats against lefties.

Conclusion: sell

https://fansided.com/2022/04/21/mlb-buy-sell-hot-starts/ What about hot starts in the league?

John Verrall

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