h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-stars

I wanted to write a column about the early hot/cold trends and how they can engulf owners. So, naturally Katy Perry popped into my head. This is one of my favorite running songs — I simply run faster while this song is playing. Weird, I know, but I’m fast — I ran four miles in 26:44 last week. Anyway, the song’s lyrics seem apropos for fantasy wheelings-and-dealings and well pubescent girls and the pre-pubescent boys that love them:

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yeah you, PMS
Like a bitch
I would know

And you over think
Always speak
Cryptically
I should know
That you’re no good for me

In actuality, this entire column is my way of allowing myself to view Katy Perry YouTube videos.

So who’s hot?

Kosuke Fukudome — I detailed Fukudome’s hot start already. I want to reiterate that I think this is a mirage. I wouldn’t be buying him. Ride his hot strike if you have someone to drop, but don’t drop or trade anyone of value thinking this will continue.

Endy Chavez — Chavez is a somewhat interesting player. With all the love going to speedsters Nyjer Morgan, Dexter Fowler and Emilio Bonifacio, Chavez provides some good low-cost speed numbers. He stole 32 bases in 2004, and has a 162-game average of 17 SBs. He has been off and running early this year. He wont kill your batting average (about .270) and won’t provide any power, but could score some runs. He’s not as bad as you think.

Nyjer Morgan — Speaking of speedsters, I like Morgan more than Bonifacio and probably more than Chavez. He does bat in a nice spot of the order and should get some scoring love. He has more HR upside than Chavez and perhaps more upside than Fukudome. I’d be willing to bet he hits around .290 -.300 and registers a .355 OBP.

Chris Duncan – Duncan was a major league sleeper going into the 2008 season, after he hit 21 HRs in 127 games in 2007. However, he suffered some injuries and played in only 76 games, while hitting only six HRs. Duncan has appeared in 13 games so far, already hit two HRs and knocked in 11 runs. He could bat .270 or so with 20-25 HRs. If you pick him up, make sure you don’t play him against lefties. He wont likely play and if he does he wont do anything productive. He is a career .215 batter against southpaws.

Asdrubal Cabrera – Cabrera was a supposed breakout candidate last year after he hit .283 in 43 games in 2007. However, last year he struggled to a line of .259 with six HRs 48 runs and 47 RBIs. He is off to a good batting average start and could score near 100 runs and knock in around 70. That isn’t bad from a middle infielder. He was a .287 hitter in the minor leagues with a .350 OBP, so he could be a .300 hitter in the majors. I wouldn’t be selling much to get him though.

Jason Kubel – There has been lots of talk in the fantasy community about Kubel surrounding whether he will get the ABs or be stuck in a platoon or hurt. He will easily hit .270 and has some power (likely 20-25 HRs). If he could manage to hit lefties at all, there would be some more upside. In 221 at bats against southpaws, Kubel has hit just .240 with six HRs.

Cody Ross — Ross hit the quietest 22 HRs last year, yet people are surprised he is hitting it again. He doesn’t have much track record, but neither did Brett Boone. I like him as a low-cost power source, but he could hurt your batting average so tread lightly.

Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s righ
t

That said, lets head to those cold salamanders that are likely owned in your league. These are the players who have started ice cold, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright.

Justin Upton — I’m not fond of young players. More often than not it takes longer than expected to take the leap. So, I don’t trust Upton too much, the potential is there, but who knows when it will come. In non-keeper leagues, I wouldn’t hold tight, but monitor his stats as the weather gets warmer in the desert.

Geovany Soto – Soto is my best keeper. So far, he has been injured, so you cant hold his slow start against him. I wouldn’t drop or trade him at this point. While Soto is only batting .136, his OBP is .321, which isn’t great, but indicates he isn’t seeing the ball horribly.

Alexei Ramirez – I never loved Alexei – best case scenario is a 20-10 player and that’s not all that special from a middle infielder, especially where he was going in drafts. So far, he is hitting just .159, and, unlike Soto, isn’t taking many walks (and never will). His OBP is .213. It’s hard to steal those 20 bases when you can’t take four balls.

J.J. Hardy – I’m heavily invested in Hardy, so take my analysis as you will. That said, he is an incredibly streaky player. He has perennial back trouble, which could explain why he stinks in the cold weather. For his career, he is a .231 hitter with just a .297 OBP in March/April. He will spread his HRs out, so you don’t have to worry about that. You should hold tight and reap the rewards when he finishes strong.

David Ortiz – I think the 30+ HR hitting Ortiz is gone forever. He is 33, which is pretty old. He did manage 23 HRs in only 416 at bats last year, so he wont completely fall of the edge of the world. But if he isn’t hitting 30+ HRs, he doesn’t have as much value. If you are counting on anything better than a .280 average with 25 HRs and 90 RBIs, you’ll be sorry.

Stephen Drew – Drew, much like his teammate Justin Upton, has gotten off to a slow start. I touted Drew as a shortstop sleeper heading into the draft and I’m not backing off that now. As the temperature gets warmer, Drew heats up. He is a career .252, .257 and .227 hitter in March/April, May and June. He does heat up precipitously, going .282, .291 and .304 in July, August, and September/October. That said, he certainly doesn’t seem safer than a Jhonny Peralta at the moment. Keep an eye on him and wait for someone to get sick of his lack of production and grab him in mid-summer.

Brandon Phillips – What a Jekyll and Hyde season last year (.280/15/19 SBs in the first half, .225/6/4 SBs in the second half). Unfortunately Phillips has been more Jekyll than Hyde this year. If I owned him, I’d strongly consider selling at this moment. That is a lot of at bats of ineptitude – maybe pitchers have the book on him. He seems a far cry from a 20/20 threat.

Howie Kendrick – I’ve never loved Howie Kendrick, yet he is on my most important team. He is supposed to be a batting title contender as long as he stays healthy, yet he is hitting .196/.226/.294 this year. Still, he has a career line of .300/.327/.423 in almost 1,000 at bats. Kendrick is healthy now, so you have to give the hype a month to prove himself, but if he is hitting below .300 come May 1, I’m dropping him for someone who is contributing.

Troy TulowitzkiTulowitzki has gotten off to a nice power start with three HRs. That’s about all you can say about his start, though. I’d keep the faith on Tulowitzki. He is a poor first half player in general, and posts really horrible March/April statistics – in 229 at bats, he has six HRs, with a .197 BA and a .284 OBP. So, he’s actually ahead of that pace.

Blue label guys you ain’t worrying about: Jimmy Rollins, Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Alex Rios, Carlos Beltran. They will be fine. There is no reason to be concerned. Do not think of dropping them. If you try to trade them, insist upon value in the same round you drafted them or at a similar price you paid for them.

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Evan Rosen on April 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    4 miles in 26:44 – who are you? Ced Landrum? Otis Nixon? Bip Roberts?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ian Roberts on April 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I’m a fan of any article with a link to a scene from Indiana Jones. I just traded for Tulo in my league – i’m counting on his improvement big time.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Albert Lang on April 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Well…i always loved Bip Roberts — enjoyed his Padres baseball cards.

    I dont know Ced Landrum. Quite simply, it’s the power of Katy Perry and Lady Ga-Ga, but mostly Ashlee Simpson.

    Yeah, Ian, you might have to wait a couple of weeks to a month, but Tulo should come around. He picks it up as the season starts. He already has three home runs, which is the most he has hit in his entire career at this point in the season.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Albert Lang on April 22, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Also, Indiana Jones is awesome…I really liked Temple of Doom, which people find odd.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    How about a little love for that lovable scrappy Canuck, Marco Scutaro! He’s already hit 4 dingers (7 total last year), one of the main reasons his slugging is up over 100 points. Also 10 RBIs in 15 games for the surprising 10-5 Blue Jays. Not a bad start.

    While I have to imagine his “power” numbers will drop off, batting lead-off in front of Wells and Rios should result in plenty of runs.

    Oh, and did I mention he’s eligible 3B, SS, and the no-so-deep 2B? Nice.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Albert Lang on April 22, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Yeah i was going off of players i thought would be eligible in your leagues. Scutaro is owned in 74% of Yahoo! leagues and should be. I’d prefer to have Aaron Hill, but Scutaro should score some runs. I doubt any of these power numbers will keep up. He had 500+ at bats but only hit 7 HRs last year.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Nathaniel_g on April 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

    For reasons that I don’t need to go into, I always thought that song applied more to interracial sex than fantasy baseball.
    That said….
    Alexei- Love him still. Started out slow last year as well, didn’t finish too badly. Speed and power didn’t go anywhere.

    Phillips- Doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with his swing, and I wouldn’t imagine selling him after this slump makes alot of sense. My projections for him haven’t really changed.

    Drew- Don’t know if he qualifies as a sleeper, when being taken in the top 100, but he will come around. If you can grab him now, jump on it.

    Theme here is, if you liked someone 2 weeks ago, why change your mind now? Take advantage of early season slumps to grab bargains of impatient owners. Alternatively, don’t be that impatient owner. Unless the guy you like was a) benched b) hurt or c) managed by Lou Piniella, relax and enjoy their eventual production.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Albert Lang on April 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I hear you Nate. I dont believe in snap judgments, this isnt football.

    I never liked Alexei, which is why I’m not encouraged by his slow start. he did have a poor March/April last year, however it was in like 8 games, so small sample size.

    As for Brandon Phillips — the big question about him was whether last year’s second half was the exception or the rule. The fact that a normally quick starter has gotten off to a slow start has me a bit wary.

    Yeah, I included Drew to let people know that the best is by far to come.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Reply

  9. […] Thinking about these trends, thankfully, reminds me of that infectious pop vixen, Katy Perry. “Hot N Cold” remains one of my favorite songs — I simply run faster while this song is playing. Weird, I know, but I’m fast — I ran four miles in 27:02 two days ago (a bit off last’s weeks pace, but what can you do?). […]

    Reply

  10. […] my way to completing four miles in 26:45 (one second off my best time and 17 seconds better than last week), my ears and legs were propelled by the Jonas Bros’ […]

    Reply

  11. […] my way to completing four miles in 26:40 (my fastest time ever), my ears and legs were propelled by “Hot N Cold.” Still, it remains one of my […]

    Reply

  12. […] better to end well than start well. Oh, and my last mile: 5:55, making it four miles in 26:26 (my fastest time […]

    Reply

  13. […] such as: Remember last year when I gave periodic updates on my running? Well, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, but it took me a long time to get back to […]

    Reply

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