h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars V

Recently, I was thinking about the applications of Christina Aguilera’s music to fantasy baseball. The song “Fighter” seems very applicable to what a manager has to do during the regular season. There are so many unforeseen pitfalls that you can only be so prepared. That said, what other pop princesses can teach you something about fantasy baseball? Well, I’m glad you asked:

  1. Kelly Clarkson – an awesome lead-off hitter, great speed out of the gate – “Walk Away” – As in you need to know when to sell players and “Just Walk Away” from your failed sleepers.
  2. Nelly Furtado – not bad in the two-slot, can take pitches and allow Kelly to steal a base – “Say it Right” – “You either stand or you fall” on your ability to gauge hot streaks.
  3. Madonna – a phenomenal three hitter, consistently above average – “4 Minutes” – You need to know who your most droppable player is so you can add that closer or impact prospect on a moment’s notice.
  4. Beyonce – a slugger, pure and simple – “Crazy in Love” – in h2h leagues, you can’t overreact to a poor week and blow up your squad, sometimes your players will “[Get you] lookin’ so crazy right now.” But you just need to chill.
  5. Rihanna – a solid singer that keeps belting out singles – “Distrubia” – When trading, you need to be “a thief in the night” coming to grab a player. Identify a position or stat you need and get after it.
  6. Avril Lavigne – a bit of a fading star, but she still has a good history of producing – “Complicated” – You should only play in simple leagues, there is no reason to include OBP, SLG%, OPS, Triples, CG, SHO, QS, etc. An overabundance of categories makes preparation for a league impossible and will likely ruin your fantasy experience. I ask: “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?”
  7. Britney Spears – definite bounce back candidate, great to have on your squad for party purposes – “Opps!…I did it Again” – You need to relax in fantasy, you can’t shuffle relievers and players around. The minute you’ll drop a reliever he’ll pick up a hold or save. So you need to stand pat and ride the cold streaks so you don’t “[get] lost in this game.”
  8. Hannah Montana – young, needs to be broken in slowly – “See you Again” – I’ll see you next week when the Katy Perry All-stars drop again. Owners must consistently consume fantasy media, otherwise you’ll miss the latest hot player or cold streak you need to react to.
  9. Katy Perry – great glue singer, lots of positives, great in the clubhouse – “Hot ‘N’ Cold” – come on.

With that said, welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy trends update. So who is hot and likely unowned?

Casey Blake – Blake is owned in only 46 percent of Yahoo! leagues, which surprises me. If someone is looking for a Delgado, Atkins, or Aramis replacement, they should think about Casey Blake. In the last week, Blake jacked three HRs and knocked in eight teammates. Here are some numbers, 28, 23, 19, 18 and 21. These are, respectively, Blake’s HR totals in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. That is terribly consistent. Blake is off to a hot start with nine bombs already, and he should eclipse the 20 HR mark.

Russell Branyan – Everyone knows Russell Branyan is not someone to help your average; he is, after all, a career .235 hitter. Still he can hit the ball out of the yard if given the at bats. Well, the Mariners are giving him those at bats – just last week Branyan hit three HRs and posted a .500 OBP. He has also already managed 10 HRs – a 30 HR campaign should surprise no one.

Kendry Morales – Morales was doing his best Casey Kotchman impression early in the year. Lately (last week he hit three HRs and drove in seven), Morales has been scorching. In the last month he has posted a .352 OBP with eight HRs and 22 RBIs. He is a very good corner infield option.

Ben Zobrist – With Pat Burrell on the shelf, Zobrist will get more consistent playing time. Last week alone, Zobrist managed two HRs, seven RBIs and one SB. According to Evan Rosen:

Ben Zobrist has 7 homers in 86 at-bats…He didn’t hit for too much power in the minors, but his 12 homers in 198 major league at-bats in 2008 is promising.

Zobrist was useful down the stretch last year as well. It isn’t inconceivable that Zobrist could be a productive shortstop in some leagues. He could be better than Troy Tulowitzki this year

Andy LaRoche – LaRoche has always had a ton of promise. Last week he showed what that looks like on the diamond: one HR, seven RBIs, and a .360 OBP. That OBP is consistent with his last month, during which LaRoche knocked in 16 RBIs. In his AAA career, LaRoche killed pitchers to the tune of a .412 OBP, 33 HRs and 111 RBIs in 167 games.

Colby Rasmus – Speaking of players with awesome minor league track records and poor MLB performances, Colby Rasmus. In the last week, while Rasmus failed to get on base often (.283 OBP), he did manage to hit three HRs. Still as Cardinals’ outfielders have gotten injured, Rasmus’ playing time has increased. In the last month, he has managed four HRs and 13 RBIs. With more playing time, his plate discipline should improve, which will lead to more runs and more HRs.

Josh Outman – Outman pitched a gem on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, six scoreless innings with six Ks. He has allowed only one earned run in his last 12 IPs, while striking out 10 batters. Unfortunately, since he is on the A’s, he wont get to pitch against them, but other than that Outman can provide some useful match-up options.

THE FLIP SIDE (the supposed good guys who are stinking up the joint)

Time to move on to those cold salamanders that are likely owned in your league, yet have sucked lately. These are the players who have been ice cold, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright.

Jon Lester – Lester had a forgettable week: 7.94 ERA, 1.94, but did manage five Ks. For the most part, Lester’s season hasn’t been great: 6.51 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. Still his K-rate is awesome (54 Ks in 47 IPs). He has also only walked 16 batters. Lester will be fine; he is an excellent buy-low candidate.

Joe Saunders – Saunders was shelled at Texas this past week: 11.81 ERA, 1.88 WHIP. Furthermore, he has posted a 4.50 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in the last month. His inability to strike anyone out (26 Ks in 52 IPs) seems to finally be catching up to him. I’d sell while the ratios are still somewhat decent.

Scott Kazmir – I’ve written about Kazmir a lot in the past month. He managed only three innings in his last start, while giving up SEVEN runs. I’d be a scared Kazmir owner at the moment. If you can trade him for a Victor Zambrano, I might condone that.

Tim Lincecum – This season has been a roller coaster ride for Lincecum. Last week, he posted a 7.50 ERA and a 2.17 WHIP. At least he struck out eight batters. This, however, is a blip on the radar. Lincecum has been nasty over the last month: 3.71 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 43 Ks in 34 IPs.

Nelson Cruz – Cruz, like Rasmus and LaRoche, was beginning to earn a Quad A label – that is – until the end of last year and the beginning of this season. Still, his last week was bad: .200 AVE, .250 OBP, one run. In the last month, he has managed only two HRs, but has stolen three bases. I’d be a tad concerned that people are figuring him Cruz; the power, however, should be there all season.

Mike Lowell – Lowell was a great Aramis Ramirez replacement until this last week. Lowell hit .173 with just two runs. Still, over the last month, Lowell has hit .300 with four HRs and 17 RBIs. As long as Lowell remains healthy, he should be a viable corner infield option.

David OrtizHe is done.

Robinson Cano – Cano had a typical Robinson Cano early season week: .200 AVE, three runs, one RBI. This is part of a worrisome trend. In the last month, Cano has hit .255 with three HRs and 11 RBIs. Still, this is not entirely unexpected. In the month of May, Cano is typically awful: a career .260 AVE with just six HRs in 457 ABs. He should be fine come June (career average: .314). Don’t worry about him.

All stats are as of May 19.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] Asdrubal Cabrera, Stephen Drew, etc. If you don’t believe me, check out what this guy has to say (ok, this is from my article last week): “With Pat Burrell on the shelf and Aki Iwamura and Jason Bartlett hurting, Zobrist will get […]


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