h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars VII

Welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy trends update.

It’s been a while since I updated you on my running prowess (i.e., bragged). Thanks to Katy (yeah we’re on first name basis), I finished my most recent treadmill two miles in 12:30. Well, it was mostly thanks to Misery Business. Speaking of misery, I concluded my typical two miles with a 1.75 mile jog to my girlfriend’s place. If you know anything about D.C., well, it’s sort of hilly. To get from Farragut North to Woodley Park, you run up hill, steeply.

Maybe it was the impending humidity, maybe it was the burrito I had for lunch, but I was dead tired by the time I got there, and it wasn’t even two miles.

Thanks for bearing with me. For fantasy, mid-June through July is that 1.75 miles uphill. You need to keep grinding out category wins as people (Cabrera, Sizemore, Reyes, etc.) hit the DL and there is little tangible movement in standings. If you can maintain your position while picking up the right hot players as the weather warms, you’ll get to September in good shape for the stretch run (I’m hilarious!).

With that’s said, let’s move on to the things you care about right now, like who’s hot:

Luke Scott – When Luke Scott gets hot, you better get on the ride. Last week, Scott hit six HRs, added 15 RBIs, and batted .375 with a .444 OBP. Scott has been getting playing time against lefties (sorry Wigginton owners) and will easily amass RBIs. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but he is not likely to have another six HR week. He did hit 23 HRs last year, so that means should be good for at least another 12 -15 long balls this season.

Ben Francisco – In the wake of Grady Sizemore’s injury, Francisco is getting consistent playing time. Last week he stole two bases, hit one HR and batted .385. For the season, he has nine steals, something that no one would expect given his career arc. Still, he shows no sign of slowing down; so if you need speed with more pop than Michael Bourn, Francisco would be your man.

Ben Zobrist – Zobrist qualifies at second base, shortstop and outfield. Last week, he scored five runs, hit a homer, and stole a base. Zobrist should provide fantasy owners with some speed and pop from a middle infield position. You could do worse than taking a flier on him if you’ve been experiencing disappointing production from Tulowitzki, 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 more consistent playing time in the near future. Last week alone, Zobrist hit .333, scored four runs, hit a HR, and stole a base. Maybe he isn’t a fluke, eh Rob Neyer? 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 a good option for everyone who is dealing with Tulowitzki or Peralta or Furcal or hardy – you get the point.”

Adam Kennedy Kennedy has been getting the primary at bats at second base for the Oakland Athletics. Last week he put together some impressive numbers by stroking two HRs and stealing three bases. However, he posted a poor .333 OBP. While he might continue to steal SBs, I guarantee he won’t have another week as productive as that one.

Jerry Hairston, Jr. – With his brother hitting the DL, Jerry Hairston is now the best healthy player in the family. Last week, Hairston hit two HRs while posting a .313 AVE and .353 OBP. Hairston did hit.326 over 261 Abs in Cincinnati last year, so he clearly has a certain affinity to the Great American Ballpark. He could provide a nice combo of double digit power and steals, especially if you recently lost or gave up on your shortstop.

Kris Medlen – I was all over Medlen in my 20-team league, and then gave up on him after a couple of pour outings. Well, he came back strong in his most recent start, striking out nine, getting the win, and posting a 0.83 WHIP. He could be a sneaky source of Ks.

Randy Wells – Speaking of surging young pitchers, Wells (26) got his owners 11 Ks last week, all while posting a 1.93 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 14 IPs. In four AAA seasons, Wells posted a 4.28 ERA, 1.412 WHIP and 283 Ks in 309.1 IPs. Those ratios don’t belie much major league success, but his K-rate isn’t awful. Ride the streak while it lasts, though I’d rather have Medlen.

Gavin Floyd – Left for dead a few weeks ago, Floyd struck out 16 batters in 15 IPs, while posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. His success did come against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics – not the strongest lineups in the bigs. So, tread lightly. That said, Floyd could be inching his way toward serviceable. At the very least, he has certainly proved that he can be a match-ups type starter.

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.

Dice-KMatsuzaka had two starts last week. While he posted a respectable 3.60 ERA, his 2.10 WHIP is nothing short of disgusting. He did offer 12 Ks in ten IPs and had a good turn his last time out. Dice-K will give you decent Ks, ERA and wins, but will be dangerous when it comes to your WHIP. He is who he is at this point – you know what you’re getting when you start him.

Chris DavisI was worried about the hype surrounding Davis on March 7, 2009. Last week, Davis was hitless in 15 ABs and posted a .063 OBP. Over the last month, he has hit about .180, though he does have seven HRs. He is all power and nothing else. At some point he might get hot and not murder your AVE, but until then he is a dangerous corner infielder to start.

Brandon Inge – Inge, owned in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues, is plummeting back to earth. He scored one run (that’s it for the offensive categories) and hit .182 last week. He hasn’t been all that much better over the last month: .229 AVE, 12 runs, four HRs, and 14 RBIs. The power will be there, which is nothing to sneeze at from a catcher, but he’ll continue to kill your average.

Alfonso Soriano – Soriano had a bad last week, hitting just one HR, which accounted for his only run and RBI. He hit .179 and posted a .207 OBP. Soriano should be fine as he is streaky. However, according to Toni Ginnetti at the Chicago Sun-Times, there are still concerns about Soriano’s left knee. This could limit his SB potential. If someone buys into a 20/20 campaign, I’d be dealing. If you’re interested solely in power, however, hold tight. That’s not going anywhere.

Carlos Pena – Pena’s week was abysmal for his batting average (.095), though his OBP was not nearly as bad (.240). Still, I’m not sure if that is good news. He too, like Soriano, managed only one HR, which accounted for his sole run and RBI of the week. Pena is just a streaky player, you have to expect weeks like these.

All stats are as of June 3.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ryan Davis on June 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I remember Luke Scott being a big time prospect a few years back. He’s floundered the past few years and his good performance is being viewed by many sites with skepticism. Do you think he can become the star he was once expected to become?


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on June 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Scott was a 9th round pick in 2001 by the Indians. He didn’t make it to the majors until he was 27. I don’t remember much hype surrounding him per se.

    I think he was always expected to mash. He does average 24 HRs over a 162-game season. The batting average is a mirage, but he could provide at least 10-12 more HRs this season.

    This year he is hitting a ridiculous .344 against lefties, albeit in only 32 at bats. He is a career .251 hitter against lefties, while he has hit .277 against righties.

    He’ll get you homers, but the average will drop.


  3. Posted by Alex Nelson on June 5, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I am actually bullish on Chris Davis — you can get him for next to nothing right now because he is swinging like a kid trying to get candy out of a pinata, but he still has 12 bombs. His glove is keeping him in the Rangers lineup. Watch out if he ever starts hitting consistently. I’m stashing him on my bench in my 18 team league and trying to trade for him everywhere else.

    I live in DC too — holla


  4. You make some good points, Alex. Thanks for posting. Clearly Davis is capable of not decimating your batting average — he did it last year. However, pitchers have begun to exploit his inability to take pitches. If he can correct that, his average and OBP should go up — and probably his HRs as well (seeing better pitches to hit).

    He has legit 30-hr potential, but at the moment he is Russell Branyan with playing time. In deep, deep leagues you are clearly holding him. And you’re probably stuck riding the wave in 10- and 12-teamers as well. Unfortunately, I dont see him as having Adam Dunn-level value.

    He isnt worthless, but he has never been worth his ADP.

    D.C. — awesome — spread the word throughout the district.


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