h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) All-Stars

Let’s be honest. You’ve waited all off-season for the first installment of the Katy Perry All-stars. The one column with the glamor, sophistication and fantasy baseball acumen you need.

Katy has sung:

“‘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 and you’re down.”

Isn’t that the perfect summation of a fantasy baseball season? One month Chris Shelton hits eight homers, the rest of his career – nada. One day Emilio Bonifacio steals four bases, the rest of the year he can’t get on base.

Katy Perry, as you well know, is getting married soon. Rihanna (who is dating Matt Kemp) is trying to plan the bachelorette party. The first week/month of the fantasy season is like planning a party. You collect all the supplies (HRs, strike-outs, stolen bases, etc.), clean up (drop Jake Westbrook) and pick out your outfit (players). While this is great work, you must make sure you don’t go overboard and remain flexible enough to shift the party indoors should a sudden storm arise.

That said, let’s get onto Katy’s inaugural 2010 All-stars.

‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

Placido Polanco – Going to the NL and a bandbox and batting between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley has been a Jeffersonian move. In seven games, Polanco has scored 10 runs, knocked in 10 and managed 15 hits! Incredulously, he is batting .484 with a .500 OBP. Clearly this will not continue and it is a devastatingly small sample size, but I think I undervalued Polanco coming into the year. Given his line-up position, he’ll stumble into 100 runs and should post decent RBI numbers for a second baseman. He is certainly capable of keeping up the batting average (career .304 hitter). Enjoy the fruits of your late round draft selection.

Vernon Wells – I don’t think I know any one who plays fantasy baseball or roots for the Blue Jays who likes Vernon Wells. A three-year (2007 – 2009) average of 17 HRs, 10 SBs, and 75 RBIs will do that. However, he has been a monster this year (.320 AVE and five HRs). What’s more, Wells has posted his worst average in March/April over the course of his career, meaning he has never been a fast starter. Still, anyone can get hot (Chris Shelton) and there is too much recent damage for me to be buying Wells. Sure, he seems like a lock for 20 HRs now, but at some point he’ll slow down. It’s called science.

Ryan Howard – I think the entire Phillies starting nine could have been Katy’s All-stars. I wanted to single Howard out because I don’t think people give him the credit he deserves. He finished in the top 10 in runs, HRs, and RBIs in 2009. He’ll do it again this year. Howard is a career .280 hitter, so he won’t destroy your batting average like a Carlos Pena will. He certainly won’t help your batting average, but he more than makes up for it in the other categories. He is a top 10 offensive player – if someone doesn’t think so, by all means buy Ryan Howard.

Rajai Davis – I rode Rajai down the 2009 stretch to a fantasy championship. In 2010, he seems to have picked up where he left off: eight runs, one HR, and five stolen bases. While his OBP last year (.423) was out of line with anything he has done previously, he does have a career .387 OBP (.389 so far this year). This suggests that he can get on base. And when he does, he runs. He could be in for an impressive SB year.

Scott Podsednik – Scotty Pods is already making White Sox fans miss him…again. Podsednik, who is starting for my hot stove fantasy league team, has scored four runs and stolen five bases, while batting .444 and posting a .516 OBP. Clearly, this won’t continue, but Pods can settle into his career averages of .278 AVE and .341 OBP with 30 SBs. That’s a pretty decent commodity.

Alex Gonzalez – What do they put in the water in Toronto to turn journeyman utility players into sweet-swinging shortstops? Gonzalez is already half-way to his HR total from last year. He did hit 23 (in 2004), but has hit double digits (16) just once since then (2007). Further, Gonzalez is a career .248 hitter with a .294 OBP. He also adds no SBs (27 total, with 19 caught stealings). So his value and upside is extremely limited. He’s hot, but he’ll end up being very cold.

Will Venable – It’s good to see the venerable Will Venable back for a cameo on Katy’s All-stars. So far, Venable has scored eight runs, hit two HRs, and knocked in seven. He has also batted .296 with a .298 OBP. He posted a .282 average with a .354 OBP in five minor league seasons. So he could be in for a nice batting average bump over last year (.256). Basically, it looks like Venable can be similar to Vernon Wells over the past few seasons: 15 – 20 HRs, 60 runs, 60 RBIs, decent ratios. In deep leagues, I would be buying him as a fringe outfielder.

Scott Rolen – Way back in February, I picked Rolen as a semi-breakout candidate for third basemen. So far, he has made me and my 20-league team look good (three HRs, .318 AVE, .400 OBP). You may have missed it, but Rolen played in more games last year (128) than in any season since 2006 (142). In that 2006 season, Rolen scored 94 runs, hit 22 HRs, knocked in 95 and posted a .296/.369 AVE/OBP. Last year, Rolen split time between Toronto and Cincinnati, but posted respectable ratios (.305/.368). Rolen is a deep third basemen candidate.

Matt Garza – It’s hard to get excited after a few turns in the rotation, but Matt Garza is looking better than ever: 1.13 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 7.9 Ks/9. He seems to be building on his 2009 which saw him strike-out a career high 189 batters. If he continues his pace, Garza could push to be a top five starting pitcher in 2010.

Carl Pavano – Pavano (era notwithstanding (5.10)) had a successful 2009 (1.38 WHIP, 6.6 Ks/9, and 1.8 walks/9). If he can keep that walk rate (so far it is 0.7/9), he’ll be successful in 2010. He won’t be anything great or continue his current ERA (1.38) dominance, but a solid ERA in the low-4.00s with a WHIP in the 1.30s should be a boon to any fantasy team.

Matt Thornton – People tend to ignore relievers unless they are obtaining or blowing saves. Well, Matt Thornton is the type of reliever that can help you win leagues. He already has 10 strike-outs (he has averaged 82 over the last two full seasons). In addition, he’ll post tasty ratios (1.59 ERA and 0.53 WHIP so far) over 70 innings. One more thing, Bobby Jenks could be traded or hurt at some point which could see Thornton receive and thrive in the closer role. I’d be nabbing Thornton wherever it makes sense, he could end up with a 2.75 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 80 Ks and a handful of saves.

Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down

Wandy Rodriguez – People new to WandyRod ownership are not use to his peccadilloes – namely that he doesn’t pitch all that well on the road (home ERA: 3.62; away ERA: 5.23; home WHIP: 1.27; away WHIP: 1.50). Sure, his last start was disastrous, but it was on the road. Also, you can’t overreact to a couple of starts. While WandyRod won’t be last year’s behemoth, he’ll provide good Ks and useful ratios. Just be cautious while starting him on the road.

Jair Jurrjens – Katy sure has some blue chip starting pitchers to pick from. Jurrjens lands on the squad based on a ridiculously poor recent outing (eight runs in 3.1 IPs). That has never been close to the norm for this ratio dominator. One thing to worry about is that Jurrjens could be injured (he only went five innings in his first start – he did throw 94 pitchers). According to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick, “Just talked to a scout who said, “If Jair Jurrjens is healthy, there’s no way the Padres do that to him. He just doesn’t look right.” Do with that what you will. I don’t think you should be cutting Jurrjens or selling low at the moment.

Jake Peavy – I haven’t been a big Peavy fan since 2007. I certainly did not think it was a good thing for him to abandon the NL and that park for the AL and his current park. While he will not lead the league in runs allowed (as he is doing at the moment), I don’t think you can expect his career norms (3.30 ERA and 1.19 WHIP). Rather, I think his ERA will be around 4.00 and WHIP around 1.30. You can’t do anything with him now, but if he throws some goose eggs on the board, I’d look to trade him.

Javier Vazquez – Everything I just wrote about Peavy could apply to Vazquez, except I was head over heels in love with Vazquez before the 2009 season. Unfortunately, I don’t seem him being overly successful in the AL East and Yankee stadium. He’ll be a serviceable pitcher but not a top 20 guy. I think you have to be careful with some of his match-ups, as well.

Geo Soto – Soto currently holds the record for most appearances on Katy’s All-stars – this is not a good thing. Following up last year’s .218 campaign with a .133 start is also not a good thing. In 10- and 12-team leagues, I think you can cut bait for the moment and grab someone who won’t hurt you (Chris Snyder, Miguel Olivo, etc.). In deeper leagues you have to give him a bit more rope. Still, I wouldn’t banish him from your mind completely. Monitor his progress to see if he gets an inkling of his power back and pounce on him. No use in paying for his poor performance at the moment though.

Chris Davis – I didn’t get the hype for Chris Davis last year and I didn’t really get why he was being drafted heavily this year. In 2009, Davis stuck out 150 times in 113 games culminating in a horrible average (.238), which made his 21 HRs all but useless. A lot of people pointed to a potential silver lining: Davis tore up the minors in 2009 and performed well (.318 AVE) in September and October when he was called back up to the majors. Of course, his BAbip was a tad out of control (.385). So far, Davis has struck out only six times in seven games, but he is hitting .167. Color me continually unimpressed.

Julio Borbon – Speaking of Rangers who can’t buy a hit, Julio Borbon is batting a measly .040. Listen, slumps happen, this is only 25 plate appearances. If you drafted him, you need to hold him. The Rangers gave a lot of rope to Elvis Andrus last year and will do the same this year with Borbon. Even with this horrendous start, over 204 major league plate appearances, Borbon has a .275 AVE and .333 OBP. If he can stay at those numbers, many stolen basses will follow.

Carlos Pena – Pena will push Soto for most career appearances on the Katy Perry All-stars. It’s just in Pena’s nature. He is an incredibly streaky guy. Right now, he’s on the bad end of a streak (.238 AVE) or is he? Pena hasn’t been able to hit for a decent average since 2007. In fact, of the five full seasons he has played, only once did he hit over .248. The power will be there, but expect him to be a batting average drain. But you knew that. So relax and enjoy when he hits homers in bunches.

Did I miss anyone? Let me know below.

FB101’s 411: Grab Thornton, Rolen and Venable in deep leagues. Ignore Alex Gonzalez. Give your pitchers (excluding Peavy) a chance to hit a groove. Davis and Pena are who we thought they were.

All stats as of April 13.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] I have no idea what to say about Garza. I really thought he was going to break out last year and early signs pointed to that happening – however it never clicked. Now, in the National League, I thought […]

    Reply

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