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

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

As noted by the recent news that Katy’s latest single is “three parts pop and one part rap,” it is never too early to sellout (I’m looking at you Snoop Dog). The lay observer of pop culture would be shocked that the king of Gin & Juice would lower himself to vodka soda posh standards. However, if you carefully followed his career, you would have seen his reality show and presence on an (admittedly awesome) PCD song (for those not in the know, Pussycat Dolls).

What does that all mean, other than I’m likely more suited to write a gossip column than a fantasy baseball column? You need to be ahead of the trends. That’s where Katy Perry’s All-stars come in! This column hopes to identify the trendy pick-ups or d-list snubs before they hit a majority owner’s radars.

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

Fred Lewis – 2008 wasn’t that long ago, yet people seem to forget that Lewis put up a pretty capable and useful season (80 runs and 21 SBs). He did his best to remind people in the last seven days (six runs, seven RBIs and one SB). In deeper leaguers, he’s a great find (he’s only owned in two percent of leagues). He can be a starting OF in AL-only.

Juan Pierre – Pierre has seen his ownership levels plummet to 33 percent, mostly due to his horrendous .216 average. Still, over the last seven days, he hit .286, scored five runs and stole six bases. Even with a sub-.300 OBP, Pierre has managed to lead the league in SBs. He’s a great buy and should be owned in all respectable leagues.

Aaron Rowand – In San Francisco, Rowand has been a decidedly average player (60 runs, 14 HRs, and a .266 AVG). Sure that’s not anything fantastic, but he is definitely ownable. Look at his last seven days: two HRs, nine RBIs and a .391 AVG. He won’t keep up that pace, but you could do worse to find an outfielder who will hit 15-20 HRs for you.

Travis Snider – As Eric Keen noted, Snider has shone prodigious power in the minors, but hasn’t quite brought it to the Show. The seven percent owned outfielder put in a good last seven days (five runs, one HR and a .478 AVG). If you are in need of HRs, I can’t advocate for Snider more. He should end up with at least 20 and, while his batting average won’t be great, it could be around .250-.260.

Randy Winn – With all of the injuries befalling the Yankees, a lot of bench players are seeing the field. With that opportunity, Winn is doing his best to secure more time. Over the last seven days, he scored five runs, stole a base and hit .400. His primary value will come in runs and SBs. He stole 16 bases in a poor 2009 and 25 in an average 2008. He’s a good short-term waiver grab.

Alex Avila – Gerald Laird has proven to be a poor hitting catcher. Alex Avila, his back-up, was a fifth round draft pick just two years ago. He is only 23, yet has shown an ability to hit for a solid average (.280 in the minors and .258 in 101 MLB ABs). Over the last seven days, he hit .556 with two HRs. If he keeps up a decent average, he could see more and more playing time. In two-catcher and deeper leagues, he’s a good speculative add.

Brett Cecil – Cecil, a popular deep sleeper headed into 2009, was downright forgotten in 2010. In his last start, he went eight innings, struck out 10 and posted a 0.38 WHIP. Cecil, only 23, has a 9 K/9 rate over four minor league seasons. So far, in 21 appearances, Cecil, who went to DeMatha high school in Maryland (a former rival of mine), has a 7.1 K/9 rate. He won’t continue to succeed at his these levels (as he is helped by a .200 BAbip), but he could be a very cheap source of Ks.

John Ely – Ely will be 24 in five days. He was a third round pick of the White Sox in 2007, but was traded to the Dodgers as part of the Juan Pierre deal. In his second major league start, Ely threw 6.2 IPs, allowed four hits, walked none and struck out seven. Pitching for the Dodgers in the NL West is always a nice setting. It sure helps when a pitcher has a great K/BB walk (2.77) in the minors, like Ely. I think he makes a good speculative add in NL-only leagues. (I just dropped Rafael Betancourt for him).

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

Edwin Jackson – I’ve never liked Edwin Jackson (was able to sell high nicely on him last year), but that doesn’t condone the weed whacker he took to teams over the last seven days (11 IPs, 9.00 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP). In 10- and 12-team leagues where starters aren’t at a premium, go ahead and drop him. If you can trade him for someone like Tyler Clippard, I suggest doing so. That is how little faith I have in him.

Wandy Rodriguez – Outside of K-Rod (who blew a save last night) and I-Rod, 2010 has not been kind to MLB players name Rodriguez (Alex, Sean and Wandy have all struggled). Over the last seven days, Wandy pitched 8.2 innings and posted a 7.27 ERA and 2.42 WHIP. What’s worse? The most disastrous start was at home, where he usually dominates. Still, at least he added nine Ks. Here’s a secret though, Wandy has been unlucky (with a .380 BAbip), while maintaining decent peripheral statistics (2.7 BB/9 compared to 2.8 in 2009 and 2.9 in 2008). His K-rate has gone down a tad (it is currently the lowest of his career), so he might be injured, but I wouldn’t cut bait at the moment.

Derek Lowe – Lowe brutalized ERAs and WHIPs over the last seven days (10 IPs, 7.20 ERA, and 2.00 WHIP). So far, 2010 has not been kind to Lowe or the Braves who signed him to a bloated contract just two years ago. He is on pace to post the highest BB/9 rate (4.5) of his career by far and his third highest H/9 (10.4). He is a WHIP killer. At this point, he only has value in leagues where every starter is owned.

Ryan Rowland-Smith – Up until last week, Rowland-Smith had good enough ratios to drive decent ownership levels. Well, in his last start, Rowland-Smith only pitched 4.1 IPs, struck out two and posted a 12.46 ERA and 2.31 WHIP. There isn’t much upside in a pitcher like Rowland-Smith (as a starter he strikes out only 4.5 hitters per nine innings). Sure if you want to stream him against some lowly line-ups, go ahead, but don’t expect any sort of help in Ks or Wins.

Jason Vargas – The bloom seemed to come off the Vargas rose in his last start, as he posted a 4.05 ERA. However, he did strike out eight, while posting a 1.05 WHIP against a dangerous Tampa Bay offense. Six years ago, Vargas was a second round draft pick of the Marlins. Since then, he was traded to the Mets (with Lindstrom going to the Marlins) and to the Mariners as part of the tree-teamer that brought them Franklin Gutierrez and sent JJ Putz to the Mets. Last year, Vargas pitched the most major league innings of his career (91.2) and posted a 4.91 ERA, but a usable 1.33 WHIP. He has seemed vastly improved this year (and has been lucky: .231 BAbip), but he could end up with solid ratios. An ERA around 4.50 and WHIP around 1.30 seems doable. Clearly he has become valuable in a league where free agent starters are hard to come by.

Jose Lopez – Over the last seven days, you would have done better starting Felipe Lopez (who is on the DL) than Jose Lopez (who hit .167 and added two RBIs). Unfortunately this has continued his disturbing 2010 trend of sucking. It seems that when Lopez took over at third for Adrian Beltre, he took on his inability to hit as well. In addition, historically, Lopez has been a horrible May player, so it might be time to look for other options. In shallow leagues, you can cut bait (maybe grab Ty Wigginton), in deeper leagues you need to bench him. He does pick it up in June.

Hunter Pence – There isn’t much good to say about the Astros – we can already see the trade vultures circling over the heads of Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. Someone I thought would have a better year in 2010 is Hunter Pence. Over the last seven days (.111 AVG) and season (.210 AVG, 11 runs, two HRs), Pence has been horrible. Pence has been a bit unlucky (2010 BAbip: .224, career: 318). So his average should rise, and when some hits fall, he’ll score more and knock more in. In shallow leagues, where outfielders are plentiful, go ahead and drop him for someone like Marlon Byrd. In deep leagues, keep running him out there.

Lance Berkman – It’s hard to decide who was worse last week between Berkman (.095 AVG and one RBI) and Pence. What’s worse, since coming off the DL, Berkman hasn’t exactly torched the ball (.185 AVG, two HRs and seven RBIs). But, come on, honestly, it’s only been 54 ABs. In that small sample, unsurprisingly, his BAbip is funky (.222) in a bad way. At some point the Astros will get hot. Whether Berkman is still on the team at that point, who knows? But he’ll be a fine first base option once he gets into the groove.

Casey Kotchman – I don’t get how deep a league has to be where Kotchman is valuable. While that is an exaggerated statement, he didn’t help teams over the last seven days (one run, .045 AVG). Furthermore, he has a .202 AVG on the season. Seriously, there are far better options on the wire at first base – there have to be.

Thus ends the Astros/Mariners/Katy Perry All-stars. It shouldn’t be surprising that two teams that have struggled are well represented.

I’m switching to posting this column on Saturday/Sunday instead of the usual Wednesday. Let me know if this was a good/bad move, please!

All stats as of May 7.

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Cecil, Snider and Pierre make good adds. Keep your eye on Avila, Ely, Lewis and Rowand. You are allowed to give up on Edwin Jackson, Rowland-Smith, Kotchman, and Lowe.

h2h_Corner on Twitter

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3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Ely – While I am pretty happy to be the first fantasy writer to discuss John Ely (an unofficial tally), I’m not a huge believer that he can maintain his […]

    Reply

  2. […] it’s because I love Sideshow Bob’s brother that I really believe in Cecil (see here, here and here). Flying under the radar with all of the other unfair things the Jays have been doing, he went nine […]

    Reply

  3. […] because I love Sideshow Bob’s brother that I really believe in Cecil (see here, here and here). Flying under the radar with all of the other unfair things the Jays have been doing, he went nine […]

    Reply

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