Welcome to July’s “I’m a Believer” column. Yes, I got the name from a Monkees’ song. And yes, I like the song. Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote it, as well as many other songs by the Monkees? Isn’t Neil Diamond cool (Red Sox fans)?
Like the song teaches us, this column attempts to be a fun, quick read, mostly focused on what performances we can/can’t believe in.
Without further ado, I’m a believer that:
It is only going to get hotter in Texas – barring injuries, Vlad Guerrero and Josh Hamilton will remain fantasy stalwarts.
I can’t say the same thing about Texas’ pitchers. Colby Lewis (17th ranked pitcher) and CJ Wilson have had nice seasons, but neither has pitched a full year as a starter in awhile. Furthermore that park does no pitcher any favors in the summer.
The Bengie Molina trade is horrible for Buster Posey owners – he’ll bat less (as catchers do) and wear down more (as catchers do). It should clear playing time for Pat Burrell though.
I don’t want to belabor the Rangers, but look at Michael Young (55 runs, 11 HRs, 51 RBIs, .316 AVG).
I’m looking better and better for tabbing Robinson Cano as the #1 fantasy second basemen.
I’d rather have Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Cliff Lee, Jon Lester, and Tim Lincecum than Ubaldo Jimenez, but I’d take any of them!
I still don’t buy Adrian Beltre (.385 BAbip).
The Astros have some intriguing young players (for NL-only leagues) in Chris Johnson and Jason Castro.
CC Sabathia has always been a better second half pitcher.
I’m glad I had faith in Carl Crawford, but sad that the fantasy community couldn’t see whether Jacoby Ellsbury was worth more.
Shortstop is a mean position on fantasy owners, but Erick Aybar is providing some relief. He was injured a bit and stumbled, but mostly he’s been on fire.
I thought I was crazy when I said Billy Wagner could strike out 100 batters this year. Well he has 49 Ks already.
Brandon Phillips has become incredibly reliable but also a little lucky (2010 BAbip = .341, career = .291). Still, he is walking more, which helps explain an OBP .060 above his career line.
I hate Corey Hart – no real why, but he’s just annoying.
Picking Martin Prado as a sleeper was one of the smarter things I’ve done.
Putting Kenny and Laurel together on the second version of Fresh Meat would be like an NBA team fielding LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Jered Weaver is still somehow underrated – dude is a top five fantasy pitcher.
You never should draft a catcher high. Your top 5 fantasy catchers on the year: Miguel Olivo, Victor Martinez (DL), Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, and John Buck. Three were afterthoughts on draft day.
David Wright is a better third base option than Alex Rodriguez.
Jason Hammel should be owned in way more than 21% of leagues (Yahoo!).
Adam Jones has eight HRs over the last month, but you should trade him. He traditionally underperforms in the second half.
Now is the last chance you’ll have to acquire Ian Kinsler below market value.
I’m glad I ranked David Ortiz inside my top 100 hitters this year.
Rickie Weeks is one of the best kept fantasy secrets – a top five second basemen. He is Dan Uggla with a little speed and better average.
The only thing separating Evan Longoria from David Wright is a handful of RBIs.
Brandon Morrow has become a very interesting fantasy commodity. I see him as a lot like AJ Burnett.
I wish I listened to myself and bought Derek Jeter more – it hurts me to say, but you can trust him (as long as you aren’t a young starlet).
It’s odd that the top ranked outfielder doesn’t really play outfield anymore.
Andrew McCutchen is going to push a 20-40 season.
Andy Pettitte is a fine looking piece of trade bait.
Trevor Cahill has 32 Ks in his last 33 IPs. I’d be buying him now, even with his lucky (.234) BAbip.
Don’t look now, but Gavin Floyd, as I suggested, has begun to turn it on.
Jason Berken can provide some nice Ks for those of you in deep leagues.
Dan Haren, notwithstanding his regular second half swoons, makes an interesting buy. If he is traded, we could see an uptick in performance.
The Pirates have some interesting bullpen arms. Joel Hanrahan keeps striking batters out, Evan Meek doesn’t let anyone score and Octavio Dotel should be traded.
Dice-K has 25 Ks in his last 25 IPs. He’ll be frustrating, but he’s good for good K stretches.
Brian Fuentes will continue to be the closer for the Angels – he has the fifth most saves over the last month. He is still no Daisy Fuentes.
FB101’s 411: Stick to your guns. Don’t stop believing.
All stats as of June 30.