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.
While it is kind of funny that Katy Perry assumes she’ll “probably end up sh*t-faced in an alley wearing a penis hat” after her bachelorette party, you don’t want to be the one in your league who loses and wears the penis hat. Don’t be that guy, the guy who peters out at the end of the fantasy baseball season.
I know attentions are shifting to football, but you have a few weeks to make trades. If you are in a keeper league, deal your unkeepable players for prospects. If you are in redraft leagues, it’s time to take a chance. Deal for some underperformers in the hopes they get hot. At the least, you’ll have some new blood to root for rather than the old players who put you in last.
That’s about all the preaching I got in me for a Sunday.
Jack Cust – It’s amazing how long it took the A’s to get Cust into the line-up on a regular basis. He is arguably their best hitter. In fact, he has been fantasy’s best hitter over the last seven days: four HRs, 10 RBIs and a .444 AVG. He’s worth even more in OBP leagues. That said, his average will never be helpful, but he’ll get on base and he’ll hit HRs, something that is very valuable in all leagues. I’m surprised he is only six percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Chris Denorfia – Denorfia has received more plate appearances this year than any year previous. So far, he’s shown he can post a decent average (career .280 hitter). He has also put together a few good streaks, specifically, over the last seven days, he hit .429 with three HRs and two SBs. He is definitely rosterable in NL-only leagues.
Jose Tabata – Everyone is in the need for speed, yet Tabata is only owned in five percent of Yahoo! leagues. Last week, Tabata hit .355 and added eight runs and two SBs. He did do a lot of damage against the woeful pitching Brewers, but he’ll get enough playing time to steal plenty of bags over the second half. If you need speed, you could be doing a lot worse than grabbing Tabata.
Delwyn Young – Speaking of the Pirates, Young, filling in for an injured Andrew McCutchen, hit .412 over the last seven days with two HRs. In NL-only leagues, Young could provide some decent depth at one of the many positions he qualifies for. He won’t hit for a great average, but provides some light pop.
Chris Johnson – The youth movement is on in Houston. While they don’t have a ton of blue chip prospects, Johnson is intriguing. He should get the majority of at bats at third base and will play in a favorable home park. Over the last seven days, he hit .455 and added two HRs. While he was only a .277 hitter in the minors, he hit .299 in 2008, .288 in 2009 and .329 this year. So he could be a .285-.300 hitter in the majors. At the least he won’t hurt you, while giving you a decent corner infielder.
Matt Diaz – Diaz, finally healthy and getting at bats, posted a very nice week (.462 AVG and two HRs). While the outfield is sort of crowded in Atlanta, eventually they will give up on Nate McLouth. Diaz kills left-handed pitching (.341/.378/.543), so he should be in NL-only line-ups any time the Braves face a southpaw. At the worst, he’ll be a Martin Prado-lite (little pop, but a .300 or so average). That’s a godsend to NL-only squads.
Tyler Colvin – Last week, Colvin (largely atop the Cubs’ line-up), hit .280, scored eight runs and smacked three HRs. While he was a first round pick a few years ago, most industry experts thought he went a little high. That said, he did smack 56 HRs in just 442 minor league games. He seems to be a decent power source, however he will likely hurt you in batting average (he was a career .277 hitter in the minors) because he strikes out a ton (341 times in the minors, 64 times in 89 games in the majors).
Jeff Francis – The Rockies believe in Jeff Francis (so much so that they sent down strike-out phenom Jhoulys Chacin). He rewarded that trust last week by throwing seven scoreless innings against the Marlins. He also added seven Ks. However, I don’t endorse Francis as anything other than an NL-only or 20-team league option. He doesn’t really strike anyone out and appears to be an ERA risk.
Vin Mazzaro – Mazzaro is throwing up similar numbers to Francis, albeit with slightly better ratios. Last week, in two starts, Mazzaro posted 10 Ks, two wins, a 1.98 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 13.2 IPs. Still, those starts were against a light hitting White Sox team and the hapless Royals. I don’t much think Mazzaro will help as a mixed league option, but in 14-teamers and deeper he could be a spot starter. He seems capable of exploiting good match-ups (and he should face the Mariners plenty).
Barry Enright – What do I need to do to get people to give Barry Enright a run? Over the last seven days, he went eight innings, struck out eight, and posted a 1.12 ERA. He had a 7.3 K/9 rate in the minors and posted an impressive 5.53 K:BB rate in AA this season. I’d love to take a gamble on Enright down the stretch, especially if I just lost someone like Jhoulys Chacin.
Edwin Jackson – Jackson struck out 11 batters in 12.1 IPs last week – not shabby. Unfortunately, he made sure you lost ERA/WHIP, as he posted a 5.84 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. While he has k-ed 101 batters (the 32nd most in the majors), his ERA and WHIP make him borderline unusable. He is a lot like Bud Norris, except Jackson is owned in 54 percent of leagues, while Norris is only owned in two percent.
Scott Baker – Oddly enough, Baker has more Ks on the year (104) than Jackson. Equally odd: his ERA and WHIP have been just as bad. Over the last seven days, Baker pitched 11.2 IPs, and posted a debilitating 6.17 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. However, those numbers were mostly the by-product of one messy start (six runs in 4.2 IPs against the Indians). If I were comfortably in the lead or struggling to make-up ground, Baker is someone I would target. While there is a chance he is injured, his peripheral statistics indicate he should bounce back. He has a .331 BAbip, a 4.52 K:BB rate and his xFIP is 3.77. Furthermore, he has an ERA more than a point lower during the second half of seasons. I’ll be buying Baker until we hear something concrete about any potential injury. Otherwise, I’ll believe in his statistics.
Brennan Boesch – I hate to say I told you so, and I certainly can’t do so after just a horrid seven day stretch, which included just 21 ABs, but Boesch collected just one hit in those ABs. He only has three hits since the All-star break, so it looks like he is worthless. Not so fast, actually. He’s been a tad unlucky over the last two weeks (.111 BAbip), so he isn’t this bad. He clearly isn’t as good as he was in the first half, but I don’t think he’ll continue to be a sub.100 hitting guy.
Carlos Beltran – Is Beltran ownable this year? I think it is a legitimate question. Over his last 20 ABs, he has two hits. He is going to get days off to rest his injury. I’m going to go ahead and say you can drop him in 10- and 12-team leagues. If you are in the bottom half of the standings and want to catch lightening in a bottle, sure go ahead and grab him. However, I don’t expect Beltran to be helpful to fantasy teams this year.
Lance Berkman – I really thought Berkman was turning a corner, but, alas, he hit about as well as Beltran did over the last seven days, seeing his season average rest below .240. It’s odd for a career .296 hitter to be struggling so much. He did get a late start to the season and is overcoming an injury, but what is more telling is a career .318 BAbip versus a 2010 BAbip of .276. I am pretty comfortable in Berkman’s ability and would be trying to buy him at a discount right now.
Bobby Abreu – Abreu is on pace to hit about 17 HRs and steal 27 bases. Unfortunately, he is on pace to post his worst batting average of his career, and his last seven days haven’t helped (.174 AVG). I’m a bit concerned that Abreu is slowing down in his age 36 year. However, he does have a BAbip about .050 lower than his normal career numbers. He is also hitting fewer line drives than he has previously (which could account for some of the BAbip drop). At this point, I’d expect him to hit a bit better over the rest of the year, add six HRs and 12 SBs.
All stats as of noon on July 25, 2010.
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak Cust, Tabata, Enright, and Diaz make good adds. Keep your eye on Mazzaro, Colvin, Johnson, and Denorfia. You are allowed to give up on Carlos Beltran and Edwin Jackson.