h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

Welcome to September’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:

While Ryan Braun ranks in the top 30 players this year, he has had a disappointing season. Who has been the biggest disappointment on your roster? Post below!

Shockingly, the word succubus was mentioned twice on television in the past week. It’s shocking because I don’t exactly watch high brow shows.

When I wrote, “Trevor Cahill has 32 Ks in his last 33 IPs. I’d be buying him now, even with his lucky (.234) BAbip,” I never knew how right I’d be. He is currently the 20th ranked player in Yahoo!. Still, as Rob Neyer accurately points out, there is absolutely no way he keeps this up. For just one measure, he has a 2.43 ERA and 4.04 FIP.

The most underrated 2010 pitcher has been Clayton Kershaw – top five in Ks.

I thought I was crazy when I said Billy Wagner could strike out 100 batters this year. Well, he’s almost 80% of the way there (78 Ks on the season).

Buster Posey is all I thought/hope Matt Wieters would be – now I am sad.

Brad Bergesen has been improbably useful as of late – he has, unfortunately, been just as improbably (.234 BAbip over the last 28 days) lucky.

Felix Pie can really help some teams down the stretch—ditto for Michael Brantley, Logan Morison, and, gulp, Gregor Blanco. There are a lot of cheap, boutique outfielders available.

The first time succubus was mentioned was on Big Brother, when Julie Chen interviewed the “diabolical super genius” Matt following his elimination. Poor Julie thought Matt said “bitch,” and she got super flustered and remained confused even after Matt said it was an okay word.

It’s incredibly impressive what the Red Sox are doing. They have somehow made me a fan of their season. I find myself rooting for them, which is odd, considering I am super jealous and hate them.

You can’t be upset at what Dice-K has provided (103 Ks in 118 IPs). For someone who was an afterthought in most drafts, that’s a heck of a lot of Ks for no price.

I’d be trading Josh Hamilton in the off-season in my keeper leagues.

There are a myriad of reasons you should wait on drafting a first baseman (Paul Konerko, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, Aubrey Huff, Nick Swisher, Martin Prado and Adam Dunn are all inside the top 31 ranked players). And that list excludes the big three: Pujols, Cabrera, and Votto.

Baseball is a funny game. To wit, not among your top 10 first basemen: Prince Fielder, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds.

I’m glad I ranked David Ortiz inside my top 100 hitters this year. He seems to be having a career arc similar to Jim Thome. He’ll scuffle a bit and should never be used against lefties, but he can provide some cheap power (and he won’t kill your OBP in doing so – he’s gotten on base at a .370 clip this year).

Begrudgingly, it looks like Jose Bautista is for real – a much more reliable Mark Reynolds.

It’s hard to condemn a house member’s Big Brother strategy as the audience only sees the snippets that are most entertaining. Still, it’s pretty clear where Matt went wrong: throwing competitions. Throwing competitions is the kiss of death—he knew this—every time you think you are so safe, you are going home. Further, he knew where he stood in the brigade – quite possibly the worst alliance ever that might actually work – and yet he tried to remain loyal. What he should have done was team up with Ragan, Britney and Brendon against Enzo, Hayden and Lane – it’s the only way the others had a chance. Shame on Matt. Anyone else have thoughts?

The win is a tough stat to talk about. Without it, Felix Hernandez is a behemoth, with it he is “only” a top 20 player.

The Mariners look ridiculous for everything they did to Brandon Morrow. Will the Yankees look similarly foolish for the Joba Rules?

Speaking of Hulu (I did so above), my TIVO recently broke. I’ve had it for five years. I don’t have cable anymore and watch most of my TV online, but I’m still going to miss the little guy. He was so nice and good to me…recording such crappy shows over and over. Sure he messed up from time to time, but, it wasn’t his fault. I’m mourning…Anyone else have TIVO stories they want to share?

I’m looking pretty good for tabbing Robinson Cano as the #1 fantasy second basemen and a top 10 player.

I still don’t buy Adrian Beltre (.341 BAbip). His batting average on July 1: .346, on August 1: .333 and on August 28: .324. That BAbip is starting to correct itself (he has a lifetime .294 BAbip).

The other show that used succubus was Royal Pains. I love this show, and, more broadly, USA. I mean they have some awesome original programming: Burn Notice, Royal Pains and Psych (which Mentalist ripped off, but both are good). They are all wonderful escapist shows. You should tune in – they are on Hulu. Who else has foregone real TV for an internet TV/Netflix hybrid?

Andrew McCutchen is in for a big year next year. Though he hasn’t quite lived up to his early season success, he should finish with a 15 HR, 35 SB sophomore campaign. From there, it’s not a long leap to 20 HRs, 40 SBs.

Haruki Murakami is quite possibly the best writer you’ve never heard of. I can’t put any of his books down. While I prefer Kafka on the Shore to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, both are excellent. Do yourself a favor and pick up several of his novels.

The torch has officially been passed from AROD to David Wright and Evan Longoria. I’m thinking Longo will be ranked a smidge higher than Wright next year, with AROD being a fourth rounder.

Chris Young (Arizona) is the new Alfonso Soriano. There will be pronounced peaks and valleys, but he’ll end up a good power and speed combination.

Justin Upton will take the game by storm someday. If he falls to the third round next year, it’ll be hard for me to pass on him.

No pitcher has been better than Daniel Hudson over the last month.

If you are looking for shortstop help down the stretch, Stephen Drew has been on a tear. Also, there is Ian Desmond. I’d rather have either of them over Alex Gonzalez, Jhonny Peralta, Starlin Castro or Jason Bartlett.

Ian Stewart has some serious sleeper potential going into next year – dude has 18 HRs in just 371 ABs.

There is very little reason to hold onto Gordon Beckham in a redraft league. He’s been better, sure, but go with someone who is killing the ball, like Wilson Betemit, Chris Johnson, or even Aramis Ramirez.

I’m happy I stuck with Wandy Rodriguez.

Brian Duensing, like last year, has saved his best for last. Still, there isn’t much upside with him – be careful when you use him.

It’s time to get on the Ryan Raburn train. He gets too many RBI chances to ignore and he qualifies at second base.

Don’t look now, but Howie Kendrick has hit .337 over his last 95 ABs. he’s a decent average buy right now.

Wade LeBlanc should make a good, light-weight, addition to most fantasy squads.

If you need Ks and don’t care about your ratios, Manny Parra could be valuable.

I’m a big Joe Blanton fan down the stretch. He’ll be very useful – mark my words.

FB101’s 411: Stick to your guns. Don’t stop believing.

All stats as of noon August 29, 2010.

h2h_Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Ryan Howard is outside the Top 10 because he went on the DL… DUH

    Reply

  2. Posted by Albert Lang on August 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Right – i think most people are aware of that.

    Still, if you average out his season over 162 games, it looks like 33-35 HRs, 118 RBIs…those are eerily similar to what David Ortiz will put up.

    Further, his HR/FB% has gone down from 31% (2008) to 25% (2009) to 19.5% (2010).

    Even if he was healthy, Howard isnt having his typical monster year.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Joe on August 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have had a wealth
    Of dissapointing players:
    Matt Weiters, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jason Bartlett, Krod (more recently), Pedroia, Ibanez, too many to list. Good thing i got rid of everyone mentioned above through trades!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Joe on August 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Also, my cable Provider, who shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Pompast”, decided that i do not deserve 90% of the channels i pay for. I will now be required to pay more monthly in order to receive channels that were already included in my package. With Netflix on demand, Hulu, and MLB.TV i dont even miss my cable. Take that you bunch of arrogant jerks!!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Albert Lang on August 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Yeah – the KROD incident really hurt — it mean its one thing if it happens on the field, but to be a stupid incident in the club house!?!?!?!

    Agreed on cable – i just cant afford it. It’s amazing what they ask you to pay for something that, with a little intuition, you can largely get for 10% of the price. I hope more and more people look to the internet superhighway to keep this cable operators in their place!

    Reply

  6. Problem is that most cable providers are also a person’s ISP, so if you don’t get cable they just make you pay more for your Internet.

    As for baseball, my FBL season was ruined by some early injuries, dumb drops such as Jose Bautista being onrle of them – I grabbed him off waivers to fill in for one of my early season DL outfielders) and Cahill – who I dropped because of his early stint on the DL or the minors, I can’t remember which.

    Reply

  7. Posted by james on August 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    curtis granderson has been a huge letdown,

    Reply

  8. Posted by Albert Lang on August 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Yeah Grandy – some of the signs were there, but you’d he’d at least flash a decent power stroke….a shame.

    As for the bautista drop — cant blame you for that…and Cahill was bad early, then lucky, so it wasnt a terrible decision either.

    So far this has been quite cathartic!

    Reply

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