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

Katy Perry and her awesome song “E.T.” remained atop the Billboard Charts for fifth week in a row. There is a competitor mounting though in Britney Spears. Her tune, “Till the World Ends,” got a huge bump based on rumors of a potential remix with Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha. Yes that is the most ridiculous sentence I have ever written.

Still, there’s a lesson in the inanity. If you’re in first, you need to scrape and claw to maintain it. If you’re behind the leader, it doesn’t hurt to remix your roster a bit…as long as you’re bringing on the likes of a Ke$ha.

Remember, 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.

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

Matt Joyce – It’s hard to beat an 8/16 with two HRs seven-day stretch. He was like the Brave Ulysses if you ask me (man that was awful). Still, those were the first homers of the season for Joyce, who is somewhat underwhelming in the power department. In 98 plate appearances this year his isolated power is .161, well below last year’s and his career’s mark. While he is sporting a nifty .345 average and .398 OBP, that is mostly aided by a .431 average on balls in play. In fact, his walk rate is only 9.2%, something most thought could easily be in the 15% range. The one pleasant surprise with Joyce is that he has stolen three bases without being caught. With a little luck, he could be a 10-SB player. Still, his average/OBP will drop and I don’t expect a dramatic increase in power. So, Joyce looks like a .275/.360/.450 guy with 15 HRs.

Erick Aybar – I’m an Erick Aybar fan – mostly because of the extra consonants in his name. Still, he got a whooping 30 at bats over the last seven days and did some damage with 11 hits and four steals. After battling some injuries earlier in the year, the 19%-owned shortstop could help a lot of teams hurting at the position *cough* *Derek Jeter*. Aybar has posted an impressive .342 average (however that is paired with a .364 OBP, owing to a 3.8% walk rate). That average is a tad inflated by a .373 BABip, so it’ll come down. I’m thinking Aybar ends up in the .285-.300 range with a .325 OBP or so. Still, he should finish with 25 steals and 70 runs. Does that sound better than Jeter?

Mark Trumbo – Man, the Angels have some great names on their team (and we haven’t written about Hank Conger yet). Trumbo went 6/15 over the last seven days, with half of his hits leaving the field of play in fair territory. The majority of Trumbo’s value will come with the HRs and he could hit 25-30 or so. He won’t pair that with a particularly good average (think .245-.260) and doesn’t walk at all, meaning a sub-.300 OBP is possible. Still, if you need power, Trumbo makes some sense.

Nate McLouth – Gonzalez wanted McLouth in the two spot so he would see more fastballs. Yet, McLouth is thriving hitting in front of the pitcher because he is getting on base a lot more. He went 9/21 over the last seven days with two dingers. While that has been the case this year, his numbers for his career batting eighth in the order are pretty similar to his numbers batting second or first. I’m not really buying this McLouth resurgence. At the moment, he has a .337 BABip (it has never been higher than .299). Still, he is hitting a few more line drives so he could get back to his .255 hitting ways. He has an outside shot at 15-15, however, I’m thinking he is more of a 12 homer guy with 14 steals. Not bad, but not mixed worthy.

Luke Scott – When Scott’s hot, he’s hot. Last seven days: 8/27 with three bombs. That doubled his HR total on the year and brought his ISO to a similar level as last year. Scott is what he is, a .260 hitter with 25 HR potential. However, he is as streaky as it gets (owing to a pretty big K-rate), so when he is dealing you have to be playing him. When he cools, just put him back in the tool shed.

Nick Markakis – Not sure Markakis qualifies here, but his ownership has been going down and he is only 77% rostered. The 23% missed out on an impressive seven-day stretch: 8/30 with a homer and a steal. I’ve written a lot about Markakis recently and still have a hard time getting my head around him as a ball player. His isolated power is even worse this year than last season and is continuing a disturbing power zap trend. However, his HR/FB rate has increased a little and he is hitting a few more fly balls this year so far. I’m coming around on Markakis this season. He has a .233 BABip (with a career .325 line). He could finish as a .270 hitter with 17 HRs and 10 steals. Given where he hits in the Orioles line-up, he could knock in 80 and score 80. He’s kind of a poor man’s Bobby Abreu at the moment. That’s not useless.

Mike Fontenot – From shallow league advice, to deep league advice. I hope Fontenot, just 1% owned, is on every deep league manager’s radar. Over the last seven days, Fontenot, who qualifies at second, third and short, went 7/21 with a homer and a steal. With Sandoval’s injury, Fontenot has a clear path to playing time, which could result in near double digit power and a suitable .270 or so average. It isn’t pretty, but at middle infield in NL-only, that’ll do.

Emilio Bonifacio – Speaking of middle infield in NL-only, I’ve rostered Bonifacio all year in the hopes of scattered playing time and a handful of steals. Well he has gotten it thanks to a few injuries and hasn’t disappointed. Over the last seven days, Bonifacio went 10/28 with five runs. Still he has only attempted three steals all year, despite playing in 26 games and posting a shocking .380 OBP. Nothing has really changed with him either, the only difference is a .397 BABip, so his rate stats will come down. However, even if he hits in the .280 range with a .325 OBP, he should steal 20 bags. He has shortstop eligibility as well, making him a pretty useful guy.  He has been an admirable stand-in for Furcal in my NL-only.

Chris Iannetta – I have talked about Iannetta a lot for a long time and been wrong. Still, I went ahead and traded for him in my most important league (parting with Soto/Jhoulys Chacin/Juan Pierre to get Figgins/Iannetta/BJ Upton). He has been on fire during the last seven days: 4/15 with two dingers. The majority of Iannetta’s value comes in OBP/walk leagues as he has a ridiculous 22.4% walk rate this season to go along with an equally ridiculous 37.5% K-rate. While he has a .222 BABip compared to a .269 for his career and a .188 average, his OBP is an amazing .388. In actuality, his swinging strike percentage isn’t out of whack and he is making decent and consistent contact. Sure, he is sporting a 21.1% HR/FB rate (14.4% for his career), so the power rate won’t likely continue. I think Iannetta is a .230/.370/.450 guy with 17 HRs. That’s an OBP league stalwart at catcher.

Jason Bourgeois — Another guy I rostered in NL-only to see if he could pick up some at bats and have been pleasantly surprised. With Carlos Lee’s injury, Bourgeois has broken on the scene, going 10/20 with six steals over his last seven days. He has an insane .429 OBP this year – something he has never approached in any real sample in the majors or minors. Not surprisingly, he has an inflated .429 BABip – still he is hitting a lot of line drives, so he is squaring the ball pretty well and putting a lot of balls in play (just 8.7% K-rate). This won’t continue, and his OBP could very well drop 100 points or so. Still, if he gets playing time, he’s a lock for 25 steals and could get 35-40 or so.

Aneury Rodriguez – In his first start of the season, Rodriguez went five solid innings, allowed no runs and posted a 0.40 WHIP. A rule 5 draft pick in December, Rodriguez had appeared in nine games as a reliever this season before the Nelson Figueroa experiment proved a disaster. Rodriguez owns a 7.9 K/9 rate and 2.46 K:BB rate in the minors, so there is some promise there. In his most recent AAA stint, AnRod had a 7.44 K/9 rate and 3.80 ERA. There probably isn’t a lot of upside with the fella. Maybe a 6.3 K/9 rate and ERA in the high 4.00s, but he is someone to pay attention to. He is only 23 after all.

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

John Lackey – Seven days, two starts, 10 innings, four Ks, a 9.00 ERA and 2.40 WHIP. That is very bad. His season ERA now sits at 7.16 – sure the bullpen isn’t doing him any favors (62.5% strand rate) and he has a .336 BABip, but he is giving up more line drives and fly balls and less ground balls. He is throwing his fastball a lot less and his curveball a lot more – probably because hitters are murdering his fastball (which has lost about one MPH of velocity). I can’t find much good to say about Lackey – he isn’t this bad, but he isn’t much better. His ERA will hover around 5.00 and his somewhat pedestrian K-rate wont make up for that. He is an AL-only match-ups guy.

John Danks – Danks wasn’t horrible over the last seven days, he just wasn’t that good (14 IPs, three Ks, a 5.14 ERA and 1.43 WHIP). Still, that line was mostly the product of getting beaten up by the Baltimore Orioles – he did control the hapless Twins (albeit without recording one punch-out). Danks is who he is…a 3.80-.390 ERA, 7.00 K/9 rate, 1.30 WHIP guy. He’ll put up the innings, so the Ks will get up there. I’m not concerned about the fella.

Jonathan Sanchez – Sanchez had a 1.90 WHIP over the last seven days, during which he pitched 10 innings. The fact that he posted a not miserable 4.50 ERA probably has something to do with the 13 Ks he recorded. Sanchez has upped his K/9 rate this year by more than a point – which is just ridiculous. He has had a small correction from last season’s subtly lucky BABip and strand rates –however it hasn’t been anything major. Sanchez is a great pitcher, a 3.70 ERA at worst with a sterling double digit K-rate. Sure the WHIP (somewhere between 1.35-1.40) won’t be pretty, but his 200 Ks are.

Ted Lilly – Lilly wasn’t that bad over the last seven days: 12 IPs, one win, eight Ks, a 4.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Still, I’m seeing a lot of Lilly unrest this year and I’m not sure why. His K-rate is down a tad along with his swinging strike percentage and he is getting a lot more contact – so there is some concern. However, there is very little change in the velocity or frequency with which he is throwing his pitches. Also, he is actually getting more ground balls than he has in the last five years. Not surprisingly, his BABip is inflated (.347) when it has normally been a decent bit below .300. So, what will Lilly look like at the end of the year? How about a 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 150 Ks. I’ll take that.

Troy Tulowitzki – Tulowitzki is the 70th ranked player – a lot of the plummet is the result of his last seven day stretch (1/25). Just pointing out that anyone can have a pretty poor stretch. There’s nothing to see here.

Jack Hannahan – Hannahan is the opposite case: proof that anyone can have a good stretch. Well the last seven days (4/20) have proved to be a major correction to his hot start. As I wrote a few days ago, he really isn’t anything worth owning in any league.

Juan Pierre – Something weird is going on with the White Sox – I don’t get it.Pierre’s ownership levels have fallen considerably, partly fueled by a 4/19 last seven days. The other fuel? Eight caught stealings with just six conversions. He is also striking out more than he normally does and hitting more fly balls and less ground balls. As long as Guillen is penciling him into the line-up,Pierre will get 40 steals – he just might need 60+ attempts to do so. Meanwhile, it looks like he’ll end up posting the worst average of his career (.265 or so). Rajai Davis, anyone?

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One response to this post.

  1. […] Joyce – It’s safe to say, I’ve been a Matt Joyce supporter (see: here & here). However, I can’t buy his current production: .367/.426/.608 with six bombs. Currently his […]


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