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.
Corey Patterson – One time Oriole great (I kid), Patterson is getting consistent playing time for the Jays. In the last week, he went 11/29, scored eight runs and hit two homers. He now has four bombs and seven steals on the year. Last year, Patterson hit .269/.315/.406 with eight homers and 21 steals in 341 plate appearances for the Orioles. At this point, a 10 HR, 20 SB campaign is almost a given. There will be a dry spell, but, so far, he has cut down on the strike-outs a tad. Patterson is now a quality player for 12-team leagues, my god.
Allen Craig – Even without the second base eligibility, Craig would have been a star over the last week (11/22, eight RBIs). Also with just 98 at bats, Craig is the 16th ranked second baseman on the year – and can only go up. Craig, an eighth round pick in 2006, has torched minor league pitching (.308/.369/.517) and AAA especially (.321/.380/.548). With the various injuries surrounding the Cardinals’ offense, Craig’s bat will find a consistent place. As that happens, he’s going to hit over .300 with at least 10 more homers on the year. Sounds like the makings of a near top-10 second baseman.
Ty Wigginton – One time Oriole great (I kid), Wigginton is getting consistent playing time for theRockies. In the past week, the transformer-eligible Wigginton went 8/20 with two homers. His average won’t be great, but we know who Wigginton is. He’s going to be good for at least ten more homers and a .275 average the rest of the way. Suddenly, there are a few low cost second base options.
Chris Snyder – I really wanted to tab Snyder as a sleeper coming into the year, but the probable .235 average and just 17 homers or so didn’t seem overly valuable. Then, he got off to a slow start and Ryan Doumit was stealing playing time and Snyder’s season didn’t seem to be going anywhere good. However, over the last week, Snyder went 6/14 with two homers and his average sits at an astounding .291. In any real sample, Snyder hasn’t hit above .252 as a major leaguer, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. He does have a .349 average on balls in play (.272 for his career). However he has a vastly improved line drive rate (25.8% this year compared to 18.1% for his career). The power hasn’t quite been there at levels I thought, however he could be a .265 guy with 15 HRs. He’s a catcher you ride while he’s hot and drop when he’s not.
Chris Iannetta – For the millionth year in a row, I tabbed Iannetta as a sleeper. Well, even a broke fantasy writer is right twice a millennia. Over the last seven days, Iannetta went 6/17 with two homers. On the year, he’s not hitting great (.235), however he has seven bombs (tied for six at the position) and the fifth most runs among catchers. He’ll struggle to hit .240 but he can approach 20 homers. For those of you in OBP/walk leagues, his 17.8% walk rate is amazing. A .370 OBP is certainly likely and makes him a top 5 backstop in that format. In average leagues, he’s more a top 10-12 option.
Gerardo Parra – Quite possibly the most alliterate name in all of baseball, Parra has been swinging a sweet bat of late (7/20 with two dingers over the last seven days). Parra has almost doubled his walk rate this year, which has increased his stolen base attempts. Right now he looks like a decent bet to hit 10 homers and steal 12 bases with a .280 average. There are a lot of places where that is useful.
Freddie Freeman – Don’t look now but Freeman is making a run at respectability. Over the last seven days, he went 10/23. On the year, he is hitting a reasonable .270 with five bombs. Still, we’re looking at a guy capable of finishing with a .275 average or so with 17 homers. It’s not all that exciting from a first baseman…it’s an admirable inaugural campaign.
Mark Trumbo – Trumbo seems largely ignored this year. Sure he’s not a top 10 option in an incredibly deep position, but he’s capable of putting up numbers. Over the last seven days, Trumbo went 7/21 with two homers. The average wont be great (.250), but the power will be there (15 more HRs). He doesn’t walk at all, which limits a bit of upside. However those who may have relied on a Luke Scott to fill a power niche could do themselves one better with Trumbo.
Nick Swisher – I feel like the leader of the Swisher apology club. Thankfully, at the meeting this week, we were able to cite a small yet promising seven-day trend: 6/20 with two homers. I see no reason to believe he can’t get back to a .250 hitter or so (his LD%, GB%, FB% are all normal). In addition, I think a power binge is coming – he has a 6.7 FB/HR rate – his career number is 14.5%. So, yeah, I still like Swish.
John Lannan – This could be one of the best weeks of Lannan’s career. He shut down the Phillies, which he’s never been capable of doing, and pitched 13 total scoreless innings with a 0.85 WHIP. Still, he recorded just six punch-outs and has a 5.13/9 K rate. He’s not a totally useless pitcher, but he doesn’t give you much more than a 4.50 ERA and a handful of Ks.
Felipe Paulino – I’ve always had a thing forRockies and Astros pitchers (Wandy, Bud, Jorge de la Rosa, Jhoulys, and Ubaldo), so, Paulino should be no different (except that he pitches for neither team at the moment). Paulino got his first start of the year last week and pitched admirable. In total (including a relief appearance) he threw 9.1 innings, allowed no runs and struck out seven batters over the last seven days. With 232.1 MLB IPs under his belt, Paulino has a tantalizing 8.06 K/9 rate – of course that is paired with a 3.76 BB/9 rate. There aren’t too many innings to go on, but I believe in Paulino in a deep league sort of way and think he should be on the radar of those in medium depth ones. He can post an ERA in the 4.25 range with a fair amount of Ks. The WHIP wont be pretty, but I think theRockies will be disappointed they let him get away.
Dillon Gee – Gee has made a lot of Katy Perry All-stars in an incredibly short career. Over the last seven days, he went seven strong, struck out eight and got the win. On the year, he has a 3.83 ERA, 7/09 K/9 rate and 1.15 WHIP. Gee appears to have taken a real step toward attaining his minor league K-rate after posting a disappointing 4.64 number last year. He has a 10.3 swinging strike percentage and just 77.7% contact rate. I’m pretty optimistic on Gee actually, which surprises me. I see a K-rate around seven, an ERA around 4.00 and a WHIP around 1.20. That’s pretty solid.
James Shields – Come on, he is not Old Hoss Radbourn. The last week (including a god awful start against the Mariners) was not kind to Shields (11 IPs, 8.18 ERA and 1.82 WHIP). Still, he had 12 Ks and it was really only theSeattle start that was miserable. So who is James Shields? I keep saying a 3.50-3.70 ERA guy, but he’ll pair that with 210 Ks. I love him, but if anyone is buying a better ERA, it might be worth selling.
Josh Tomlin – What? You thought it’d continue? He’s nothing but a spot start at best in a deep league.
Roy Oswalt – Not a good stretch for Oswalt since coming off the DL, especially his last seven days (two starts, 2.45 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and just five Ks in 11 IPs). He’s been benefiting from a ridiculously good strand rate and slightly good HR/FB rate. He is also missing far fewer bats than he has in the past, but is getting way more ground balls. I’m not incredibly worried about Oswalt, yet. At the worst he is a Tim Hudson type – good ratios, no Ks. At his best, he’s, well, he’s Roy Oswalt. I imagine he ends up somewhere in between, which is still a very good pitcher.
Bud Norris – Look at my writing history and it’s littered with positives on Bud Norris. However, I’ve been the doomsayer on him lately. He just isn’t a complete pitcher and is incredibly prone to weeks like the last (4.91 ERA, 1.55 WHIP). The Ks will always be there (he had 10 in 11 IPs), but his performance atSan Diego was discouraging. That’ll happen. He’ll shut down the Cardinals, and then get bludgeoned by the Pirates. In short, he makes fantasy fun. He’s not an ace, but he’s a fun and incredibly useful pitcher. Go Astros!
Mike Aviles – Dumpsville
Chone Figgins – I’ve about had it with Figgins. He is getting time off because he sucks. His last seven days include few at bats and fewer hits. Heck, he’s been lass valuable than Eric Patterson. Patterson is batting .175. He isn’t walking, his line drives are down and his BABIP is miserable. He isn’t this bad, but the 20 or so more SBs he’ll get are not worth that average. I think it’s time to give up on him.
Dan Uggla – The Uggla is Ugly jokes would have gotten out of hand about 2 months ago it seems. He was 2/18 over the last week, three for his last 36 and 13 for his last 97. Yikes. Things have come from pretty horrible to holy Christos that’s bad. At one point he was hitting a ton of fly balls, now he is hitting a ton of ground balls. He is making more contact and not striking out more than normal – it’s just bad contact. I’m not ready to give up on him yet, however he’s riding my pine most places and I wouldn’t fault anyone for dropping him. I think he has a good 18 HRs left in him, but that average will be brutal.
Russell Martin – Martin put up an 0/14 week, but did swipe two bags. He is four for his last 30 and 13 for his last 70. Russell Martin is who we thought he was! Sort of. He could be a 15-15 guy when all is said and done. It will come with a Mike Napoli-like average, but he isn’t worthless.
Lance Berkman – Stop the presses, Lance Berkman isn’t Albert Pujols…er…Jose Bautista. Over the last seven days, Berkman is 3/18; over the last 14: 8/23; over the last 30: 13/61. I was never a believer, but he isn’t that bad either. I think he’s good enough for 22 HRs and will end with a .290 average.
Darwin Barney – I’ve said on the radio and written not-so-optimistic things about Barney. He is five for his last 24, and 12 for last 49. I think we’re looking at a .280 hitter with no pop and no speed. He’s Brendan Ryan, sort of.