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.
Eric Thames – It was a blistering seven-day stretch for Thames: 9/27 with eight runs and three dingers. Thames, after 239 MLB plate appearances, sits at a .272/.319/.475 line (everything you hoped Delmon Young could be). While he strikes out 23.3% of the time, has a 12.3% swinging strike rate, and doesn’t walk (just 5.9%), his line drive percentage (24.4) is pretty impressive. He’ll likely never be an on base machine, but I don’t see why he can’t hit .270 the rest of the way with 5-7 more homers. In that line-up, he should provide plenty of RBIs and runs, as well.
Jim Thome – What? Thome did something impressive over the last seven days? Yeah, he went 5/16 with three bombs. Thome, a future no-doubter Hall of Famer-no matter what anyone stupid says- doesn’t provide much help for fantasy leagues, but his achievements should be lauded. While he’s a “big ole country boy” and I am listening to Garth Brooks right now, look at his on base rates before his power numbers. He’s just a great ball player that has done what few have ever been capable of doing. Bravo!
Tony Gwynn, Jr. – At this time of the season, it’s impossible to ignore small streaks, even if they involve players who can’t hit a lick. Over the last seven days, Gwynn, Jr. is 8/23 with four steals. He is now 19/23 in steals on the year with a .313 OBP. If you’re trying to make up some ground in steals, you might have to kick the tires on Gwynn, Jr. – feel free to drop the Nyjer Morgans of the world.
Chipper Jones – Speaking of future no-doubt HoFers, Jones made his first appearance on the All-stars this week. Normally, his ownership levels have him near-universally rostered, but injuries and age have finally caught up to Jones. Still, there’s a chance he’s shedding those shackles. Over the last seven days, he went 7/18 with two homers. With the complete lack of talent at 3B you have to take a healthy Jones seriously.
Paul Goldschmidt – Goldschmidt just crushes a lot; over the last seven days: 7/16 with two dingers. In his first 51 MLB plate appearances, Goldschmidt (who really needs a nickname) is sitting at .298/.353/.596 – pretty darn impressive. I do find his 41.2% K-rate, and 14.5% swinging strike rate incredibly disconcerting – I don’t understand why he is seeing any strikes at the moment. That said, ride the power while it’s there.
Ben Revere – Revere rode a 7/20 stretch to a two steal performance. Despite not striking out a ton, he’s put up disappointing numbers at the major league level. He doesn’t swing and miss much and he has a decent line drive rate (albeit his near 70% ground ball rate hurts a tad). Still, he has all the tools and ability to get on base more than he has. I think he could be a thrifty 10 steal guy ROTW while batting .280 and putting up a .325-.330 OBP. He’s someone you should be paying attention to.
Allen Craig – Craig managed to do a lot of damage in just seven ABs over the last week: he had four hits, two of which cleared the fence. When it comes to Craig’s value ROTW, it’s all about playing time. He seems to be getting back into his pre-DL stint groove. If he can find some at bats (on what should be a far less crowded Cardinals squad), he could hit 5 more bombs and post a nice batting average and OBP ROTW.
Bryan Petersen – While everyone is paying attention to Logan Morrison during the demotion drama, Peterson, his replacement, has done some nice things. Over the last seven days, Petersen went 11/25 with a steal. Even though he was repeating AAA this year, Petersen was throttling the competition (.351/.434/.569 with 11 HRs in 67 games). He should be able to hold his own on the major league level, with unimpressive power/speed numbers. That said, he’s an ideal add in NL-only and deep leagues.
Brandon Allen – Allen, finally free from the Diamondbacks, went 9/19 with five runs over the last seven days. With nothing left to prove in the minors (seriously look at his stats), Allen is getting the chance at near regular playing time with the Athletics. So far, on a whole, he has looked fantastic (.474/.500/.737) in just 22 plate appearances. Allen has the ability to be a good average source, a great OBP source and a solid power source. Given playing time, he should continue to provide worthwhile numbers.
Johnny Giavotella – I know it’s gotten hard to remember all the new prospects the Royals have promoted, but Giavotella is someone to know. Over the last seven days, the second baseman went 8/26 with three steals. I’ve added him in one 12-teamer where I have no good middle infield options and need speed. He showed a great ability to get on base in AA in 2010 and AAA this season. I don’t see why he can’t be a .330 OBP guy ROTW which could mean 8-10 more steals. For those floundering at second or MI, he’s a good look.
Charlie Furbush – When I slammed the Tigers over the Doug Fister deal, it was because I assumed Furbush, given the Mariners defense and ballpark, could be a very similar pitcher to Fister. Well, his last start showed some darn good promise (seven innings, a 1.29 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP). Outside of that, however, he hasn’t looked great for the Mariners. In just 17 IPs, the Ks haven’t been there and he has benefited from a .250 BABIP and 64.4% strand rate. Confusingly, his ERA is 4.76, his FIP is 4.89 (technically better than when we was pitching for the Tigers), but his xFIP is 4.92. Furbush is, at best, a spot start guy, however he can pitch his way toward the end of your rotation. I’m certainly thinking of throwing him out there tomorrow.
Zach Stewart — This time of year aint pretty when it comes to available pitching talent and Stewart clearly deserves a look. Over the last seven days, he has 10 Ks in 10.2 IPs, a 3.38 ERA and unimpressive 1.41 WHIP. However, his last two appearances have come as a reliever after two relatively successful starts against the Royals and Twins. If Stewart can get some looks at starting, he could be a match-ups guy – he certainly has shown the ability to tame some of the lamer line-ups in the Central.
Ricky Nolasco – Mr. HydeNolasco was out again lately. Last seven days: 11 IPs, six Ks, a 9.82 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. Almost all of that damage came in an 11-run, 3-inning debacle against the Rockies. While it’s incredibly frustrating to own him (I know from so much personal experience), you got to keep running him out there for the most part in ROTO leagues – the final numbers will look good. In h2h, you have to be a bit more careful, if you’re trying to protect your ratios, I want nothing to do with Nolasco. Anyway you look at it, it’s been an incredibly odd season for Nolasco – his Ks are down, his walks are up, yet his FIP and xFIP remain promising. His BABIP isn’t that offensive (.327) and his strand rate isn’t criminal either (69.1%). He is also giving up more line drives than at any point in his career, but is getting way more ground balls. I’ll find it fascinating to take a step back and try to rank him for 2012. Right now, it’s just kind of a fun bizarre ride.
Trevor Cahill – Everyone likes to toot their own horn…toot…toot. Over the last seven days, Cahill went 12.2 IPs and posted a 7.11 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. On the year, the 682nd ranked player has a 4.17 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. While I’m somewhat impressed he took a step forward and struck more guys out this year, it has come with about one more walk a game and his BABIP and strand rate have normalized, making him a slightly better than league average pitcher. Really, I don’t think he’s that much different from Jake Westbrook, so yeah a match-ups play.
Luke Hochevar – This is going to be a slight tease for an upcoming Razzball column. While his last week wasn’t good (12 IPs, a 6.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP), he did have 10 Ks and the Red Sox own him. Hochevar actually has the 30th most Ks in MLB over the last 30 days. While he’s probably not any better than Cahill ROTW, I feel like you can mix and match his match-ups and get a decent K boost from an unheralded pitcher. I’m definitely looking to spot start him, especially against the weak Central foes.
Doug Fister – I don’t think I properly teased Fister being down here when I was talking about Furbush. Let me make up for it with the above link, and this link. Anyway, Fister’s last week was what we term not good and he’s been miserable since joining the Tigers. With the Tigers, his Ks are way down and his ERA is 6.14. But, not so fast, he is walking a miniscule 0.61 batters per nine innings and his BABIP (.383) and strand rate (52.9%) are downright evil. He’s not this bad and won’t be this bad, ERA-wise, for the Tigers. That said, an ERA somewhere in the 4.00s seems much more likely than anything close to the 3.33 ERA he posted for the Mariners.
Nyjer Morgan – I’ve found the secret to Nyjer Morgan’s success – a high BABIP makes him valuable – without it, he can’t hold Juan Pierre’s jock. Sure there will be good stretches but there will be way more abhorrent ones like the most recent (2/15). What’s more, he doesn’t have a SB in the last 30 days. It’s totally dumpsville time for Nyjer.
J.D. Martinez – Martinez, a seemingly popular add recently, didn’t do good by his new owners over the last seven days: 5/22. While he was hitting well at AA before he got the call, it was his second stint there and he is 24. He’s nothing more than a light hitting fourth outfielder, who looks like a gem compared to the dearth of talent on the Astros. Seriously, a homer or two and a .260 average is all J.D.’s good for ROTW.