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Saturday, August 29, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Brian McCann:  1/2 with his 23rd HR while hitting .247.  With all the hype surrounding the comeback seasons of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira on the New York Yankees, you can argue that McCann has been just as good and maybe even better a player since he mans the rough catcher spot.  The power has been good all season and McCann has fully reaffirmed his status as a durable and dependable top 5 hitting catcher after a tough 2014. 

Didi Gregorious:  4/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .260.  Gregorious has gotten better as the season has gone along and he is moving himself quite close to daily usage if he finish strong.  The numbers are overall still a notch or two below where you want even your shortstop but Gregorious has not humiliated himself in undertaking a truly impossible chore in taking over for Derek Jeter. 

Freddie Freeman:  2/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .281.  Injuries took a major chunk out of Freeman's 2015 season and thus his counting stats but it is another year where the overall numbers will come in below expectations.  The Braves seriously need to give their first baseman some help in addition to Freeman having to stay healthy for 2016. 

Masahiro Tanaka:  7 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.62. Yet another home run given up by Tanaka but overall this one works.  The elbow has not completely torn this season which is always the biggest issue to discuss before anything else but the numbers have also been hurt as well with Tanaka pitching differently to compensate.  The ERA is up more than a little and the home runs have trending upwards all year as Tanaka lays off the four-seam fastball.  Again those who ignored the risks this season overall have to be at least somewhat pleased but that elbow is still a ticking time bomb that can go on any one pitch.

Jose Reyes:  2/4 with his 7th HR and 21st SB while hitting .280.  Reyes is already popping off about not wanting to be in Colorado so a trade in the offseason is likely which removes the major buying point on him being in Coors Field.  In his defense, Reyes is still running well enough on the bases and is doing his 10-HR thing with a useful average.  However do you really want to get aboard this perennial roller coaster when Reyes is another year older?

Carlos Gonzalez:  1/4 with his 31st HR while hitting .272.  Obviously CaGo is heading for his best power season ever which no one saw coming.  He is a completely changed player now with his steals now a clear thing of the past and the average down a notch or two now that Gonzalez is a pure slugger hitting for the fences.  Still he paid off handsomely this season considering the reduced investment cost.

Marcell Ozuna:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .253.  Kicking myself for not picking up Ozuna when he was recalled back from the minors.  Kid has some natural power that for some strange reason was completely missing the first month-plus of the season which led to the demotion.  You get streaks of massive inconsistency with young guys like this and Ozuna at the very least is swinging the pendulum the other way now.

Max Scherzer:  7 IP 6 H 4 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.88.  The guy is now 11-11 when his ratios say he should be something like 15-6.  Do away with the wins category.  Should not be any stat based a great deal on luck in fantasy baseball. 

Ian Kinsler:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .306.  Late flurry from Kinsler as he tries to convince us all to give him one more try in 2016.  Age has changed Kinsler as well, taking away the steals but his swing has gotten more compact as he reached his 30's which boosted the average.  No one will want him a year from now as we all instinctively look for the young and flashy.  By the look of it however Kinsler seems like he can be a solid and cheap investment for one more season.

Troy Tulowitzki:  1/3 with his 4th HR with Toronto while hitting .229 there.  Tulo is hitting for good power as expected going from Coors Field to an equally potent Rogers Center but the average has not been there as he likely is dealing with a learning curve against AL Pitching.  With Hanley Ramirez now out of the shortstop picture for 2016, Tulo has competition only from Carlos Correa for the top spot at the position.  Even staying relatively healthy for once in his lifetime, Tulowitzki in on pace to post his lowest average and power in years.  Age?  Hip surgery effects? 

Josh Donaldson:  1/4 with his 35th HR while hitting .296.  With Mike Trout of all people not able to get out of his way recently, they are already engraving Donaldson's name on the AL MVP trophy. 

Jose Bautista:  2/3 with his 31st HR while hitting .246.  Boy this lineup is impossible.  Any investment in Bautista this season came out in the profit column after he passed 30 home runs yet again.  Remains among the premier power guys in the game and of course that stat can  last into the early 40's but at the expense of the average. 

Anthony Rizzo:  1/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .287.  Add Rizzo to the stable of guys who you can write their numbers in ink every season.

Clayton Kershaw:  8 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 14 K with an ERA of 2.24.  Kershaw looked like he wanted to reach the hallowed 300-K mark in this game alone. 

Andrew Heaney:  6 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.11.  Heaney got his head beat in his last start but it came against Toronto which automatically gets thrown out.  Told you all not to panic there as Heaney has been as good as advertised in terms of his tiny walk rate and solid array of stuff.  Looks like a top SP 3 with the chance to be a 2 if the K rate can tick up going forward. 

Trevor Bauer:  8 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.31.  The Riddle of Trevor Bauer continues unabated. 

 Justin Upton:  1/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .256.  We can firmly now stop with any Justin Upton ceiling talk as he has reached the sage and stage of his career where he is what he is.  That is a mediocre average slugger who will finish between 25 and 30 home runs which is very good for a top-end outfielder 2 but we expected so much more. 

Cameron Rupp:  1/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .255.  Rupp is playing more and more and it would be no shock if he were the starter the rest of the way and into 2016.  The guy is massive and has natural power to go with it.  Interesting as a catcher 2 with the upside to go a Wellington Castillo in 2016. 

Aaron Nola:  7 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.26.  Keep this in the proper context but Nola reminds me of another Jacob DeGrom.  With the Phillies being so bad, there is not a lot of talk about Nola as he is slipping through the fantasy baseball cracks since many are already onto fantasy football.  Shaping up as a major sleeper that won't be fought over in your league for next season.

Marlon Byrd:  1/5 with his 22nd HR while hitting .238.  Byrd is adapting nicely to San Fran and is still hitting home runs at a high rate despite moving to a prime pitcher's park.  Some guys have power no mater the park and Byrd qualifies there. 

Michael Wacha:  6 IP 6 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.69.  Wacha gave up four runs but all were unearned but he put a lot of guys on base so this outing looks better than it was.  Still waiting for the late fade but so far Wacha making me eat crow on that prediction.  As always though, you stick with the trends and ignore the outliers. 

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .328.  Goldschmidt needs to get a few more home runs to seriously go for the Triple Crown but 98 RBI at this juncture with that batting title average is crazy.  I would even venture to say I would take Goldschmidt over Miguel Cabrera going forward given the age difference and recent stat explosion by the Arizona first baseman. 

Shin-Soo Choo:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .248.  Choo is now so boring that it would not surprise me in the least if he doesn't get drafted next season.

Cole Hamels:  8 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.89.  Very good to see Hamels dominate here as Texas of course will be his home for a full season in 2016.  He was atrocious prior to this which scares me in terms of investing for next season but Hamels was still a major ace in a launching pad in Philadelphia so don't go overboard with any concern. 

Raisel Iglesias:  7 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.92.  Get this guy onto your roster.  Over his last four starts, Iglesias has struck out 8, 3, 13, and 10 batters.  The Cuban has an electric arm that is capable of punching out a ton of guys like he currently is doing and the control is decent enough for a young kid as well.  Very high upside and one who somehow didn't have the pomp and circumstance that other Cuban imports had when he arrived to the majors. 

Taylor Jungmann:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.48.  Earlier I said that Andrew Heaney's high minor league ERA was a product of him being bored and that he would take off whne promoted which he has.  I guess I should have said the same about Jungmann although he was not considered much of a prospect unlike Heaney.  Call him the new Mike Fiers in terms of an unheralded Milwaukee minor league pitcher coming up and pitching shockingly great. 

Kyle Seager:  3/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .258.  Seager gets knocked too much about the average but his power is terrific and he is incredibly durable.  You get everything you paid for when it comes to investing in Seager. 

Franklin Gutierrez:  3/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .319.  Of course he hit another home run.  This is Frankline "Freakin Gutierrez.  Overnight fantasy baseball superstar.  No explanation other than heart. 

Kendrys Morales:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .287.  Now up to 89 RBI as Morales has been a tremendous investment.  Sure the power has never come back to pre-leg injury levels but Morales is a keeper for the Royals and will remain locked into one of the better RBI spots in the game for 2016. 

David Ortiz:  2/3 with his 27th HR while hitting .263.  Ortiz has hit very well since the Break and really the only thing up for debate now is whether or not he gets into the Hall of Fame. 

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .261.  Bradley is starting to get his things together as a major leaguer but we do have to be careful with guys who produce when the games mean nothing.  Athleticism is tremendous and the power developing.  Now Bradley just has to show he can hit and make a Dee Gordon jump.

Blake Swihart:  2/4 with his second HR and second SB while hitting .275.  Swihart did an inside-the-park home run despite the fact the umpires missed the baseball clearing the fence.  Still the speed was impressive, especially for a catcher and Swihart has quietly hit very well as a rookie.  I will be very heavily in on this next season. 

Matt Harvey:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.48.  Harvey has been virtually unhittable since the end of July and the recent extra layoff had no effect on him. 

Henry Owens:  5 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.03.  Not totally impressed yet with Owens who is not showing any control but the K rate is decent.  Still a bright future from a kid who was considered a top prospect for awhile. 

 

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