Thursday, April 7, 2016


Steven Souza Jr.:  4/4 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .444.  Souza Jr. looks like Junior Griffey starting off the season but in actuality the power is not all that surprising as he smacked 16 homers in just 373 at-bats a year ago.  The big issue for Souza is a monstrous K rate that saw him whiff 144 times in those 373 at-bats and that will make him a big batting average liability.  A tiger doesn't change its stripes. 

Josh Donaldson:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .250.  Donaldson started off the season mashing like usual but now he has to see how severe this calf injury is.  Darwin Barney would man third in Donaldson's absence.

Robinson Cano:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .308.  Life is good hitting in front of Nelson Cruz.  Cano is absolutely crushing the ball right now and it is almost like he is wearing a Yankee uniform again.  We have to point out though that for as poorly at times as Cano has hit since signing with Seattle, he batted a scorching .331 with 15 home runs in the second half of last season which is a pace he is continuing on into 2016. 

Leonys Martin:  3/5 with his first HR while hitting .400.  Really like the way Martin is hitting early on this season and of course the "fresh start" possibly allowing him to relax is in play with the guy.  Worth picking up to see if this continues. 

Prince Fielder:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .182.  If you can completely erase Fielder's past as a 30-plus home run hitter, you will be very happy with what you get this season.

Shawn Tolleson:  epic blown save in giving up 5 earned runs without recording an out.  Altogether Tolleson gave five hits in an outing that should get a guy automatically removed from a closer gig.  Any blown save in the first week of the season gets a ton of attention but Tolleson has virtually no track record which makes him a prime replacement candidate if he struggles next time out.  The Rangers have big plans this season and won't allow much room for Tolleson to undermine them.  Sam Dyson and Keone Kela would be the possible replacements. 

Matt Duffy:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .231.  This is Matt Duffy saying "screw you" to the sizable contingent who doubted he could replicate his 2015 breakout. 

Jeff Samardzjia:  5.1 IP 8 H 3 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 5.06.  Samardzjia was pretty brutal again which he was all of spring training and all of last season.  The dip in velocity seems to have really destroyed his pitches and I am already having big concerns despite initially touting him after he signed into a cushy ballpark with the San Francisco Giants. 

Jeremy Jeffress:  picked up first save with a scoreless ninth.  Jeffress has tossed two scoreless innings to begin the season as he has done a nice initial job in place of Will Smith who is rehabbing a torn MCL.  A few more outings like this and Jeffress will remove any notion of Smith maybe taking the gig if he gets healthy. 

Trevor Story:  1/4 with his fourth HR while hitting .286.  I guess we erred when we didn't include Story in our 2016 "First Round Talent" section. 

D.J. LeMathieu:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .600.  First we get the exciting news that LeMathieu would bat leadoff and then he goes out and smacks his second home run in as many games.  All LeMathieu owners just peed themselves a bit. 

Jose Fernandez:  5.2 IP 5 H 5 ER 1 BB 13 K with an ERA of 7.94.  Fernandez got tagged for a bomb by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second which undermined the outing but the 13 K's in just 5.2 IP is the definition of ridiculous.  There is not a soul in the game who combined awesome velocity and movement then Fernandez and outside of an innings limit, he should be right there as a top five dominant ace this season. 

Maikel Franco:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .250.  Extremely high on this kid as Franco has that perfect combination of being a .300 hitter with developing power.  Should be in the Tier 2 third base conversation real soon.

Eugenio Suarez:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .286.  Was pretty cool on Suarez for 2016 as his semi-breakout in 2015 was clouded by a very lucky BABIP and numbers that were far and away better than anything he did in the minors.  Holding that belief until we see more of this.

Aaron Nola:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.29.  The Philadelphia Phillies have a future ace-like pitcher on their hands in Nola who has a four0-pitch repertoire that makes him very tough to hit.  Right on schedule.

Brandon Finnegan:  6 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.00.  Finnegan was the other young and powerful arm in this game and he already is showing he should stay in the Cincy rotation.  This kid has the classic power makeup that will elicit a high number of strikeouts and solid ratios as long as he holds his control.  Pick him up wherever available.  I mean right now/ 

Hanley Ramirez:  2/4 with his first HR and first SB while hitting .500.  It was vintage night in Boston as Ramirez did his old power/speed trick like in his young Florida Marlins days.  Ramirez showed last April and May before the injuries struck that he can still be a very big weapon with the bat but the steals were looking like they would be gone for good so this is encouraging. 

David Ortiz:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .333.  Whether you think Ortiz has been playing by the rules this whole time or not, the bottom line is that he is going all the way to the end of his career remaining a top-tier power hitter who is on about his fifth year in a row coming in at a very affordable draft price. 

Carlos Santana:  2/3 with his first HR while hitting .500.  Yeah pretty much to get excited about the guy now that you no longer see a "C" or "3B" next to his name. 

Clay Buchholz:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 11.25.  Yup I still can't stand him.  Off to a nice start in terms of having the ammunition to kill him again. 

Juan Nicasio:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 1.50.  Yeah so maybe there was something to all those dominant spring outings after all.  Ride it out. 

Chris Davis:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .286.  And the home run race between Chris Davis and Bryce Harper is off and running.  This should be good. 

Carlos Rodon:  7 IP 7 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.57:  Nice job by Rodon who didn't exactly blow everyone away like we always expect him to do but walking only one batter was the key.  More of this will result in Rodon being a prime SP 2.

Sonny Gray:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 4 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.29.  Gray was a bit erratic with his control but that was to be expected after he went a bit long without pitching due to a stomach ailment.  He remains the ace he always has been since coming into the league. 

Yasiel Puig:  3/4 with his first HR while hitting .600.  This is why we always are drawn back to Puig as the Cuban outfielder has immense talent but is a complete zero in the maturity department. 

Kenta Maeda:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K with an ERA of 0.00.  The Dodgers shutout streak continues on and it is taking placing without Zack Greinke in the rotation.  Maeda lived up completely to his hype in terms of impeccable control, terrific stuff, but not picking up a high amount of K's due to a fastball that sits only in the low-90's.  We will take it. 

Carlos Correa:  4/5 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .556.  Right now you wouldn't trade Mike Trout straight up for Correa. 

George Springer:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .222.  Injuries have kept a cap on what Springer has been capable of doing his first two years in the majors but the power is immense and he began to figure out how to time his stolen bases in 2015.  He did strike out in four of his five at-bats in this one though so that remains his big bugaboo. 

Mark Teixeira:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .286.  He will go on the DL next week for sneezing but until then Teixeira will hit 5 home runs out of around 7 total hits. 

Starlin Castro:  4/5 with his first HR while hitting .625.  I told you all that Castro was set for a big season after getting a fresh start with the Yankees.  Still young, Castro can threaten 20 home runs if he stays focused. 

Michael Pineda:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 10.80.  Pineda didn't look right to me during spring training and he got his head beat in during this one.  For a guy with a crazy amount of injuries in his past, this bears some watching. 

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