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Saturday, June 4, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Matt Kemp:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .240.  Sad when you see a former dynamic power/speed first round monster devolve into a home run specialist.  It is the one skill that will keep you hanging around in fantasy baseball though so Kemp is not totally useless. 

Drew Pomeranz:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.22.  Pomeranz is having Chris Sale results this season with the crazy low hit rate and with a supreme 10.66 K/9.  A few things here though:  the biggest is that Pomeranz is one of the luckiest pitchers in the game with an unsustainable .222 BABIP.  As a result Pomeranz' FIP is 2.99 and XFIP and even higer 3.55.  That changes the whole outlook if Pomeranz had the latter ERA.  On the flip side though, the massive K rate lessens the pull of the BABIP since fewer balls are put in play.  That means Pomeranz has been ALMOST as good as the ERA indicates.  No matter how you slice it, this kid has been incredibly valuable considering the draft cost. 

Corey Seager:  3/4 with 3 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .283.  Oh my goodness.  It is a special time when you see greatness out of a rookie which we are more than seeing now with Seager. His early injury and slow April start have been left in the fumes of Troy Tulowitzki production circa 2012 with the power.  Even better is the fact Seager is a future .300-plus average hitter which will blow him up even more. 

Trayce Thompson:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .280.  Thompson is not going to the bench anytime soon and what is doubly interesting is that he has good speed that should result in some steals to go with those homers.  If you own any Dodgers hitter under the age of 26 right now, fantasy baseball life is good. 

Kenta Maeda:  6.1 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.84.  Maeda looked fine after some injury question marks last week but again he gave up more hits and walks then innings pitched which has happened quite a bit since May arrived.  The correction and adjustment of Major League hitters to Maeda has already been well underway but the kid is still doing the job overall. 

Jurickson Profar:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .364.  Other then Prince Fielder who is a joke, any Texas Rangers hitters is killing it right now.  A forgotten man after years and years of injuries, Profar was tearing it up in the minors with his old power/speed game and he has carried that to the Show.  Batting leadoff?  Icing on the proverbial cake.  This could be a very interesting summer here. 

Ian Desmond:  4/5 with his 11th SB while hitting .303.  Wow.  Desmond went through the customary adjustment in switching leagues and now he looks like he wants to be Hanley Ramirez in his prime.  I mean Desmond has been a true monster over the last month and it almost looks like he was tired of all criticism and is trying to do anything he can to contribute to fantasy baseball after all the hate we put on him.  Hey whatever works but that "SS" tag that remains for this last season is making Desmond insaely valuable. 

Adrian Beltre:  2/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .284.  Beltre is aging like a fine wine himself and while his days of .320 batting averages are finished, he is holding his power in a David Ortiz-lite way. 

Yu Darvish:  5.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.38.  There is a ton of rust to work off here but the fact Darvish walked just one is key since post-Tommy John usually finds pitchers with majors issus there.  Ultimately the future should be bright here as Darvish is as good a K pitcher as there is in the game and arguably was the BEST at it before he went down with the bum elbow. 

Evan Longoria:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .272.  This is Longoria telling all of us not to bury him just yet. 

Alex Colome:  scoreless ninth for his 13th save with an ERA of 1.14.  Almost like a little bit of fantasy baseball karma when Brad Boxberger got hurt upon his return given that it would have been a travesty if Colome had the closing job taken from him considering he has statistically been an MVP of the stopper fraternity. 

Noah Syndegaard:  7 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.91.  Last winter in talking about the Mets strong stable of young pitching, I noted Noah Syndegaard would likely turn out to be the best as he was a righthanded Randy Johnson.  Has a comparison even stuck better than that?  Syndegaard is the definition of sick as he is averaging 98!!! on his fastball which leads the game and his slider comes in at nearly 95.  Unfathomable.  You do wince each time he throws as you wonder what is going on under the surface but my goodness this kid is going to dominate at a level we haven't seen since Johnson.

Asdruabal Cabrera:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .275.  There have been some big shortstop values this season such as Jonathan Villar, Aledmys Diaz, and yes Ian Desmond which makes Cabrera's modest numbers a bit underwhelming for fantasy baseball. 

Marcell Ozuna:  1/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .327.  Major props taking Syndegaard of all people deep.  Truth be told Ozuna has been tremendous and looks like he left the immaturity that derailed his 2014 behind.  Take notes Yasiel Puig. 

Nathan Eovaldi:  5 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 4.09.  As good as Eovaldi pitched the last month or so, he can't ever be counted on as more than an SP 4 at the very best and more ideally an SP 5.  Guys who give up as many hits as he does with a 100-mph fastball are always red flags for me. 

Carlos Beltran:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .269.  All Beltran owners want to continue seeing Alex Rodriguez struggle as the former has been doing most of his damage in the latter's DH spot.  Freshness=power.  Very simple. 

Alex Rodriguez:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .180.  Yeah so you don't want to see this Beltran owners. 

Chris Davis:  1/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .218.  Maybe Davis should take some cues from Mark (hitting .297 after going 3-for-4) Trumbo who has had the same high K profile during his time in Arizona and Seattle but who clearly has unearthed some magic potion there. 

Danny Salazar:  8 IP 3 H 1 ER 4 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.24.  Dominance.  Just for laughs I went back and saw the glowing reports I wrote on Salazar entering into his setback 2014 season and some of the many nasty emails I got in reference to advising you reach high for him.  Listen the ability was always there but Salazar needed to work things out mentally and with his control.  While the control is still not 100 percent, there are few who can post such glowing hit rates as this kid.  Yup I was a year too early but I nailed the overall profile didn't I? 

Mookie Betts:  1/4 while hitting .286.  He didn't homer.  What a bum.

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .250.  Encarnacion is reaching that latter stage of his career now where he is boring the boring but still productive first baseman.  Sort of like Evan Longoria at third or Ian Kinsler at second before his renaissance this season. 

Devon Travis:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .258.  Shame on your if Travis is still sitting on your league's waiver wire.  Did you see what he did last April?  And he still plays in Rogers Center. 

Jonathan Villar:  1/3 with his fourth HR while hitting .306.  So after shocking us with the batting average, for Jonathan Villar's next trick he is going to turn into Troy Tulowitzki with the power.

Jimmy Nelson:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 3.43.  Bad start no doubt but don't think of cutting Nelson.  Nelson is the kind of kid who is past his initial hype but not yet fully trusted.  These guys get cut quickly when they have an ugly start or cold stretch and that can be where major fantasy baseball mistakes are made.  Nelson has generally pitched nicely and his K rate is trending upwards.  Lots to offer here.

Vinny Velasquez:  4.1 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.67.  Velasquez is basically like a younger Danny Salazar right now with the inability to pitch deep into games due to poor pitch efficiency and ugly control.  He will eventually refine his stuff enough to be the high end guy his K rate shows but for now the ride is likely to stay bump.  This is especially going to be the case as the innings pile up.

Victor Martinez:  3/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .344.  It is like 2014 all over again.  2015 was a pure injury-marred disaster but two out of three years like this he has hit ropes with power all over the park.  It is safe to trust Martinez again and he didn't even cost you much at the 2016 draft table so there is no downside if the knee problems flare up. 

Jordan Zimmerman:  5.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 2.58.  Zim gets the win and is now 8-2 as everything has come up roses in Detroit.  What is interesting here is not only is it shocking Zimmerman has pitched this well moving from the NL to the AL but that he has done it without top velocity. 



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