So far we’ve seen a nice , steady influx of top rookie talent brought up this season, between Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo and Trevor Bauer, just to name a few. Fantasy owners in keeper leagues are drooling over this youth infusion we’re getting and you can’t really blame them. The talent level is ginormous. So in the spirit of this fabulous youth movement, the Padres have joined in the fun and brought back up one of the top catching prospects in the game and it looks like they’re actually going to play him this time around. That’s right, San Diego finally grew tired of watching Nick Hundley try to pull himself out of a season-long funk and have decided to send him down to the minors to work things out. In exchange for Hundley, they’ve brought up Yasmai Grandal, a future-star behind the plate.
For those that don’t recall, Grandal was actually brought up about two weeks ago for the quickest, most useless cup of coffee. He was up in the bigs for about two and a half days, because the Padres needed a replacement player, a hitter to be more specific, and Grandal was apparently, for roster adjustment purposes, the one to call. He saw one plate appearance, a late game pinch-hitting moment that amounted to absolutely nothing. And before you could even say that he needed consistent at-bats to learn at this level, he was gone.
Well this time he’s apparently here to stay. For as long as he hits or Hundley doesn’t down in Triple-A, that is. So far, for Triple-A Tuscon, Grandal has performed admirably. With six home runs and 18 doubles in 235 plate appearances, Grandal has an ISO mark of .187 which is fairly consistent to what he’s done in the past. League average in the majors is .151. He’s also provided a decent strikeout rate, just 15.3% and an even more impressive 15.7% walk rate. If he can exhibit that type of plate discipline while up here, he’ll prove to be a major upgrade over Hundley. It will obviously be tough, playing the home games at Petco Park which, as we all know, saps power in a big way, especially for left-handed hitters, however, Grandal is a switch-hitter, so maybe there’s less concern actually.
The team still has veteran John Baker on the roster, so things might start off a little platoonish (if that’s even a word). We’ll have to wait and see how Bud Black handles the situation but if you’re looking to possibly upgrade your catcher (in a two-catcher league, that is), then this is probably a good situation to monitor. And if you’ve got a little room on your bench, you might just want to make a move before he gets much playing time and open the door for the possibility of other calling for him.
Now let’s talk highlights…
|Aaron Hill, 2B ARI||4-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, SB|
Well, well, well. Look who obviously hates the city of Toronto so much that upon his departure from our neighbors north of the border, Aaron Hill has been ripping it up on a consistent basis. Since landing in Arizona after a late-season deal last year, Hill is batting .306 over 399 at-bats with a total of 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 58 runs scored and 12 stolen bases. He hasn’t been that productive since 2009 when he batted .286 with 36 long balls. As for his beast-like performance on Friday night, Hill became just the second player in MLB since 1900 to hit for the cycle twice in the same season. Even more impressive for Hill was that he accomplished the feat within two weeks of doing it last. What can you say….when you’re hot, you’re hot. And with the addition of Stephen Drew to the lineup, things might even get a little better, so watch for those D-Backs right now.
|Andrew McCutchen, OF PIT||4-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS CHW||4-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI|
|Adam Lind, 1B TOR||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|R.A. Dickey, SP NYM||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 10 K|
|Aaron Cook, SP BOS||W, CG, 0.00 ERA, 0.22 WHIP, 2 K|
OK, seriously? How many of you out there have both Andrew McCutchen and R.A. Dickey on your team and aren’t in first place? They have been two of the hottest players in baseball this season and have been absolute dreams in the fantasy world. McCutchen is batting .344 for the year right now and has 15 HR and 14 stolen bases. Add in 51 RBI and 46 runs scored and you’ve got 5-tool fantasy love here. And then Dickey….I mean what more can you say, really? He’s had one bad outing recently, a beat-down from the Yankees, a team that has perfected the art of hitting a knuckleball (thank you Tim Wakefield), but had thrown a total of 41.2 scoreless innings before that and now eight more after. Add in the five double-digit strikeout performances over his last eight starts and that’s just…..well…for lack of a better way to put it, Dickey-envy for all that don’t own him.
We talked about Adam Lind a few articles ago and I told you to put him on your watch-list. Did you? If so, then great. With a little consistency he could turn out to be a nice power-hitting waiver steal if the Jays can get him enough playing time. He’s 4-for-11 since coming up with Friday’s power numbers now added in. Give him some time and he should be able to provide you with some noticeable and worthwhile stats.
I won’t welcome Alexei Ramirez ot the party just yet…atleast not until we get some consistent production out of him. With any luck, he’ll have a second half that brings his totals up to where they’ve been the last few years, but that would really make for some impressive second half from a 30 year old man who weighs a buck ten when wet.
Aaron Cook, huh? Sunshine? Meet dog’s backside. Dog’s backside? Meet sunshine. ‘Nuff said.
|Mike Napoli, C TEX||0-4, 3 K|
|Chris Young, OF ARI||0-5, 3 K|
|Chris Johnson, 3B HOU||0-4, 2 K|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS DET||0-3, 2 K|
|Adam Warren, SP NYY||ND, 23.14 ERA, 4.29 WHIP, K|
You know…the usual. Couple of guys who just put up a stinker of a day, some worse than others, and a rookie pitching debut that went about as south as we all expected it to go. No one was rostering Adam Warren in fantasy and if you did, well then sign me up for your league and let’s put some money on it!
Martin Prado, 3B/OF ATL – hamstring (questionable)
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B CLE – wrist (expected to hit 15-day DL)
Carlos Santana, C CLE – back (out until atleast July 1)
Jose Altuve, 2B HOU – hamstring (out until atleast July 1)
Andre Ethier, OF LAD – oblique (doubtful)
Michael Saunders, OF SEA – illness (questionable)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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