If you were unable to tune into Sunday’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM radio, you missed some seriously entertaining baseball chatter. But there’s one thing that Jeff Mans and I discussed yesterday with a few of our callers, that I wanted to reiterate here. It may sound mundane to many of you, but one of the most common things brought up by listeners asking about trades was what seemed to be a hang-up on some of the numbers players have posted between April. Yes, you want to how a guy has been performing this season, but remember, you’re not trading for those numbers. If you make a trade in June, what the player did in April is almost irrelevant, especially if you believe in buying low. It’s not what the player did for the first two months of the season that matters most; t’s what you think they’re going to do the rest of the way. How they will perform once they arrive on your team is the most important thing.
One caller asked about Albert Pujols and cited his batting average as a concern, discussing the fact that Pujols was batting just .253 and would likely only hit.280 for the year. Now while that may be true and while that number is far below where you thought Pujols was going to hit, the bottom line is that if Pujols is going to hit .280 for the year, then if he’s starting out this low, he’s looking at hitting .315 or .320 the rest of the way. If that’s the case, and he starts to hit home runs again, say even just 20, and that’s being conservative, then isn’t he worth it? How many other guys do you know that are hitting that well?
Remember, it’s not always what you did that counts…..it’s what you’re gonna do moving forward.
Now let’s hit the highlights….
|Mark Trumbo, 1B, 3B, OF LAA||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB|
Can someone please clue me in as to what it is that people don’t like about this guy? Mark Trumbo is hitting .326 with 14 home runs, 16 doubles, 39 RBI and four stolen bases and he qualifies at first base, third base and in the outfield. OK, so if your league requires 10 games at a position, then he’s still two games away from qualifying at third, but that should happen sooner than later anyway. Is it the fact that he has a 22.1% strikeout rate? Big deal. Even if your league penalizes for strikeouts, he’s still not whiffing enough to negate his overall production. Is it his playing time? Sure, the Angels are overrun with corner outfielders, first basemen and designated hitters, but Trumbo has still made 206 appearances at the plate this season and that is more than a whole lot of other players that have people eating into their at-bats. This guy is pure power with a decent average and with his second multi-homer game in his last five starts, is well deserving of the Fantasy Beast tag.
|Jason Kipnis, 2B CLE||3-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB|
|Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL||3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB|
|Russell Martin, C NYY||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI|
|Ryan Dempster, SP CHC||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 6 K|
|Chad Billingsley, SP LAD||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 8 K|
For those that bought into Jason Kipnis’ abilities after just 136 major league at-bats last year, congratulations. Nothing like reaping these kinds of benefits from a second baseman who went somewhere in the 13th or 14th round of your draft. And the earlier in the year that you drafted, the further he probably fell. The ADP reports show his ranking at 161, but that climbed rapidly during the spring. In one league, I grabbed Kipnis in the 21st round of our snake draft and in an auction league, he wasn’t nominated until very, very late and was picked up by me for a buck. With 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases, he’s well on his way to eclipsing that coveted 20-20 mark and doing it with a .285 average is just making him all the tastier a commodity. Keeper league owners are going to be very happy with this pick up for quite some time. Or atleast until his fantasy contract is up.
CarGo just being CarGo again, I suppose. Another stellar performance at Coors Field for Carlos Gonzalez who now has 16 home runs and 48 RBI on the year with a .326 average. His home/road splits are still completely out of whack -- .393-12-35 at home; .243-4-13 on the road – but I guess if he’s not being traded, he should maintain most of this level of play for as long as he remains with the Rockies. If he’s always going to get 81 games on this field, you may as well enjoy it.
Well, well well….look who finally joined the party. After a dismal first two months of the season, Russell Martin finally woke up. With four home runs and eight RBI so far in June, Martin has already matched his first two month’s worth of long balls and has just four RBI less in a quarter of the plate appearances. He’s also batting .360 for the month of June, and while it would take an entire month of batting .360 to really pick that average up out of the toilet, he’s producing right now and that’s all you can hope for. Remember, if you’re looking to pick up a catcher in a deal, it’s not what he did the first two months that you care about, it’s what he’ll do for you the rest of the way. That right there makes Martin a fantastic buy-low candidate right now.
While Ryan Dempster and Chad Billingsley made the leaderboard for their fantastic performances, there were actually a number of starters who turned in solid performances on Sunday. So we’ll call these guys the primary representatives, but let’s atleast add in acknowledgements for Yovani Gallardo, A.J. Burnett, James Shields, Ubaldo Jimenez, Joe Saunders and Jonathon Niese. Some real great pitching on Sunday and from some rather unlikely sources to a certain extent.
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C BOS||0-4, 4 K|
|Joe Mauer, C MIN||0-4, 3 K|
|Jed Lowrie, SS HOU||0-5, 3 K|
|Ryan Ludwick, OF CIN||0-4, 3 K|
|Michael Morse, 1B WAS||0-4, 3 K|
While no pitchers technically made it onto the Fantasy Lows “leaderboard,” it should be mentioned that a number of closers had a pretty rough Sunday. John Axford may not have been credited with a loss or a blown save, but he was just downright awful coming into the game with a four-run lead and then forcing Ron Roenike to pull him after giving up three to make it a game that should never have been as close as it was. Also botching it from the bullpen on Sunday was Rafael Soriano, Jon Rauch, Jason Motte, Brandon League and Aroldis Chapman.
Tim Hudson, SP ATL – ankle (questionable for June 13 start)
Dan Uggla, 2B ATL – ankle (questionable)
Daniel Nava, OF BOS – hand (questionable)
Drew Stubbs, OF CIN – oblique (questionable)
Brennan Boesch, OF DET – ankle (questionable)
Jordan Schafer, OF HOU – eye (questionable)
Carlos Zambrano, SP MIA – back (questionable for June 15 start)
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK – hamstring (questionable)
Placido Polanco, 3B PHI – finger, wrist (questionable)
Cameron Maybin, OF SD – neck (questionable)
Melky Cabrera, OF SF – hamstring (questionable)
Kevin Millwood, SP SEA – groin (questionable for June 14 start)
Nelson Cruz, OF TEX – Achilles (questionable)
Alexi Ogando, RP TEX – groin (questionable)
Rajai Davis, OF TOR – finger (questionable)
Brian Roberts, 2B BAL – expected to return June 12
Geovany Soto, C CHC – starting Triple-A rehab assignment June 11
John Danks, SP CHW – starting rehab assignment June 12
Chris Getz, 2B KC – on Triple-A rehab assignment
Salvador Perez, C KC – on Triple-A rehab assignment
Chris Iannetta, C LAA – starting Single-A rehab assignment June 11
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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