Archive for June 30, 2012

Fantasy Fallout: The Baltimore Orioles Acquire Jim Thome

According to the Philadelphia Phillies twitter feed, “#Phillies acquire Minor League RHP Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino for 1B Jim Thome”.  Obviously, especially when looking at 2012, the impact of this trade lies solely with Thome.

The Orioles needed some extra pop in the middle of their order, especially against right-handed pitching.  While the team has hit home runs, they rank 19th in the league with 223 runs against RHP and 26th with a ,235 average against RHP.  Thome should help dramatically in that regard.

This season Thome is hitting .262 in 42 AB against RHP.  To give an idea of his potential, however, in 2010 Thome hit .302 with 19 HR in 189 AB against RHP.  While he’s now 41-years old and probably not capable of that type of productiob, he has proven that he can still swing the bat and will be a welcome addition to the Baltimore roster. Read more

Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em: What Has Gone Wrong With Dan Haren?

Dan Haren is a notorious source of fantasy frustration as he never seems capable of putting it all together for a full season. I am not talking about one or two poor starts either. In 2010 he posted a May ERA of 6.08. In 2009 he finished the year off with a pair of months with an ERA north of 4.75. In fact, 2011 may have been his most consistent year with only two months above 4.00 (he worst being 4.45).

So, when we look at his overall 2012 numbers no one would really bat an eye. His owners have become accustomed to a few stinkers after all. However we are now three months into the season and his monthly ERAs are:

  • April – 3.34
  • May – 3.66
  • June – 7.16

The first two months were not awful. They weren’t spectacular, either, but I don’t think anyone was truly complaining. The strikeouts were there, as was the control, so there really wasn’t a true negative.

Obviously, June has been a much different story. Is it time to press the panic button? Absolutely not! Read more

Around The Majors: June 29: Adam Lind Shows His Strength, Aaron Hill Cycles and More

by Will Overton

There’s nothing like a Friday Night full of baseball and last night was a good one. R.A. Dickey continued his season which can only be described as magical. Multiple deep league pitching options showcased their stuff for fantasy owners. And a few bats made their own claim for a share of the spotlight. All of that and more in this morning’s Around The Majors fantasy roundup:

  1. Aaron Hill – 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks: We’re going to call what Aaron Hill pulled off last night the super cycle, even better than the traditional cycle he hit for less than two weeks ago. Not only did he hit for the traditional cycle, but he also stole a base for good measure, giving him one of the best offensive days of any hitter all season. Hill has been scorching hot all month and with yesterday’s  game he is now hitting .375 in June with 6 HR’s and 20 RBI. I don’t think Hill will be able to reach the kind of number he put up in 2009, especially not in terms of power, but he’s proving that he is more than just a one-hit wonder. A second half slide is a possibility with his streakiness, but there aren’t numbers to make you assume it’s going to happen either. If you can sell him as the top three or four second baseman he’s been so far than great, otherwise you might do well to hold on and hope this continues.
  2. Matt Harrison – SP, Texas Rangers: In his last eight starts, including last night, Matt Harrison is 7 – 0 with a 1.42 ERA. In his last five starts he has a 0.76 ERA, those numbers go beyond the word impressive. Last night it was a 8 inning performance in which he allowed 2 R on 8 H and 1 BB with 7 K. The only complaint anyone might have about Harrison right now is that he doesn’t strike many guys out, but you couldn’t even complain about that last night. He won’t continue to pitch at this level, he can’t. But considering the offense he has backing him up, if he just remains a sub 3.00 ERA pitcher he is going to rack up a whole lot of wins this season. Read more

Meet the Prospect: Xander Bogaerts

Let’s dig a little bit deeper today and look at a prospect who is still a few years away.  Could the Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts ultimately develop into a can’t miss fantasy start?  The potential is definitely there, so let’s start to get acquainted with him:

  • 19-years old
  • Shortstop
  • Right-handed hitter
  • Signed by Boston Red Sox in 2009 out of Aruba
  • Hit .260 with 16 HR and 45 RBI in 265 AB at low Single-A in 2011
  • Added 14 doubles and 2 triples showing that the power has room to continue developing
  • Has followed that up a High Single-A by hitting .295 with 11 HR and 45 RBI in 254 AB
  • Strikeouts could be a problem, with a 24.0% rate in ’11 and 21.6% thus far in ’12
  • Is showing an improved eye at the plate, with a 9.2% walk rate in ’12 (8.4% in ’11)
  • Has yet to show much speed, with 4 SB in 519 total at bats
  • Baseball America ranked as the #58 prospect prior to the season; mlb.com ranked him #65 Read more

Buy Low Candidate: Has Ryan Zimmerman Finally Turned Things Around?

There is no arguing that 2012 has been a major disappointment for Ryan Zimmerman, marred by injury and inability. However, finally showing signs of life, can we consider him a good buy for the remainder of the season or should we be hesitant to buy in?

Let’s take a look:

243 At Bats
.235 Batting Average (57 Hits)
5 Home Runs
30 RBI
34 Runs
3  Stolen Bases
.297 On Base Percentage
.350 Slugging Percentage
.268 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The biggest problem when we look at Zimmerman is his inability to hit the ball with consistent authority. Through Wednesday he had posted a line drive rate of 15.9%, well below his career mark of 18.7%. However, before we label it a foregone conclusion that he rebounds keep in mind that he posted a 15.7% mark a year ago and is at 14.8% in June. Read more

Around the Majors: June 28: Trevor Bauer Debuts, Andrew Cashner Whiffs 9 & More

We all know that the main focus last night was on the Major League debut of Trevor Bauer and Andrew Cashner’s first start of 2012.  However there were plenty of other impressive performances like Felix Hernandez & Madison Bumgarner tossing complete game victories.  We also saw Peter Bourjos continue his recent hot streak, Edwin Jackson take one on the chin and much more.  Let’s take a look at all of the important notes from yesterday’s games:

  1. Trevor Bauer – Arizona Diamondbacks – Starting Pitcher - Unsurprisingly he struggled with his control in his Major League debut, allowing 2 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 4.0 IP.  He also hit a batter.  Bauer threw 74 pitches with just 42 going for strikes.  As we’ve talked about, walks have been a problem for Bauer throughout his minor league career, as he posted a 4.55 BB/9 over 23 starts.  Yes, he has the strikeout ability to help overcome it but in the Major Leagues it is significantly more difficult.  He has a ton of potential and is worth grabbing, but he needs to improve his control if he really wants to thrive.
  2. Andrew Cashner – San Diego Padres – Starting Pitcher - He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but ultimately allowed 2 H including a home run to Brian Bogusevic.  Still, it’s hard to complain with the ultimate results as he allowed 2 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, over 6.1 IP.  The control is the biggest question but, as he did in the minor leagues, he is showing that he may have solved that issue.  He has electric stuff, sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball and could be a major source of strikeouts for the rest of the season.  If it’s not too late I would run to the waiver wire and scoop him up. Read more