by Will Overton
The balls seemed to be flying off of bats yesterday with a lot of offensive firepower. There were a few good pitching performances yesterday as well, but it was the long ball taking center stage yesterday. Ike Davis hit three, Ryan Ludwick hit a pair of them and even Adrian Gonzalez got in on the action with a long ball.
All of this and more fantasy goodness in today’s roundup:
1. Yoenis Cespedes – OF, Oakland A’s: Yesterday Yoenis Cespedes went 2 – 4 against the Baltimore Orioles with a triple and a homerun. In his last 15 games he has gotten a hit in all but one game and is hitting .441 in these last 15. Including the average He also has 15 R, 5 HR, 18 RBI and 3 SB and is all-around one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Cespedes got off to a rough start winding up on the DL after a month and a half of the season and was only hitting .236 at the time. Cespedes came back at the beginning of June and since that time has gotten his average up to .302 and has found his power stroke with 9 HR’s, putting him on pace to reach 25 this year. Quietly Cespedes is emerging to become a top 20 outfielder.
2. Mike Minor – SP, Atlanta Braves: The way this season start for Mike Minor it looked like he was all but done for the season and might not have been the pitcher we all thought. But the Braves have stuck with him and he seems to be turning things around. Minor possibly had his best start of his career yesterday going 8 IP with 4 H, 1 R and 9 K. In four July starts Minor has a 1.98 ERA with a 26:4 K/BB ratio in 27.1 IP. The overall numbers still look bad, but these last four starts are very encouraging and with Minor’s upside he deserves a spot in all formats.
3. Ike Davis – 1B, New York Mets: The average might not be flying upwards, but the power that Ike Davis holds is serious power. Davis went 4 – 4 yesterday with 3 solo HR’s. Davis now has 9 HR’s in July and 7 of them in his last 10 games. He’s also gotten a base-hit in nine of his last ten games. Davis now has 20 HR’s and 60 RBI so far this season which puts him on pace to reach close to 35 HR’s and 90 RBI this season despite all of his struggles. He probably won’t ever have an average much over .250, much like an Adam Dunn type, but this is elite kind of power and that makes him standard league format worthy.
More Quick Thoughts
- At just 22 years of age it’s not abnormal for Henderson Alvarez to have ups and downs, but his good games have proven he can be a quality pitcher even despite his lack of K’s. Alvarez allowed just one run on five hits yesterday over seven innings.
- July has been a rough month for Colby Rasmus’ average as he’s hitting just .190 for the month. But he still seems to be getting thing done in other areas, like 14 RBI this month after getting three more yesterday. Rasmus needs to get on base with more consistency, but he’s at least proven to be a reliable HR and RBI produced in Toronto this season.
- The power seems to be coming around a bit more for Adrian Gonzalez whose HR last night makes 3 of them in the last 10 games. A-Gone has been solid this season, but with the lack of power he’s not been a top ten pick. Hopefully the power stays and the rest of the year proves more successful.
- Playing time might not be consistent enough to make Pedro Ciriaco fantasy useful, but he’s still hitting the ball well. Ciriaco had three this yesterday, giving him five in his last two games with a stolen base in each game. His speed and the fact that he’s still getting on base makes him somewhat useful in deep leagues still.
- After missing a start earlier this month Chad Billingsley has turned in two solid start in a row including 7.1 shutout innings yesterday. Billingsley’s K’s have been down the last couple starts with just 6 in 13.1 IP, but everything else seems to be coming together so I wouldn’t be too concerned.
- Since coming off the DL Matt Kemp’s numbers have been a bit down, but he came through big yesterday going 4 – 5 with 3 R, 1 HR and 4 RBI. The addition of Hanley Ramirez should do a lot for Kemp’s numbers going forward.
- The numbers for Bartolo Colon won’t blow anyone away, but he’s solid and was again yesterday when he threw 5.2 scoreless innings. So far in July Colon has a 2.65 ERA and has 5 K’s in each of the games.
- Allowing just one run in six innings yesterday Jordan Zimmerman now has seven straight starts allowing one run or fewer. He also ran his quality start streak up to 11. In six July starts Zimmerman is 4 – 0 with a 0.97 ERA and 31 K’s in 37 IP.
- The emergence of Josh Rutledge in Colorado continues as he went 3 – 5 yesterday with a pair of runs scored. This was Rutledge’s sixth multi-hit game in the last nine games. With Marco Scutaro out of town Rutledge’s job is safe for the rest of this season and long term.
- Ryan Ludwick has played his way into a nearly full time position in the OF for the Reds. Ludwick hit 2 HR’s yesterday and has 6 for the month of July and now has 17 for the season. Ludwick is owned in less than 5% of leagues right now, but in 5 OF leagues he should be owned considering his power.
- In his first start for the Miami Marlins Nate Eovaldi looked good for 5.1 IP, allowing only one run and striking out five hitters. Eovaldi was doing ok in LA, but he’s a better pitcher than he was showing and a change of scenery might help him out. At just 22 years old Eovaldi still has a potentially bright future ahead.
- The Twins Samuel Dedano picked up his second win in his last two starts, allowing just one run in 7 IP. Dedano had 6 K’s in the start and only allowed two hits. However he did walk five and now has 16 BB’s in 23 IP which is a concern. Despite the recent success the walks are worrisome and I wouldn’t take him in a league other than a very deep one or AL only.
- Things started rough for Miguel Montero this season, but he’s starting to get it together now. After hitting a HR yesterday he is now hitting .283 with 11 HR and 58 RBI. Montero is currently 10 for his last 20 and may be primed for a big second half.
- It hasn’t always been easy this season for Ian Kennedy, but he’s at lest striking people out still. Kennedy struck out 9 in 6.1 innings last night, allowing three runs. In his last three starts Kennedy has allowed 6 R in 22.1 IP with 23 K’s.
- Things seem to be coming together a big more for Matt Moore who has struggled to live up to expectations so far. Moore held the Angels scoreless for 6.1 IP and racked up 6 K’s yesterday. Moore only has given up 4 R in 19.1 IP. He’s almost got his ERA under 4.00 and looks to be finally settling in.