Just a Little Patience — Hot & Cold Fantasy Players
While we’re still in the first month of a long Fantasy Baseball season, our patience is starting to wear thin with several players on whom we spent relatively high draft picks. Several undrafted players are starting to shine on the waiver wire, while your players are playing like warm piles of dog poop. Your patience is being greatly tested.
Stanislaw Lec, the great Polish poet, once said, “You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience." So … there’s that.
Let’s look at the Hot & Cold Fantasy players of the past week. (All stats mentioned are through games of Thursday’, April 18.)
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound rookie backstop has been tearing up opposing pitchers, hitting five homers and driving in 12 runs – in just 12 games. The tough part for Gattis’ fantasy future is the fact that the Braves will still want Brian McCann behind the plate to manage their pitching staff. McCann is expected to come back from shoulder surgery this weekend, so the Braves have started to experiment with Gattis at first base. In reality, there’s just no place to play him once everyone’s healthy (he can play the outfield, too, where the Braves have three all-stars).
The Padres’ first baseman is hitting .309 with two homers and eight RBI on the young season. It was only a couple years ago that Alonso was a stud prospect in the Reds’ system, stuck behind superstar slugger Joey Votto. Then the Reds traded Alonso to San Diego in exchange for pitcher Mat Latos. Alonso was then battling with fellow prospect Anthony Rizzo. The Padres finally traded Rizzo to Chicago, and Alonso won the first base job at Petco Park. Fantasy owners weren’t that excited, considering the pitcher’s park he plays in.
There aren’t many hitters hotter at the plate right now than Crawford, who is in his second full season as a starter. He’s on an 11-game hitting streak through Thursday, and he’s batting .432 with three homers and seven RBI during this streak. Don’t bite on this bait. He hit below .250 last year in 435 at-bats, and he hit just .233 in 107 at-bats at Triple-A Fresno in 2011.
It wasn’t too long ago that we thought Crisp would be part of a timeshare with Chris Young in the Oakland outfield. Very few outfielders are playing better than Crisp right now, as he’s hitting .333 with four homers, eight RBI, four stolen bases and 16 runs scored. Sixteen! Only Carlos Gonzalez (19) and Austin Jackson (19) have more at this point. Unfortunately, Crisp is dealing with a groin injury, and injuries continue to be something that severely hurts his Fantasy value.
In spite of the Rays’ inability to score, Moore is quietly having an excellent sophomore season. Every year, there’s a shining second-year player coming off a rookie season some deemed disappointing. With Moore, there was no way he was going to be able to live up to his rookie year hype in 2012, and he’s just now starting to gain momentum. Moore has three of his team’s five wins, and he finally allowed an earned run in his third start.
The Florida State product is hitting .213 on the young season, and he’s in a 2-for-18 slump over his past six games. The reigning National League MVP hasn’t been able to put it together at the plate this year, and those owners who selected him in the early rounds as the obvious top fantasy catcher are getting impatient. If you feel like the Posey owner in your league is getting a little antsy, make a move for him now, comma, duh.
We mentioned Rizzo earlier in this piece as the player San Diego traded to Cincinnati to make room for Yonder Alonso. Rizzo is batting just .167 over the past week – and that’s after he homered Thursday night against Texas. He has a 27-percent strikeout rate right now, which is one of the highest rates among all first basemen thus far. Rizzo is just 23 years-old, and he’s bound to go through stretches like this.
Speaking of bad strikeout rates, Alvarez is walking back to the dugout shaking his head after a strikeout over 31 percent of the time, which is the highest of all third basemen (Will Middlebrooks is second-worst with 30.5 percent). Alvarez is a notably streaky hitter, and a slow starter to boot, so these numbers shouldn’t be too surprising. He hit his first home run of the season Thursday night, so he might be shaking that slow start now.
Let’s play the “Good News/Bad News” game. Good news: 67 percent of Heyward’s hits this season have been for extra bases! Bad news: He has just six hits in 52 at-bats (two doubles, two homers). His .171 slugging percentage makes you want to throw up, and then you see his .115 batting average, which makes you want to throw up on Jason Heyward. He’s too talented not to shake this slump soon.
It’s interesting to see that Dan Haren has 12 strikeouts in three starts this season with just ONE walk, and yet he has an obscene ERA of 8.10. What does that tell us? Well, it tells us he’s putting everything over the plate, and hitters are teeing off on him. If you can find a Nationals or D-Backs fan in your league, see what you can get for Haren and a cheese sandwich.