Monday, June 9, 2008

Fred Slacks Fantasy Stats: Part 2 of 6 - NL East

Taking the advice of a loyal reader, Kevin Khaki's, I've tried to shorten this up some. Although I like the format last week, the amount of time and the overall length is just too much it seems. This time around I'll round out the NL East and list around 5 players to target or sell and a minor leaguer to keep your eye on. I'll then gage whether to go back to the old format or stick with the newer one. If last weeks is preferred, I'll redo the NL East, and try to get out 2-3 divisions per week as to not drag out this saga over 6 weeks. So with out further adieu here is the NL East.


Players to Acquire:

2B Kelly Johnson - He is currently batting 2nd in the lineup which will utilize his RBI potential a little more than batting leadoff. While Johnson has a history of dropping off in the second half, his limited tenure makes this fact less of an issue. Mark Teixeira is starting to heat up in a big way which could spell big run totals with the big bats of Teixeira, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur behind him. With Johnson in a bit of a slump, and his overall numbers not overly exciting, he could be easy to get if you need a solid 2B.

RP Mike Gonzalez - The power LHP should be off the DL next week sometime and could reprise his roll of closer, which he did for a season in Pittsburgh in 2006. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery, so an immediate placement into the closer position may not happen. But with John Smoltz going down for the season and Rafael Soriano again having tendinitis issues Gonzalez would almost certainly see some saves if not becoming the exclusive closer. Scoop him up before someone else does.

1B Mark Teixeira - Getting him now may be tough but getting him in a month will be down right impossible. Over the last 2 weeks Tex has seen his BA improve 20 points while driving in 13 runs and slamming 5 homers. Statistically, Tex has driven in more runs and hit more homers post all-star break in nearly 80 less games. His best months overall are August and September where he puts up monster numbers and could become a pivotal player in a playoff run. Waste no time in trying to acquire this second half stud.

Players to Sell:

3B Chipper Jones - I understand he's been one of the best players in baseball this year, but so many things go against what Chipper does. It seems like forever that Chipper has been a great 3B, but his bid for .400 will most likely be nothing more than a pipe dream. He hasn't hit more than 30 homers since 2001 and has always spent time on the DL do to some nagging injury. Well now he has a right quad tear and bleeding. This doesn't sound good and even if he is able to play through it his production is likely to take a hit. Do yourself a favor, ship him, and reap the benefits of a stud player in return, maybe a guy like his infield buddy Mark Teixeira.

OF Jeff Francoeur - This year like last year Francoeur is a more valuable real player than fantasy player. While hitting RBI's is never a problem, his lack of walks and his limited homerun power considering his great gap power is sort of a quandary. Two years ago he slammed a sloppy 29 homeruns while hitting for a meager average and striking out nearly 110 more times than he walked. Since then he has seemed to control his swing and better his approach. His walks are up some, and his average is much better while his homer total has taken a hit. Francoeur is only 24 and in a few years could fall into a power stroke making him a great keeper league guy, but for now he seems to be a good hitter whose fantasy prowess is lower than perceived.

Minor League Watch:

SP Charlie Morton - A 24 year old right hander who could make a splash in the starting rotation should injury or Jo-Jo Reyes or Jose Campillo falter. He is currently 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and his strike out/walk ratio is 72/27. If given a chance he could be a viable option in large mixed leagues and NL-only leagues.


Players to Acquire:

OF Josh Willingham - Before his injury he was hitting the ball all over the place. With a .341 BA and 6 homers through the end of April, it was looking as if he was priming himself for a big breakout. Unfortunately he went on the DL with back soreness and should be coming back with in a week or so. This likely would mean Luis Gonzalez and Jacque Jones will see less playing time as Cody Ross remains hot in the near future.

OF Jeremy Hermida - For a few years now fantasy guru's have been ready for Hermida to make a big impression but injuries have seemed to hold him back. While last year he looked good, this year he was thought to completely break out. Right now his average is around .264, and his power is sort of lacking. He also hasn't shown off his speed. The Marlins have been doing well with his help, but expect a ramping up of all his stats. He's just too good to stay where he is. Expect a second half much like his last year.

1B Mike Jacobs - He should come relatively cheap and has a sweet power stroke. His average will never be very high but with Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez hitting in front of him he should see plenty of RBI opportunities, while maintaining a solid output of HR's.

Players to Sell:

3B, 1B Jorge Cantu - A month or so back I was pretty high on Cantu. And he was great for me in the league I owned him in. Now, however, I'm looking to sell. His recent little hot streak has left him with respectable average. His power numbers do seem to indicate a possible 30 homerun hitter. I don't necessarily think he'll hit that many. Plus his biggest problem is his overall inconsistency which always bugs me. Lately he has been good enough to shop around and get a better value in return. Also Dallas McPherson is looming in AAA and currently destroying pitching down there.

SP Scott Olsen - Here's another guy I targeted in all formats as my last pitcher for most of my teams. Scott Olsen currently sports a good ERA and 4 wins but really hasn't done what he has in the past and strike people out. He has had a tendency to walk quite a few batters which has inflated his WHIP some. With his propensity to give up walks and more than his fair share of home runs he could be in for a rough few months. Personally, I would ship him before he starts hit a down trend.

Minor League Watch:

3B Dallas McPherson - He's the former highly touted prospect from the L.A. Angels. Right now he is just crushing AAA hitting 19 homers with an OPS of 1.016. Whether he's brought up to spell Jorge Cantu, or if he is traded for a veteran, at some point this year McPherson will see the Show and try to prove he is as good as he was hyped for so many years.


Players to Acquire:

OF Carlos Beltran - His average is currently about 20 points under his career average and while his run and RBI totals have been solid his stolen bases and home runs have been down. I would expect his number to see a surge soon. His average historically goes up in the second half so he could be a player who could be targeted from a manager that likely too him a bit too high.

SP John Maine - His only knock is that he tends to spend his pitch count too early, thus on average only going about 6 innings. However, his ERA is at a solid 3.48 and strikes out batters at a pretty good clip, about 7.5 K's per 9 innings. His current WHIP even above his career average which could mean his stats could improve even more. He shouldn't be that expensive either.

Players to Sell:

SP Oliver Perez - He is a guy I've always been partial too. His has always had the ability to rack up insane amount of strike outs. His problem has always been control. It looked like last year he figured that out but sporting an ERA of 3.56 and nearly a K per inning. After starting off the season hot, his tendency to walk players has finally caught up with him. He has occasionally had a good start but has followed that up with an extremely disappointing one. It's best to cut bait now if possible, see if you can use him as a throw in in another deal, rather than dropping him. But the latter may be necessary.

OF Ryan Church - He has been a nice story but has had problems stemming from a concussion he received about three weeks ago. This certainly isn't a good sign. Recently in all sports, caution towards concussion victims has been on the rise. There is no certainty on when Church will be back and when he does there is no telling if he could keep up the current pace he was on.

1B Carlos Delgado - For the longest time Delgado has been a staple at first base. His last few years he has been on a noticeable decline. He currently his sporting 8 home runs and the occasional homerun going forward will happen but at this point he really isn't worth being owned in normal 12 team mixed leagues.

Minor League Watch:

After scouring AAA and AA the Mets system looks bleak right now. They have a few guys who are contributing decently but they all have shown to be little help in the majors, i.e. Tony Armas, Brady Clark.


Players to Acquire:

SP Brett Myers - His last two starts have been awesome allowing 4 runs and striking out 19. His record is 3-7 and his ERA is 5.13. Maybe he was still trying to get the feel for starting once again after being the teams closer last year, but he's definitely a guy to target who should begin to rack up wins and strike out everyone in his sight.

OF Shane Victorino - For the most part I'm not high on guys who steal a ton of bases, especially this year with the amount of players that are likely to reach the 20 SB level. However, Victorino is sandwiched between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, and batting in front of Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell. With is average to likely remain around the .290-.300 area he should score tons and tons of runs while stealing a ton of bases.

1B Ryan Howard - His numbers still look sort of pedestrian in comparison to his past performances. He has hit 15 homers, but his average is still only at .215. Again, you have to feel that he can only get better, hes been to good in the past. Buy now and you are still getting him at a discount.

Players to Sell:

OF Pat Burrell - He always has been a free swinger who hits plenty of homers and gets on base a really good clip. It's weird that he doesn't have as many RBI's as someone with his home run totals but I digress. There is always something about him, whether it be his combination of low average and virtually zero SB production, but most likely its the fact he scores so little runs for what he does. Personally I think he's over valued, and his hot start could be enough to find someone who could give up good value for him.

RP Brad Lidge - He has been the best closer in the NL this year, and will probably end up in the top 3 over the course of the season. He has seemed to finally shake off the rust since the Albert Pujols homerun in the playoffs nearly 3 years ago. The thing about closers is that they are always extremely overvalued. If you are a team that has a pretty good lock down on saves, Lidge could bring back great value in return. If you need him to stay afloat in the saves category then getting rid of him makes no sense, but if you can afford it, sell him. Plus you never know if he would relapse, while unlikely it could happen again.

Minor League Watch:

SP J.A. Happ - A lefty with 81 K's in 77 innings. If Chad Eaton or any other of the Phillies pitchers go down for an extended period of time with an injury you could see Happ being brought up to be the 5th pitcher. While his K count would translate over is unknown, but he might be worth a flier if he's brought up given his potential for K's and wins.


Players to Acquire:

SS Cristian Guzman - If you are in a pinch and need a SS Guzman is your guy, likely you could snatch him up off the wire. He is currently hitting over .300 with 42 runs and some who would definitely help more than hurt in all the lesser categories. The Nationals squad is pretty slim pickens but hes a bright spot.

3B Ryan Zimmerman - With Zimmy on the DL he could be easier to acquire. Even before his DL stint he was struggling. But with a second half surge almost a certainty, he could be a big contributor to a playoff bound squad. You know how I love pre and post all-star break splits, and Zimmermans average is nearly 30 points better in the second half.

OF Lastings Milledge - After a long period of doing not a whole lot and getting bounced around the lineup he now is hitting 3rd with the injuries to various Nats. In the last two weeks he has found his speed on the base paths and shown a little bit of power as well. He may end up being a solid contributor just yet. He should be an easy snag, give him a try.

Players to Sell:

RP Jon Rauch - He plays for one of the worst teams in baseball and his save chances have been limited lately. Chad Cordero should start throwing soon and could be about a month or even less away. I find it hard to believe with the success Cordero has had in the past that he wouldn't regain his job. This would make Rauch expendable unless he or Cordero was traded. With all these question marks, and the fact he is a current closer, getting a good starting pitcher in return could be possible.

SP - All of Washington's starting pitchers are virtually unownable. John Lannan has been solid but in the end his lack of strike outs save one game where he had 11 and his rather high WHIP in comparison to his solid ERA would suggest a down trend is probable. Shawn Hill has been a disappointment thus far after showing promise last year, Odalis Perez is finally back to himself, and Bergmann and Redding are both too inconsistent to trust thus far and don't have a track record of doing anything special.

Minor League Watch:

OF Roger Bernadina - If the Nats continue to have problems in there outfield via injury and subpar play Bernadina could be called up from AA. He currently has 20 SB and 5 homers with a .349 average. The Washington minor league system is fairly unimpressive but Bernadina could be a solid player if given the chance.


Winks said...

Looks good to me Bear, just keep doing what you're doing.

Anonymous said...

Ha, I said Chad Eaton... I have no idea who that is, I meant Adam Eaton.

Jonk said...

Chad Eaton played in the NFL for awhile in the late 90s/early 00s, but I had forgotten this until googling the name just now.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, didn't he play for the seahawks??

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