Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pauly's Pickups of the Week: Stolen Bases Come onto the Market

Not a lot of time to discuss things this week, but there have been a couple of recent moves that have probably created a surplus of stolen bases on your league's waiver wire.

Angel Pagan has just been activated by the Mets and already has a stolen base to his credit; and Eric Young has been recalled (finally) by the Rockies.

Pagan was likely dropped in all shallow leagues and a good bit of mixed leagues after he stumbled mightily out of the gate, but now it's a fresh start in a sort of can't-lose situation. He hit sixth in the order in his debut from the disabled list, which means some RBI opportunities as well if it lasts.

Young has or will soon have dual 2B/OF eligibility in all leagues, as the Rockies are playing him in center field for the struggling Dexter Fowler. I will assume he will also see some playing time in the infield after Jose Lopez was finally and mercifully cut from the roster. I think Fowler and Jonathan Herrera will see a decrease in playing time.

Both of these guys are capable of stealing 20-plus from here on out... so if you have the need, they have the speed! Good luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jose Bautista, Best of the Best?


Last night Jose Bautista hit his 17th and 18th homeruns of the season. His fantastic start to this season has kicked off (ouch, sorry Football Fans) a debate not on whether he is for real (no longer much doubt about that) but if Bautista might be the best player in MLB! I'm not quiteready to take the title from Albert Pujols just yet. But I have to admit, Bautista is looking a lot like Pujols' Buster Douglas.

As of this writing, Bautista is hitting .364/.509/.841 with 18 homers, 37 runs, 31 RBI, and even five stolen bases. This complemented by a 22.2 percent walk rate, and just a 15.9 strikeout percentage. His .323 BABIP is high (a career high for him) but not not so high you might start calling him absurdly lucky or anything. Obviously, you'll have a tough time adding him to your fantasy team if you haven't already. If you own him he is no doubt worth whatever you paid.

A few Bautista links followed by other links you may be interested to read.

Is Jose Bautista the Best Hitter in the AL?
Essentially what it comes down to is how much weight you put on the most recent performance. If you think Bautista’s eight month power binge is evidence that he’s a changed hitter, then it’s hard to get away from the conclusion that he has passed Miguel Cabrera and is now the best hitter in the American League. More conservative types might want to see him keep this up a little bit longer before making drastic changes in their evaluations. I’m not sure either side has enough evidence to be clearly right or wrong, honestly.

José Bautista breaks down a life-changing home run, explaining the power swing that’s made him a star

“Last year was magical for me,” he says, settling by his locker in Dunedin, as footage of his homer loads on a laptop. “I made a lot of adjustments and some other things fell into place.” But to count among the perennial greats—that’s been his dream since he was five years old. “You have one great season,” he says with a smile. “Why wouldn’t you want to repeat it?”

Long-toss debate shakes up MLB draft

The Owasso, Okla., native surged to the head of the high school class this year thanks to a fastball that reached 100 mph this season, a beyond-his-years cutter and the sort of mature approach scouts believe can land him in the major leagues by 2013. Dylan Bundy’s ascent toward the end of the spring sent him to the top of at least one American League team’s draft board, according to a scouting director, and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein called him the top talent available.

Eric Hosmer And The Gathering Horde

The argument for Eric Hosmer, though, is simply that he was dominating Triple-A to such an extent that he simply had nothing left to learn against minor league pitching, and keeping him in the minors would hinder his development. Most hitting prospects – even most top hitting prospects – are not finished products as rookies. Yes, there’s a chance that Hosmer is Albert Pujols, who was one of the five best players in baseball on his first day in the major leagues – but more likely than not, he’ll be a better player as a sophomore than he is as a rookie. The more reps he gets this year against major league pitching, the more likely he is to go off on the league next year – and next year, the Royals will want their best team on the field from day one, because next year their playoff odds figure to be a lot higher than 10%.

Updates on Strasburg, Ankiel, Wang, Perez
Stephen Strasburg was in Washington yesterday for a scheduled check-up with Nationals orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih and will begin throwing off a bullpen mound "any day now," according to general manager Mike Rizzo.

This Just In: The Mariners Suck!

For a season and a good part of two months, the Mariners have had pitching and known what they lacked - offense. So they broke camp this year with Milton Bradley batting third and Jack Cust at DH. Now Miguel Olivo has batted cleanup and so has journeyman infielder Adam Kennedy. Chone Figgins has been, as the Cleveland broadcast team said last week, "a bitter disappointment."
Fixing the Royals Lineup...

You may recall that when Eric Hosmer was called up, I suggested that he bat leadoff. This led to a discussion with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on 810 WHB, with Nate suggesting that for clubhouse reasons it wasn’t practical to lead off with Hosmer, but that you might be able to do it with Alex Gordon. Which was fine with me. At this stage of their careers, Hosmer and Gordon are pretty similar offensive players – left-handed hitters who can hit for a good average, will take a walk, and have power to the gaps if not to the bleachers, and while neither one is a threat for 40 steals, they both have the speed to take the extra base and occasionally catch the opponents napping with a steal.

Sean Burroughs Returns to MLB

Son of former major leaguer Jeff Burroughs, who hit 240 home runs and was AL MVP in 1974, the younger Burroughs led his team to Little League World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. By the time he was 18, he was nearly his dad's size at 6-2, 200, and when he was selected ninth overall in the 1998 draft, he turned down an offer to play college ball at USC to sign with the Padres.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pauly’s Pickup of the Week: The Elusive Third Baseman

I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation: I have lost Pablo Sandoval (or Ryan Zimmerman or David Wright or David Freese…you get the idea), and the landscape of replacement third basemen is TERRIBLE!

This couldn’t be more true for my mixed league team. I lost Sandoval, and my only third base eligible backup is Pedro Alvarez, who, as you may know already, pretty much stinks. In my desperate search for a third baseman, I have started (comically in some cases) Ian Stewart and Ty Wigginton. As I have learned from that experiment, never try to predict a Jim Tracy move, because the guy is LaRussa-like in his decision making.

So here I am again, stuck with no legitimate third baseman, and staring at a dearth of talent on the wire.

Or am I?

Here are some recommendations among third basemen with a middle to low owned percentage in the CBS player universe. I don’t know that all of the will be available in your league, but one or two of them probably will…

Scott Rolen (54% owned): I have a claim in for Mr. Rolen this week, and hopefully I can land him to take the place of Wigginton, who I recommended last week (that also means I have a very low waiver claim, so pray for me haha). Since coming back to the Reds from the DL on May 13, Rolen has 10 hits in 23 ABs with a run scored in nearly every contest. I wouldn’t want to be holding Rolen at the end of the season (his numbers steadily decrease with time every year), but he is exactly the type of guy that can help you big while your superstar 3B is injured can someone explain why Jim Tracy has batted Wigginton a grand total of FOUR times this week? Arrrgh!

Wilson Betemit (33% owned): He isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball right now, but he is hitting a respectable .258 over the last two weeks. A solid, if not unspectacular stopgap, Betemit is fully capable of stringing together a bunch of big hits for the Royals.

Justin Turner (12% owned): The Mets had moved Turner into the starting lineup at second base, and he will likely slide over to third base with the David Wright injury. He ranks sixth among all third baseman over the last two weeks after hitting .382 with a HR and 12 RBI. When Wright comes back, Turner will probably slide back over to second base, and by that time he will be far more than 12 percent owned.

Jerry Hairston (3% owned): Hairston has seen the bulk of playing time at third base while Zimmerman recovers for the Nationals, but his super utility role should provide him with plenty at-bats once Zimm returns. Yes, Hairston is hitting .229 for the season, but in the last two weeks he ranks 12th among third basemen with a .315 average with one HR and one SB.

Two to avoid:
Jack Hannahan (27% owned): He was on the most added lists a few weeks back, but Hannahan has pretty much proven that he cannot contribute much in the important counting stats like Runs and RBI even when he is running good for the Indians.

Emilio Bonifacio (11% owned): Ever since manager Edwin Rodriguez moved Bonifacio to the No. 2 hole for the Marlins, he has been in a tremendous slump. Now that he is no longer batting there, Bonifacio is still in a terrible slump, with just 6 hits in his last 10 games. Plus, he isn’t using his best asset – his speed – by stealing any bases (zero steals in May, 2 steals for the whole season).

Two on the farm:
Mike Moustakas: If Betemit falters, the Royals have already shown they have no qualms bringing their young prospects up to the bigs (see Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy). Moustakas is hitting .275 with 8 HR and a .514 SLG% at AAA Omaha this year.

Lonnie Chisenhall: Baseball America ranked him the #25 prospect in baseball in the preseason, and he only has Hannahan standing in his way. Chisenhall has been hitting well of late in AAA Columbus, and boasts a .282 average with 23 RBI this season.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I heartily concur with Pauly's Picks this week, but there are a few other players I'm looking at as potential free agent pickups, so in the spirit of sharing, here they are:

Jamey Wright - Depending upon the structure of your league and how liberal the free agent policy is, Wright may be worth a bid. In my 15-team mixed, we have a $100 FAAB, and we use the Vickrey auction format, which makes a modest bid a decent play. As of this writing, Eric Wedge says he is sticking with League, but that could easily change. There looks to be a decent chance that Aardsma will not be back at all, which makes Wright even more attractive.

Marc Rzepczynski - I think this guy is a good play in deep "only" leagues, regardless of whether they are keeper leagues or redraft leagues. He has been pitching very well in relief, and I suspect he will wind up in the rotation by the end of the year. I even like him in mixed keeper leagues, where he can probably be picked up for a couple of bucks and could be a potential freeze for 2012.

Laynce Nix, Endy Chavez - These guys have been sitting on waiver wires and free agency lists in many leagues, and there is a chance they can provide you some short term help. Nix should get plenty of at bats for the Nats, at least for a while, and he has been displaying good power and hitting for a good average so far. As for Chavez, many have forgotten he's still in baseball. He's a little long in the tooth, but still has some wheels. The Rangers look like a MASH unit, so Endy should get a good bit of PT and may swipe a few bags for you. Just don't break the piggy bank to grab him.

Louis Coleman - I know that Soria has been one of the safest bets around for the last few seasons, but I like this guy and would not be surprised to see him get a few more save opportunities, despite what management is saying.

Will Rhymes - A terrible start got him sent down, but if your league lets you FAAB guys in the minors, he's not a bad gamble in an "only" league if you have a place to stash him. The guy has absolutely no pop, but he has a good eye and some speed. He could be back up with the big club before long.

So, just a few nuggets. I'll probably be throwing a few ducats at some of these guys myself before the weekend is over.

Good luck and have fun!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Some Trade Advice...

Hey I was searching google for fantasy baseball trade analyzers and ran across your article: It said email you, so whether you still are around to help, we will see.

I give: kershaw and ellsbury
I get: hanson and J.Upton

My team is: My team looks like: Avila, Youkilis, Philips, Mcgehee, Tulo, Mccutch, Ellsbury, Stanton, Davis(rajai), Lomo... Would this trade be sideways?

I lead in Hrs, rbis and am in sixth for SB. Would Justin Upton power/speed combo be much better than Ellsbury superspeed?

It seems like you have a bunch of stolen base guys already - McCutch, Ellsbury, and Rajai Davis, so I'm actually a little surprised you are leading in homers and just sixth is sbs. If we ignore the stats, it seems like Upton's power is something your squad could use. On the other hand I believe Kershaw and Ellsbury to be a superior pair to Hanson and Upton.

Hanson's roto stats look slightly better than Kerhsaw's at the moment but not by much and I am still confident that Kerhsaw is the slightly better pitcher. Ellsbury is the better hitter for average and steals more bases and is also developing some power. Upton has far superior potential but has underachieved much like his brother. I love Upton and keep hoping for a breakout, but I don't think I'd deal Ellsbury for Upton.

I would suggest you find a better, more typical, speed for power deal. Something along the lines of Rajai Davis for Adam Dunn (who is hitting well of late).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pauly's Pickups of the Week: Ty Wigginton & Vicente Padilla

This just in fantasy baseball managers: Ian Stewart SUCKS!! And so does Jose Lopez!!

And that's why Ty Wigginton is a great pickup right now. Unless you are playing in a 20-man league, or your league has unlimited DL spots, or you are in a deep NL league, odds are that Mr. Wigginton is available.

He is finishing up a rehab assignment right now and will likely rejoin the Rockies this weekend. And manager Jim Tracy -- much like the rest of the fantasy baseball community -- has had it up to HERE with the joke that Stewart has become...and the never-was that Lopez really is. Wigginton is the only guy on the team with enough talent to make an impact at third base - especially with the speculation that Stewart is heading back to AAA with Ty's promotion.

If you own Ian Stewart (like me), your only prayer is for a change of scenery (a trade, not AAA), because it looks like he has truly worn out his welcome in Colorado. What a shame, the kid has some talent -- but that's what an .067 batting average will get you.

Wigginton has 20 HR potential from here on out -- and as I said, very little competition for playing time. He will be picked off most wires before the end of next week, so grab him now.

As for Padilla, just look up recent news on Jonathan Broxton or Hong-Chih Kuo and you will realize that there is nobody but old (and I do mean old) Vicente closing games in Los Angeles these days. It probably won't last, but much like the last few weeks' recommended pitchers, cheap saves are a valuable commodity.

And just as a side note, if you are struggling to find saves, have you noticed that every week a new guy emerges with save potential? Truth is, closer is the most volatile position in baseball (well, maybe outside of manager lol) -- and just about every week will produce a new player earning saves. The morals: dont pay too much for saves on draft day; and stay on top of the closing situations league-wide. This is the easiest position for you to go out and "right the ship."

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Best Pitchers of 2011 so far...

There are a lot of names we've come to expect at the topof this list- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Tim Linececum. Some we hoped would finally get here like Jered Weaver,Dan Haren and Josh Johnson. However there are a handfulof names that may surprise you (and maybe even their fantasy owners),I won't ruin the surprise, look at it below.

Roy Halladay Phillies 9.62 1.18 0.17 0.98 0.308 2.19 2.14 1.72
Matt Garza Cubs 11.69 2.62 0.20 1.37 0.388 4.43 2.04 2.61
Cliff Lee Phillies 11.65 1.36 0.78 1.17 0.355 3.69 2.11 2.72
Dan Haren Angels 8.74 1.25 0.47 0.85 0.244 1.87 2.8 1.88
Jered Weaver Angels 8.58 2.03 0.31 0.90 0.243 1.87 3.12 2.48
Tim Lincecum Giants 10.84 3.04 0.38 1.08 0.289 2.47 2.39 2.44
Josh Johnson Marlins 8.57 2.79 0.19 0.85 0.212 1.68 2.95 2.21
Jaime Garcia Cardinals 8.74 2.18 0.40 0.97 0.263 1.99 2.59 2.58
Brandon McCarthy Athletics 5.44 1.45 0.18 1.25 0.321 3.26 3.38 2.91
Tim Stauffer Padres 6.75 1.96 0.22 1.16 0.299 2.61 2.99 2.99
Michael Pineda Mariners 9.16 2.82 0.47 1.07 0.270 2.58 3.33 2.48
Daniel Hudson Diamondbacks 8.73 2.64 0.41 1.26 0.331 4.47 3.32 2.99
Felix Hernandez Mariners 8.10 2.38 0.48 1.11 0.283 3.02 2.89 3.09
Derek Lowe Braves 8.26 2.82 0.40 1.25 0.313 3.22 2.98 2.81
Jair Jurrjens Braves 5.00 1.50 0.25 1.08 0.278 1.5 3.37 3.3
Cole Hamels Phillies 9.25 2.08 0.76 0.99 0.267 2.83 2.57 3.14
Jordan Zimmermann Nationals 5.18 1.94 0.22 1.25 0.298 4.1 4.07 2.64
Tim Hudson Braves 4.65 1.43 0.18 0.95 0.244 2.86 3.47 2.34
Tommy Hanson Braves 9.00 2.41 0.66 1.02 0.262 2.63 2.94 3.08
CC Sabathia Yankees 7.47 3.06 0.34 1.34 0.311 2.89 3.42 3.71
Justin Masterson Indians 6.51 2.49 0.19 1.17 0.295 2.11 3.44 2.59
Trevor Cahill Athletics 7.74 2.75 0.52 1.09 0.257 1.72 2.91 3.36
Jason Marquis Nationals 5.95 1.60 0.46 1.32 0.326 3.66 3.21 3.17
Josh Beckett Red Sox 7.94 2.58 0.60 0.88 0.211 1.99 3.25 3.15
Travis Wood Reds 8.12 2.84 0.61 1.47 0.356 5.28 3.49 4.32
Brandon Beachy Braves 9.57 2.34 0.85 0.97 0.245 2.98 3.13 3.23
Brett Anderson Athletics 6.47 1.48 0.55 1.13 0.297 2.77 2.85 2.88
C.J. Wilson Rangers 7.67 2.88 0.48 1.26 0.299 3.36 3.43 3.83
Bud Norris Astros 10.97 2.95 1.05 1.27 0.321 3.16 2.66 3.02
Shaun Marcum Brewers 8.66 2.47 0.82 1.03 0.248 2.06 3.27 3.07
Chris Narveson Brewers 8.54 3.00 0.69 1.36 0.325 4.38 3.03 3.89
James Shields Rays 7.38 2.01 0.67 0.93 0.234 2.01 3.2 3.14
Ian Kennedy Diamondbacks 7.40 2.40 0.60 1.11 0.265 3.8 3.46 3.92
Doug Fister Mariners 5.74 2.55 0.21 1.46 0.348 3.4 4.17 3.44
Jorge de la Rosa Rockies 8.79 3.56 0.63 1.12 0.246 3.14 3.4 3.55

Friday, May 06, 2011

Pauly's Pickups of the Week: Mike Fontenot & Mark Melancon

I know, not the sexiest pickups of the week...but wait, look at these numbers:

Since taking over as the starting third baseman for the not-as-fat Panda in San Francisco on April 30, Mike Fontenot is hitting .350 with hits in 5 of 6 games. He has a steal, a homer and 4 RBI. Back in the pre-season, I highlighted Fontenot as a guy who could put up decent numbers if given a chance at an everyday role, and he hasn't disappointed yet.

I'm not saying everyone should stampede each other trying to sign Fontenot, but he definitely should not be available in NL-Only leagues. He will put up a decent cheap mix of steals, and possibly some more power -- he has batted third in the SF lineup since Tuesday and has all 4 RBI in that span.

Another player who will benefit from a recent injury is Mark Melancon, who is taking over at closer in Houston for the injured Brandon Lyon. Once again, here is a guy who I have not really seen pitch, but he is someone who will be scooped up in just about every competitive league by this weekend.

Unlike the ridiculous situation in St. Louis where Tony LaRussa is once again effing with the greater fantasy baseball community, the situation is much more clear-cut in Houston. Melancon is a Tommy John survivor (missed all of 2007 as a Yankees farmhand), and came over to the Astros in the Lance Berkman deal last year. He has already been officially "named" the closer, and he has proven he can handle somewhat-pressurized situations - 3 holds with a sub-2.00 ERA.

Sure, he might not be getting a ton of chances, but when you need saves, you'll take em from anywhere....won't you? And since he hasn't posted a save yet, he may be flying under the radar in your league right now. This is where you take advantage of the people who don't constantly read player/team updates -- and believe me, odds are there are quite a few in your league.