The Week That Was: “Better Believe in Beckett”
Josh Beckett continuing to prove the doubters wrong highlights this week’s Week That Was.
Josh Beckett: Josh Beckett went punch for punch with Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright Thursday tossing seven scoreless innings and giving up just four hits. Check this out: On the year, Beckett has a sweet ERA of 2.11, a nice round 1.00 WHIP and 88K in 93.2 Inn. Oh, and for good measure, he has already thrown a no-no this year. If you still do not believe, well shame on you. Beckett has not only learned how to pitch rather than throw, his K rate, BB rate, GB/FB rate and HR rate are all better than or in line with his career numbers. He pitches in a great pitchers’ park and plays another 18 games in pitcher havens to the north (SF) and south (SD). I know he is one of my roto man crushes but disbelieve at your own risk. Josh Becket is back so you better believe.
Wily Peralta: Wily Peralta continues to show why so many were so high on him during his prospect days. Thursday, Wily notched his ninth win while striking out seven over six innings against the Rockies. That is 5 wins in a row. Sweet! More importantly, he showed great maturity shaking off a grand slam and shutting the door the rest of the way. Thus far, Peralta has a 3.20 ERA and a solid 1.25 WHIP. The question is: can Wily continue thriving? My answer is yes. His average fastball velocity is a whopping 95.5 MPH, his BB rate is down more than 50% over his career numbers and his BABIP says he has not been lucky. There is no reason to free Wily, he is doing just fine all by himself.
Vance Worley: Vance Worley continues to show that he deserves to be back in the show. Thursday, the former Phillies righty gave up just one run over seven innings. In his three starts since returning to the show, Worley has some gaudy numbers: a 1.74 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and a 12:3 K/BB. Is he this good? No. Is there reason to believe he can continue to be a solid roto starter, especially in NL-only leagues? Yessir. Remember, Worley is only 26 and at the age of 23 posted a 3.01 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in half of a season toiling in a hitters’ haven. Moreover, Vance had 43K and only 4BB in AAA before his callup. Do not go overboard as the BABIP and FIP say some correction is coming but do not ignore this potential value either.
Joe Mauer: Joe Mauer had a Joe Mauer day Thursday going 3-5 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored. If you look at Joe’s full year stats, you would not utter the now famous phrase “well played Mauer” as he is hitting just .271 with a paltry 2 HR. However, there are reasons to believe Mauer is a serious buy low candidate. First, he is Joe Mauer. Second, he is hitting .393 in the last 7 days. Third, there is no better fantasy baseball analyst than Ron Shandler. Why is that relevant? Well, in his appearance on the most recent Colton & the Wolfman on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio with Fantasy Alarm President Rick Wolf and me, Ron picked Joe Mauer as the guy who is likely to bounce back from his subpar start. If Ron is buying, so am I.
Wilson Ramos: Wilson Ramos is off the DL but for how long. This guy certainly does seem snake bit. However, with Ryan Zimmerman back and Bryce Harper on the way, Ramos will be joining a much more potent offense than the Nats have fielded all year. IF, and that is a HUGE IF, Ramos can stay healthy, he can be a roto difference maker from the catcher position. Last year, Ramos hit 16 HR in under 300 AB. That kind of second half is obviously very possible for the Nats catcher. Hmmm.
Jorge Polanco: The Twins reached all the way down to High A ball to pluck Jorge Polanco for their big league roster. In that low level minor league, Polanco was good but hardly dominant: .289 with five homers, 35 RBI and eight stolen bases. Two good pieces of advice are offered here. First, the .289 in single A says he will not hit for average in the majors this year. Second, that he made the majors at such a tender age means he has serious talent. If you are in a dynasty league, pay close attention to Polanco.
Jesse Hahn: Last week we wrote “Jesse Hahn looked good again Thursday, giving up no earned runs while striking out seven in a win over the Mariners. After posting a 2.11 ERA in AA, Hahn has continued his success in the bigs with a 2.16 ERA and 19K in 17 Inn. His FIP and BABIP say a correction is coming but not a giant one. Given that he pitches in Petco, Hahn makes a very good addition for NL-only owners and for those in mixed leagues who can start him at home and sit him on the road.” I hope you grabbed up Hahn because his price went up on Tuesday when he paid off our faith by throwing 6 innings of 4 hit ball giving up just two runs while striking out 8 and walking just one. Nice!
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page. Schultz says: “The end of June not only signifies the end of spring and the beginning of summer, for many roto-owners, it signifies the end of all hopes of a 2014 roto-title and the commencement of dreams of glory in 2015. Yes my friends (and we are are all friends here at The Week That Was), it's dumping season. For some unfortunate roto-owners, the championship team they boasted about, boring friends, wives and significant others through all of April with their "gripping" tales of auction glory, has just not come together. Whether it be the result of injuries or, heaven forbid, not being as smart as you thought you were, it's time to abandon ship.
All too often, teams that dump do it poorly. Schultz is willing to bet that in every league you are in, there are one or two owners that dump every year, repeating the same mistakes they made the year before and continuing their shame spiral of roto-disappointment. What are those mistakes? They are building around green rookies, especially pitchers that are all potential and no proven ability and/or deciding that the journeyman having a career year has made the leap to the next level.
The best thing a dumping owner can do - besides undervaluing their own trade assets - is determine where there are true bargains. In auction leagues, did everyone fail to ascertain that Jose Abreu and Masahiro Tanaka would adjust just fine to the American version of the game? Did your league all fail to foresee the Dee Gordon maturation? Was everyone over Josh Beckett and ready to declare him finished? Did everyone collectively forget that Jose Bautista and Victor Martinez were hampered by injuries, not diminishing skills, the past two seasons? If so, there are your players to target for 2015.
Although it won't help your roto-team, you might find it interesting that Paul & Barbara Schultz (otherwise known as Schultz' parents) are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. Thanks for having me much more than 9 months later and making all those people that have insulted me over the years grievously incorrect in their assessment of my parental lineage. Happy Anniversary!!”
Response: A few comments. One, Schultz really does exist. He is not some alter ego creation. Two, we write our pieces separately, so please remember number 1 and do not tweet me some snarky comment that I said the same thing about Josh Beckett twice because, yes, Schultz really does exist. Third and most importantly, please allow me to say happy anniversary to the real parents of the actually existing Schultz. We here at Fantasy Alarm wish you many many more!