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The Week That Was: “You Should Revere Ben”
Ben Revere’s hot hitting highlights this week’s Week That Was.
Ben Revere: Ben Revere went 3-for-4 with two runs scored Friday to continue his torrid hitting. In the last 30 days as of this weekend, the Philly CF was hitting .372 with 11 SB and 15 runs scored. I know things do not necessarily work this way but if you extrapolate that out to a full six months, you have 90 runs and 66 SB. Of course, the real question is whether he can continue this pace. Well, he will not hit .370+ but given that his K rate has improved and his contact rate is up over 90%, I would say that he will continue to be very productive and a huge help in the average and sb category down the stretch. If you need help in those categories, you should definitely look to add Ben.
Josh Harrison: Josh Harrison filled the stat sheet Friday night going 3-5 with a home run, five RBI and a run scored. If you have someone in your league who does not believe Harrison is for real, pounce but do so with a little care. Josh is hitting a sweet .304 with power (11 HR) and speed (17 SB) in only 392 AB. A breakout at 27 is not a surprise and a power/speed guy who plays many positions is super valuable. However, beware of a batting average dip. His BABIP is up 60 points over his career numbers, his K rate is up and his contact rate down. I do not see a huge average fall but some will come in September.
Koji Uehara: Koji Uehara imploded Friday, giving up five earned runs on five hits in just 2/3 of an inning. This is your official warning if you own Koji. The Red Sox are out of it so they have no reason to push their 39 year old closer. Moreover, Uehara has just not been very good over the last 30 days as his 4.61 ERA and 1.39 WHIP show. If you are counting on a big September from Koji, have a backup plan.
Martin Prado: Martin Prado has settled into pinstripes after a rough beginning. Friday, Prado went 2-5 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Like with Harrison, Prado provides value just with his positional eligibility. Oh, and he is red hot as his .414 average, 6 runs and 7 rbi over the last week attest. He is not a superstar and not someone who can carry a real or fantasy team on his own but he can be a key cog on a winner. I cannot cite stats on this one, however as I watch Prado play and interact with his teammates, it is clear he is now comfortable and one of those players that embraces rather than bristles at playing in New York. Buy!
Carlos Carrasco: The window on buying Carlos Carrasco low is closing fast. Carrasco pitched six innings of one run, two hit ball while striking out eight Friday. That makes three strong starts in a row in which he has pitched 18 innings with a 17/2 K/BB ratio and only one earned run allowed. At 27 with an average fastball velocity of 95 mph, Carrasco is the classic post-hype sleeper. I am all in on this one!
Justin Turner: Justin Turner went 2-3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored to give Kershaw and the Dodgers a big win Thursday. Given that both Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe are dinged up, Turner will play. The question is what will you get? You will definitely get the valuable multi-position eligibility that Harrison and Prado provide. Given his .362 average over the last month with a nice 12/8 K/BB ratio, there is reason for optimism that you will get solid production too. At bottom, this is another cog player who will not carry you but could row that last oar in a way that helps your boat cross the finish line first.
Anthony Rizzo: Anthony Rizzo continues to break out in a huge way. His 29th home run became official when the suspended Cubs/Giants game finished up. On the year, Rizz has70 RBI, 80 runs and a nice .376 OBP to go with those 29 dingers. If you missed out on the breakout, shame on you. Rizzo was the classic 25 year old who had already logged 1000 AB in the majors – the classic metrics for a breakout. Remember that for next March!
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page. Schultz says: “Unless your league has an insanely late trading deadline or is populated with strategically-disabled owners that drop useful players, there isn't much you can do to radically improve your team over the last five weeks of the season. At this point, you have hopefully built a team with depth so that you can survive season-ending injuries to key contributors (e.g. Garret Richards) and balanced out your roster so that you're upwardly mobile in categories where you can gain ground. No matter how well you've planned though, the waiver wire still exists. Like Charlie Bucket spending his limited disposable income, you too can cast about looking for a golden ticket that opens up the doors to the Wonka factory of roto-success (and horrifically forced metaphors).
As you may have heard, the Red Sox recently signed Cuban émigré Rusney Castillo to a seven year deal and there are rumblings that he may make his way to the big leagues sometime in September. With the Sox playing for next year, Boston has nothing to lose by promoting him quickly and there may be more than a germ of truth to the story. Although Castillo has some power, if you want to extrapolate, his slugging numbers in Cuba were well below Jose Abreu's and slightly under Yoenis Cespedes'. His biggest September roto-asset might be his speed. If he can get on base, the Sox will surely let him loose. However, it would be foolish to expect a repeat of Billy Hamilton's 2013 September.
In the midst of The Simpsons marathon, it's worth talking about the Albuquerque Isotopes and how Lotto aficionados can gamble on Joc Pederson. The wager won't be on Pederson's talent - he's destined to be a 30-30 pre-injury Matt Kemp type player - but rather on whether he'll get enough playing time to make any difference in 2014. With Kemp, Yasiel Puig and a slightly resurgent Carl Crawford manning the Dodgers outfield, there isn't going to be a regular spot in the lineup for Pederson. If you want to wager on an injury or play in a keeper league and can acquire Pederson cheaply, speculate away.”
Response: Love the forced metaphor Wonka factory reference! Agree on Castillo getting real time in Boston in September while Pederson watches from the LA bench.
It’s Never Too Early For Football: I know that while you read this column for fantasy baseball, you are also starting to get ready for your fantasy football drafts next month. Without the truly amazing Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Football Draft Guide, well … wait, draft without the guide? Who would do that? Get the draft guide here: fantasyalarm.com/draftguide.php