Some quick hitting thoughts on some hot bats including the young burgeoning star of the Nationals.
It's sunny outside. It's not hot, but it's sunny. Being that I wanted to lay out and work on my tan - I'm going to Hawaii in a couple months – I decided to write about some hot players on the field to warm me up from the inside. To that end, I'll talk about a set of young infielder from the Nats and Phillies, follow that up with some talk about about the best base stealer in the game, and then breakdown one of the more frustrating outfield owns in the game who is on a tear. Oh, I'll also ask your advice on a trade I'm considering making.
HOT BAT AT HOT CORNER
Anthony Rendon was a can't miss kid coming out of college. He was a “professional hitter” according to everyone. There was never a doubt that he could hit .300 in the big leagues. The question was would he ever be anything more than a 15 home run hitter? Entering play Wednesday Rendon was batting .304. Not surprised. He has five homers. That is surprising. Is 15 possible? Certainly, and 20 seems reachable given this start. Nothing is crazy in his line to this point either: .340 BABIP, 10.6 HR/F. However, he's gotta improve on the 0.83 GB/FB though, he needs to hit the ball on the ground a bit more, and he could certainly improve upon his 0.32 BB/K ratio. Still, that's quibbling with the dual position infielder (second and third base).
HOT BAT AT HOT CORNER #2
Cody Asche isn't an elite bat, likely never will be. Hardly a surprise to see a .257 average and .321 OBP next to his name. But he hit a grand slam Tuesday. He's also gone deep twice in three games. Oh, and he's got seven hits his last four games. It's not time to mortgage the farm unless it's a 1x1 meter plot, but he's seemingly finding his footing at the big league level.
HOT BAT - OUTFIELD
Colby Rasmus is streaky. Always has been and likely always will be. Right now it's happy time. Colby has a 6-game hitting streak a going (nine hits). During the run he's scored six times while driving in 11 runs. He's also gone deep four times. Obviously it's add Rasmus time in pretty much any league that he's not on a roster. However, caution. He's still hitting only .231 with a .280 OBP and his career numbers are still really poor (.248 and .315) as in worse than the league average. He's got legit power but he never runs anymore and his batting average seems destined to hold him back.
Don't forget to read my Mailbag piece. There's some snarkiness in it. You'll like it. Trust me.
Dee Gordon leads baseball with 19 steals. He's got a motor that doesn't quit. He's a potential MLB stolen base leader. He ain't no .344 hitter though. That .404 BABIP is going down, likely .100 points. You can't hit 58 percent of your batted balls on the ground and have a mark that high. He's also sporting a 0.29 BB/K rate, about two thirds of average, so that's another concern. Six walks in 31 games from a leadoff hitter? That's putrid. Everything has been perfect this season and he's only scored 19 times in 31 games. If he keeps being this impatient once his batting average drops his runs scored rate will slow substantially. He also has no power – one homer this season and three in 212 career games – and despite all his hitting he's only driven in 10 runners. Sell high is my recommendation, but he's going to be a beast in steals this season as long as he stays healthy.
WHO AM I?
I'm hitting .303. That's better than Freddie Freeman, Robinson Cano, Joe Mauer and Miguel Cabrera.
I have an .832 OPS. That's better than Yadier Molina, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Gonzalez.
I have 22 RBIs. That's more than Paul Goldschmidt, Yasiel Puig, Jose Bautista and Mike Trout.
Who am I?
I'm the Phillies' Marlon Byrd.
TRADE – GEE FOR SPRINGER
Chris Liss of Rotowire.com offered me Dillon Gee in exchange for George Springer in the FSTA Experts League (13 team mixed league). My current starting outfield: Austin Jackson, Desmond Jennings, Matt Kemp, Dayan Viciedo and Michael Saunders (Ryan Braun is on the DL). With news on Braun looking positive – he might return as soon as eligible – I can probably afford to deal Springer who to this point has been an utter disappointment (.222-0-6-3-1 with 25 Ks in 72 at-bats).
Gee has a 2.51 ERA and 1.05 WHIP through seven starts. He's a good “pitcher” even if the stuff doesn't impress. Check it: 6.17 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 1.06 GB/FB, 9.3 HR/F. That's a whole lot of league average type stuff. So why am I considering the deal? Gee hasn't just been good for seven starts. Over his last 18 starts Gee is 8-4 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. I know he's not the “skills” guy I like, but 18 starts over two years... is that enough for an ubertalented who could be a difference maker but just can't get it going as a rookie?
What do you think?