It's the time of year when most think many of the stories have been written. While that is mostly true, it's not entirely true. I'm gonna touch on a few fellas that are surging out of nowhere, while noting a few who have started a slow slide without much fanfare.
Emilio Bonifacio stole 12 bases in 94 games with the Blue Jays and looked generally horrible. Since he was dealt to the Royals he's been... great. Not only has he stolen 15 bases in 33 games with the Royals but he's also batting .300 with a .375 OBP. Where was this earlier in the season when he was on all my teams? He's only owned in 31 percent of leagues at Fleaflicker.
Jay Bruce blasted a salami Tuesday and the big fly was his 30th of the season, a mark he's reached for the third straight season. He's also pulled off a rather impressive feat. Here are his yearly RBI totals: 52, 58, 70, 97, 99 and 100. That's an impressive run of improvement.
Miguel Cabrera tied his career best with his 44th homer of the season Tuesday. That abdominal injury has apparently sapped his power though as the bomb was his first big fly of the month.
Patrick Corbin had another rough outing Tuesday giving up six runs in just two innings of work. That leaves him saddled with a 4.72 ERA and 1.35 WHIP since the All-Star break. He's been an amazing addition to staffs this season going 14-7 with a 3.17 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, but the slow second half fade isn't surprising.
Edwin Encarnacion is done for the year as he is set to have wrist surgery. He failed to reach his totals in every single one of the five fantasy categories from 2012 but his season was still an unqualified success (.272-36-104-90-7). How comfortable are you with drafting him expecting those numbers again next season?
The rookie pitching just won't stop this year, will it? One of the more recent youngsters to dominate at the big league level is Sonny Gray. After allowing one run Tuesday night he's posted a 2.50 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 54 innings during which time he's also punched out 56 batters. Bright future for that kid.
Matt Kemp was back in action just a day after his manager, Don Mattingly, said he would be limited to pinch hitting duties for a while. Kemp went 4-for-4 with three RBIs an a runs scored. Kemp likely won't play everyday, but he's still one of the most talented players in the game even if you wouldn't know it if you watched him play at many points this season.
Brandon Moss has turned out to be one heck of a late round addition this season. Not only has he driven in 24 runners in his last 26 games but he's gone deep 27 times with 78 RBIs. If we prorate his performance from the start of his Athletics career last season, over 500 at-bats, we end up with 35 homers, 95 RBIs and 85 runs scored. How about them apples?
Daniel Murphy is hitting his customary .283. His 11 homers and 70 RBIs are about as expected as well, but how about the fact that he's scored 86 runs while stealing, get this, 19 bases? Heck of an NL-only add this season he's been, and he's been a solid middle infield option in mixed leagues as well.
Did you grab Angel Pagan when he came back from injury? If you did you've gotten one hell of an effort from the outfielder who has hit .373 with 11 runs scored and three steals in 16 games. Yeah, hell of an effort.
Jeff Samardzija hit two big milestones Tuesday. Not only did he surpass 200 innings for the first time but he also notched his 200th strikeout. Still, his ERA is 4.42 and his WHIP 1.34, and when you toss in the 8-12 record you've paid a pretty high price for the whiffs in the fantasy game.
David Wright wasn't activated Tuesday like we were told he would be. This is exactly why I told so many to avoid starting Wright this week – there was no certainty with how many times he would be on the field. It certainly sounds like he will take the field before the 2013 season is over, but with nothing to play for, you know the Mets aren't going to push him needlessly.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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