After one night off due to the slow schedule, it is time for Fighting Chance Fantasy to get back on the ball to deliver all the fantasy news. The big story on Thursday looks like the inevitable news that one of the best young players in the minors is ready to prove his wears in the majors. There is also news on a struggling hitter and a few pitchers making their mark this season in Rounding The Bases.
There are some reports that Pirates top prospect Pedro Alvarez might come up tomorrow, and there are some that he will come up on Saturday, but it doesn't matter, MAKE THE MOVE NOW!!!!!! This kid should have an immediate impact and is going to help your team at third base. Whether you have Alex Rodriguez at third or David Freese, you need to pick up Alvarez, even in single season leagues. Alvarez is hitting .280 with 13 homers and 53 RBI in 65 games at AAA this season and should absolutely rake when coming to the majors. This is one of the last prospects that I am REALLY excited about so if you are saving your waiver priority, now is the time to use it!
Chipper Jones met with the Braves brass today and it was to discuss his future. The writing is on the wall that 2010 will be his last season, but I think there is a chance that Larry will go the Ken Griffey Jr. route and retire in the middle of the season. If you have Jones, I would absolutely try to get ANYTHING you can for him in a trade as he just seems like he has checked out already. There is no way that he should be in your starting lineup and the end is definitely coming in September if not sooner for Jones.
Chad Billingsley is headed to the 15 day Disabled List with a groin injury. He felt something at the end of his last start but the team was confident he would make his next start. Well, Billingsley had a slight setback during a bullpen session and the team decided to play it cautious and give him a break. I would imagine that this will be just the minimum 15 day deal, but keep your ear to the news in case of any setbacks.
The next time you are saying grace at the dinner table, can you please throw in something quickly that this is the game that gets Gordon Beckham hitting in 2010. That might be a bit sacrilegious, but this kid has all the talent in the world but has struggled mightily this season. Beckham had two hits and drove in three runs and hopefully THIS is the game that gets him going. I don't know exactly what is going wrong with him, but I haven't given up on him yet for this season and while I wouldn't have him in my starting lineup, I wouldn't cut bait with him either.
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Andrew McCutchen continues to mature before our very eyes as he has gone from a wet behind the ears rookie to a guy who is turning into a five tool superstar. He has a little ways to go before his power fully develops, but he is well on the way and his batting average and his steals are already in great ranges. The RBI total is a little low at just 20, but now that he is hitting third hopefully that will go up, but his 17 stolen bases are a nice surprise as it seems that 30 is a foregone conclusion. McCutchen is definitely a guy that you should have as one of your top three outfielders.
Max Scherzer is having a very interesting season. He isn't doing well as far as an ERA is concerned as his figure is over 6.00, but he is still racking up a good number of strikeouts and won his third game of the season on Tuesday. There is no doubt that some day Scherzer is going to be an exceptional pitcher, the question is just what day that is going to be. If he is on your roster you have to just keep throwing him out there because of the strikeout potential, but I still think that 2010 is going to be a very up and down year from the young hurler. When he is good he will be very good, but he will have some disastrous starts as well.
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The art of the strikeout seems to be something that is no longer in the repertoire of Johan Santana. After being a perennial 200 strikeout guy, all of a sudden that skill has left him in a striking way. After Tuesday's performance in which he had just a single strikeout over seven innings, Santana now has just 59 Ks in 92 innings pitched. He is no longer the top of the line starting pitcher that he once was, but Santana still has plenty of fantasy value, just more of the second tier of guys who take the mound.
Baltimore rookie Jake Arrieta had his second consecutive positive outing since being called to the major leagues and should be garnering more fantasy attention than he is so far. Arrieta allowed just one run over seven innings to the San Francisco Giants and he struck out three. This is one of the more exciting pitching prospects in 2010, and the fact that he has been successful in his first two major league starts has me pretty excited. You still have to keep your expectations in check because of the fact he plays for Baltimore, but he has a chance to be something special.
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