It is time to take a moment to appreciate the kind of start that Miguel Cabrera is off to among many other things. There is some talk about a couple of top prospects making their way to the Major Leagues, one is actually based on a report while the other is speculatory. That is far from all the news for your Saturday however, so dive in to another version of Rounding The Bases.
I would like to just take a second to spell out the kind of season that Miguel Cabrera is having as he is the MVP of the American League for the first half of the season. In just 53 games, Cabrera is still hitting .358 and has 17 home runs (nearly one every three games) and has now driven in 52 games. Cabrera was under the microscope in the Spring because of his admission that he was playing under the influence of alcohol, but I told you then it didn't matter. The guy is a professional hitter and while I think I might sell high on Cabrera because he has to slow down, Cabrera is one of the better hitters in all of Major League Baseball. Those of you who own him, enjoy the ride.
David Wright might not be hitting for the batting average he did in 2009, but the power is back and he is still stealing a decent number of bases. Today Wright connected on his tenth homer of the season, which is the exact number he had in all of last year. He is also more than half way to his RBI total for 2009, and he also has ten stolen bases. As much of a bust as Wright was last year he appears to be as much of a draft day surprise as he fell a few rounds in 2010. However, I think that he is going to top 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
Jonathan Niese returned from his latest hamstring injury for the Mets and pitched very well on Saturday against the Marlins. Niese gave up just one run over seven innings and struck out six. Outside of a few bumps in the road, he has been a very good pitcher and is just 23 years old. There is going to be a concern about Niese's hamstring and him suffering another injury but when he is on the mound he is proving that he has a bright future. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Niese is a commanding presence on the mound and pitching in Citi Field doesn't hurt either.
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Colby Rasmus is on another nice hot streak and he should absolutely be in your lineups at this point. He now has five multiple hit games in the last seven, including three home runs and nine RBI. This kid has a world of potential and is going to be a multiple time All-Star in his career. There might be some growing pains and cold streaks during the season for Rasmus, but I still think he is a guy who can be your third outfielder or a solid option for your utility spot. Put him in your lineup and just leave him there and in September you will be glad you did.
Those of you who picked up Chris Narveson and were riding his hot streak, it is officially time to jump off that bandwagon. He didn't take the loss on Saturday, but Narveson gave up four earned runs and walked five in just six innings. That is now four of his last five starts that Narveson has allowed four earned runs or more and that is enough for me to send him to free agency where he belongs.
Aramis Ramirez decided to show up at the ballpark today and that was the first time in quite a while that he decided to do that. Before his three hit game on Saturday he had just two hits in the last ten days. He has driven in 22 runs this season, but Aramis is hitting just .171 on the year. Is it worth holding on to him? That is an interesting question and doesn't have an easy answer. Personally I think that the Cubs are a total train wreck for 2010 and I am not sure that they will get it together. Put that together with the fact that Ramirez isn't a young pup anymore (he's about to turn 32 later in the month) and the career full of injuries seems like it is catching up with him. I still think it might be a hair too early to drop him, but I am getting close to pulling the plug on him.
Neil Walker continues to tear up National League hitting since being inserted into the starting second base spot, replacing Akinori Iwamura. Walker had his sixth multi-hit game in his last ten contests and has driven in six runs in those games. A first round pick of the Pirates six years ago, Walker projects to be a guy who could hit for a pretty good average in the majors, and probably top off at about the high teens as far as home runs are concerned. With second base eligibility he becomes someone worth picking up, especially if your league requires a middle infield spot.
Todd Wellemeyer possibly took a big step towards the promotion of stud prospect Madison Bumgarner when he was tattooed by the Pirates today lowering his record to 3-5. Wellemeyer's ERA is now near 6.00 and I have thought that his first bad start after June 1 would be the day that Bumgarner gets the call. He doesn't make a lot of money and nearly lost the job to Bumgarner in the Spring so there should be no surprise when Wellemeyer is put in the Giants' bullpen where he belongs. There is absolutely no reason to have Wellemeyer on your team, and those of you who play the rookie game should be monitoring the news for when young Mr. Bumgarner is coming to San Francisco.
Speaking of top prospects, I have read reports that Marlins' superstud Michael Stanton will be called to the majors on Tuesday and those of you looking for any sort of outfield help should be making the move RIGHT NOW to get this kid. Stanton has massive power potential and could hit 30 bombs in a full season as soon as now. The dude is 6'5" and 240 pounds and is just 20 years old. He will be terrorizing National League pitching from the start and is keeper league GOLD right now.
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Speaking of National League pitching, on the Sunday night Fighting Chance Radio podcast, my co-host Jeff Mans said that if Dontrelle Willis comes to Arizona and becomes a viable fantasy pitcher again that they should cancel the National League considering how bad he was for Detroit. Well, attention Bud Selig, you might want to consider cancelling the National League! The D-Train threw six shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies. He even walked four batters but the Rockies couldn't even push one run across the board and Willis earned a win in his D'Backs debut. I need to see another good start before I consider adding Willis, I am just not buying that all of a sudden he is going to be worthwhile, even in the National League.
Luke Hochevar continues to frustrate fantasy players as he has a hard time putting a string of good starts together, and every time you think he is going to go down the wrong path he has an outing like Saturday. Hochevar took his fourth loss of the season, but he deserved so much better. He struck out ten over seven innings and gave up just one earned run. Hochevar was the number one overall pick in 2006 and one of these days he is going to put this together and be a great Major League pitcher. For now he might not be a guy you should have on your roster regularly and might be better as a pitch and ditch option but I am telling you at some point he is going to turn the corner and you will want him on your team at that point.
Jhoulys Chacin had a little bit better outing on Saturday which is good considering he has struggled his past couple of times to the mound. Chacin gave up just three earned runs (four total) over 5.2 innings, but made up with that by striking out nine batters. I think that at some point Chacin might end up back in the minor leagues, but even if he doesn't there will definitely be some growing pains with the young Rockies' pitcher. That being said I would continue to start him while he is with the big club and hope that he does turn things around a little more and becomes an even better fantasy option. He is going to be a stud one day, I just wonder if that day will be in 2010.
Hey, did you notice that Delmon Young has 32 RBI because I didn't. The number one pick in the 2003 draft has certainly had an interesting career since he threw that bat at the umpire a number of years ago. Young has never come close to fulfilling that enormous potential that we were promised. He is still hitting just .270 and only has five home runs so it isn't like he is someone that you have to run out to add, but if he is available in your league and you can use some help in the outfield, Young might be a guy to consider. If he ever really ever does put it together Delmon could be special.
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