Jose Abreu is someone that I've been warning people about all off-season (see his Player Profile). I look like a buffoon at the moment as Abreu is batting .519 through 52 spring at-bats. Yes, over .500. But, did you notice two key things that I pointed out in that Player Profile? (1) Abreu has one walk in 17 games. You can't have success if walk that infrequently. (2) Despite the scalding spring, Abreu has one homer in those 52 at-bats. One. He also hit seven homers over his last 63 games last season. That's a total of eight homers in his last 80 games. #JustSaying
Mookie Betts has hit .467 through 45 at-bats. Clearly I was totally wrong about him (sarcasm).
Jacoby Ellsbury returned from his oblique strain Wednesday. The club expects that he will be able to play Opening Day.
Desmond Jennings had two more hits Wednesday which pushed his batting average up to .463. Maybe, just maybe, he finally puts it together this season (see his Player Profile).
Rougned Odor is the starting second sacker for the Rangers with the season long injury to Jurickson Profar (he had yet another shoulder operation for those of you that missed the news). Odor hit only .259 as a rookie last year with a mere .297 OBP, but at-bats equal production (usually). Odor had nine homers and seven steals in 386 at-bats which profiles to a 10/10 season in 500 at-bats. No breakout is coming down the pipe, but a solid option off waivers in mixed leagues just might Odor be.
Pete Kozma has a career slash line of .236/.297/.320 over 199 games. He can't hit, so don't buy in to his hot spring start (.435/.438/.457).
It is my b-day today. Timothy Edington left me a great post on Facebook - "I just always assumed Ray was a machine created in a lab somewhere by Matt Berry, Keith Law, and some MIT grads."
So much for Spring Training mattering. Tommy Medica hit .432 with a .811 SLG. His reward? A demotion to Triple-A. To be fair, Padres really did improve their club this offseason.
I was talking to Jeff Mans the other day, and I realized my celebrity crush right now is Lacey Chabert. I mean, can you blame me?
Dalton Pompey is getting a lot of push lately in the fantasy game. Coming into the season ranked as the 30th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 42nd by Baseball Prospectus. As a 21 year old last season ha appeared in Single, Double and Triple-A appearing in 113 games. He hit .317 with a .861 OPS. He doesn't have power, only nine homers last season, but he stole 43 bases. A potential AL ROY contender who could be a nice source of speed in the fantasy game.
Anthony Rendon is likely to miss three weeks with his MCL issue according to Jon Heyman. ‘We're going to begin without out Nos. 1, 2 and 3 hitters from the year before. So with that, it'll give the opportunity to young players to prove they belong,” GM Mike Rizzo said. That's right. Don't forget that Denard Span (core muscle surgery) and Jayson Werth (shoulder surgery) will almost certainly start the season on the DL (it is certain for Span). Sounds like the club will use Yunel Escobar at third and then mix/match Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla at second. How many remember that in 2011 Espinosa had 21 homers and 17 steals and in 2012 he had 17 bombs and 20 steals? Just reminding y'all. Michael Taylor will see a lot of work in the outfield early on. Coming into 2015 Taylor was ranked the 32nd best prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 57th by Baseball Prospectus. As a 23 year old last season he appeared in 110 minor league games hitting .304 with a .915 OPS. He also had 23 homers and 37 steals. He's got game, but he won't have a spot once Werth and Span are healthy, so don't over-invest.
Chase Utley hit two big flies Wednesday. Jeff Mans loves him. I like him. He's a pretty solid option up the middle if you don't hit up the position early.
Luis Valbuena is another guy folks are talking about. He's hitting .404 with a 1.102 OPS this spring. I'll break him down on Friday in my first waiver-wire column of the season.
Let me close out with more Lacey Chabert... I need to help her get into some more trouble..