Results tagged ‘ Hot Streaks ’
By R.J. Anderson //
Few major league hitters have been hotter over the past 30 days than David DeJesus. The Royals’ outfielder is hitting .442/.500/.611 during that time, with a walk-to-strikeout ratio just under 1.00 and a .500 BABIP. He’s right next to Aubrey Huff, Josh Hamilton, and Robinson Cano for the title of best performer of the past month.
For the season DeJesus is now batting .325/.394/.482; a career best line for the 30-year-old and a well-timed one at that. The trade deadline is a little over a month away. With contenders looking to stock their shelves for a playoff run, DeJesus’ name is bound to pop up more than normal. That’s especially true for clubs like the Atlanta Braves, who could not only use another outfielder, but a top-of-the-lineup bat too. Of course, whether the Royals choose to trade DeJesus is up in the air. They have some internal replacements and it seems like an obvious opportunity to make a deal, yet none of that has really stopped them from doing the unexpected.
DeJesus’ seasonal BABIP is a career high, which suggests that he’s not going to continue getting hits at this pace. He’s not hitting for much additional power either (his ISO – slugging percentage minus batting average – is nearly identical to previous years) so most of these extra hits have been singles. He’s not even walking that much more than normal (a whisker shy of 10%), although he is striking out at a career-low rate, but just barely (a little less than 14%).
DeJesus has always been a consistent hitter; batting at least .285 every season but one since breaking into the majors in 2003. He’s also racked up at least double-digit homers each of the past two seasons and stolen a few bags here and there too.
While that consistency helps, DeJesus’ overall average package isn’t all that exciting for standard 12-team leagues; that most fantasy leagues don’t count defense creates an even bigger gap between his real-life value (substantial) and fantasy value. If you own DeJesus, consider selling high. His numbers stand a good chance of regressing, and the added risk of being him traded to the National League makes it a good time to cash in.
By R.J. Anderson //
Almost every aspect of Brandon Morrow’s career has resembled a roller coaster ride. So is there any surprise that Morrow’s 2010 season is replicating that model?
Drafted by the Seattle Mariners as the fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft ahead of hometown hero Tim Lincecum, Morrow failed to live up to expectations in the great northwest. Struggles with command and health restrictions that kept him in the bullpen for most of his Mariner career marked his downfall. Over the off-season he was dealt to the Blue Jays for reliever Brandon League.
The Jays placed Morrow in the rotation, hoping to squeeze the most value possible out of the right-hander. He’s since made five starts, yielding a 5.46 ERA. Morrow has allowed 17 earned runs, but seven came in one start and 12 came in the first two starts. In his last three starts he’s posted the following line: 19 IP, 25 SO, 10 BB, and a 2.37 ERA.
As always. Morrow features an explosive fastball at
upwards of 96 miles per hour. That velocity, combined with his draft
status, helped Morrow secure an annual position on numerous breakthrough
lists in the past two seasons. The hype makes hot stretches like the
one Morrow is now in difficult to evaluate without bias.
There is reason
to believe this is just a hot stretch, though, and not the new
Morrow has shown short stretches of success in the past, without following through. In September 2008, Morrow made a pair of starts against the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He pitched quite well, striking out a batter per inning and posting a 2.13 ERA. In July 2009 Morrow made four starts in which he struck out 21 and walked nine.
The only change in Morrow’s per nine ratios this season is his strikeout rate and a slight deflation in his home run rate – although he’s allowing the same number of home runs per fly balls hit. That increase in strikeout rate just screams unsustainable. Morrow’s swinging strike rate is up one whiff per 100 pitches – from 10% to 11% — and the only change in pitch approach is the strong implementation of a curveball. It’s interesting to see that Morrow is throwing his curve the most on 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 counts per data from FanGraphs, suggesting the key to his success has been an increase in strikes looking, rather than of the swinging variety.
Reality and history suggest Morrow simply will not continue to strike out more than a batter per inning. Consider that Morrow has only faced two American League East opponents this season (Baltimore and Tampa Bay) and those starts combined to see him walk 11. Also note that he’s yet to face the Red Sox or Yankees.
There’s a chance Morrow can post a sub-4 ERA, but don’t bet on it. If you can sell high, do it.
For more on Brandon Morrow, check out Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools.
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