Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the weekend in baseball and how it affects your fantasy team.
Martin Perez, SP, Rangers
Perez made his major league debut Saturday night against Oakland. The 21-year-old southpaw had five strikeouts and gave up six hits, one walk and two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He had struggled in the minor leagues this season with a 1.29 K/BB ratio at AAA. However, he has been better in the past and there is reason to be excited about his future.
Chris Young, SP, Mets
Young has only started 13 games since 2010, but his numbers during that stretch are among the best in baseball. He has a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, compared to Roy Halladay’s 2.60 ERA and 1.05 WHIP and Cliff Lee’s 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. This season, he has started five games, his greatest workload since 2009. The last time he made 20 starts was in 2007.
Jim Thome, Orioles
Thome spent his first 12 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and has since been on seven teams over the last 10 years. Moving to Baltimore allows him to play more regularly as a designated hitter. He has had 40 home runs in 553 at-bats over the last two years and could bring some power to the Orioles’ lineup and your fantasy team.
Shaw also discusses three players whose slumps have ended and who are putting up big numbers in recent weeks. First is Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who has six home runs, 24 RBI and a .333 average in 19 games since June 9th. Second, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has seven home runs, 19 RBI and a .377 average in 15 games since June 16th. Finally, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has a .423 average, one home run and three RBI in his last seven games.
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BY ROB SHAW
The New York Mets can finally move on from the loss of Jose Reyes, as they opened the season with two straight wins against the Braves. The team has accomplished the hot start because of the rise of young talent including Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Ike Davis as well as some help from old friends most notably David Wright and Johan Santana.
The two wins were not exactly expected. Mets fans had been in mourning for several months as the news of the Madoff scandal attracted the most attention and the poster boy for the Mets reversal of financial fortune was the loss of the greatest shortstop in franchise history, Jose Reyes to the rival Marlins.
Wright understands as much as anyone how difficult it is to replace a talent like Reyes, but he also knows that the team has to move on, “You know one player, granted he’s very good and he’s a great player and great teammate, but you cannot worry about who is not here. I have a tremendous relationship with Jose, I’ve got a ton of respect for him, like I said, I think he’s one of the best position players to put this Mets uniform on, but that’s not how this game works, we’ve still got games to play and games to win and we need other players to step up and fill that void,” said Wright.
Another former teammate of Reyes and Wright, Endy Chavez explains the shock he felt when word came out that Reyes was no longer a Mets shortstop, “That was unbelievable, I understand this is a business, but to Reyes leaving New York, just saying Jose Reyes is like saying New York Mets, so it’s something crazy, but you know things happen in baseball and that’s one of those things.”
Finally, Reyes himself understands that he has to move on. His role goes from helping the Mets to now competing against them with a long-time rival, “You know in the beginning it was a little weird for me because all of my career I played with David the same thing, but now I have to adjust to the new team, so I know I was there with David for a long time and we every year became very good friends, I’m going to miss David and I wish him all the best.”
While the loss of Reyes is certainly hard to swallow for Mets fans, one thing that would make it easier is the return to prominence of Wright. The 29-year-old franchise player has tallied five hits and two RBI through the first two games of the season. It looks like the drawn in fences could be exactly what Wright needs to get his confidence back. The young up-and-coming Mets look at Wright to set the tone.
“Huge, huge key for us, David is. Not only as a player, but clubhouse guy. He’s awesome in the clubhouse and he keeps us motivated, we follow him and where he goes we go,” says Mets slugger Lucas Duda.
First baseman Ike Davis adds on Wright, “Definitely a big part of our lineup and he’s going to be the leader of the team and it’s really exciting seeing him play again.”
Meanwhile, the pitching has been great and the biggest surprise of them all is Johan Santana. After picking up 29 wins the first two seasons with the Mets, Santana has just 11 over the last two seasons, missing all of 2011 due to surgery. However, he was back on the hill on Opening Day and gave the type of performance that will gain confidence in the ball club.
“He’s been the bright spot so far this spring, just his health, the way he’s throwing the ball, so I’m excited about what he’s going to bring to the table this year, and it will be a lot of fun to play defense behind him,” says Wright.
As impressive as the Mets have been, this is still very much a rebuilding year. In fact, if Jason Bay and/or Johan Santana can sustain their production, there is a really good chance that they will get traded. The Mets may be able to hang around .500 for the majority of the season, but the bright days ahead will be when their top pitching prospects develop into stars that can compete with Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg on the Nationals. Maybe then, the big three in Philadelphia will no longer be in their prime. The question is whether David Wright will still be a Mets third baseman.
By Eno Sarris //
Angel Pagan finally stayed healthy and showed what he was capable of for a full
season, racking up 11 homers, 69 RBI, 77 runs scored, 35 steals and a .289 average with a week left to play. At 29, he’s probably peaking. But another full season of playing time could easily produce similar numbers.
Pagan will most likely take over center field from one of the year’s biggest busts, Carlos Beltran. Knee surgery may have stolen much of his athleticism – he
hasn’t looked good this year after his late return. He is, at best, a
late (very late) sleeper in next year’s drafts. Then again, more was
expected of Jason Bay than Beltran, so he gets the title of biggest Mets bust – a much sought after trophy in some circles. Because of how long
isolated power numbers take to become reliable, though, Bay could be useful in
2011. A late-round pick could produce a rebound in homers in year two with the Mets.
2011 Keeper Alert
This team has the obvious keepers in mixed leagues – David Wright and Jose Reyes are near the top of their respective careers and positions and make fine keepers. The big question is what will happen with Ike Davis.
He needs to either add more power or make more contact – middling power
with a middling batting average doesn’t make for a fantasy superstar, especially not at first base.
Looking at his minor league numbers, the bet here is that he does add
the power, but doesn’t ever show a plus batting average because of his
strikeout rate and uppercut swing.
2011 Regression Warning
enough, most of this team either hit at about their true talent levels
or is on their way up. Perhaps because of injury risk, Pagan is the
only one who is likely to regress, but he still makes a fine
By R.J. Anderson //
Ike Davis made his Major League debut on Monday night and he’s already a fan favorite. The new Mets first baseman has the luxurious job of replacing Mike Jacobs, who represented the lowest common denominator amongst big league first basemen before the Mets sent him packing. The Mets could put Charlie Brown there and the fans would respond by cheering the comic strip covering first base until the wind inevitably swept him deep into the Gotham night.
Davis has the lineage to be a successful baseball player. The 23-year-old – born Isaac – is the son of former big league pitcher Ron Davis. After a stellar career at Arizona State, the Mets nabbed Davis with the 18th selection in the 2008 draft – a few slots after teammate Brett Wallace was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. Davis has since flown through the Mets’ minor league system, with an abrupt stop in Triple-A for all of 10 games. His 2009 Double-A statistics through 233 plate appearances were pretty solid: .309/.386/.565, but Davis’ overall minor league statistics were .288/.371/.467.
The obvious question is now whether Davis holds fantasy value in non-keeper leagues. Well, he’s the best fantasy option the Mets have at first base, which should give those in National League-only leagues reason to add him. For the rest, it’s worth waiting and seeing.
Along with the New York prospect hype, Davis hit two home runs in that short Triple-A stint. Do not buy into a sudden power surge though, since he previously hit 20 homers, with seven of those coming below Double-A. Remember, he was a college pick and a college first baseman at that. The expectation levels are higher than normal. Baseball America ranked Davis as the Mets’ fourth-best prospect. Noting that his swing has the tendency to become pull-happy and that his swing was rather long, leaving him likely to strike out quite a bit.
Those skills translate to fantasy leagues as:
– OK average
– Decent power
– No threat to steal bases
– Some chances for runs (both batted in and scored)
– Lots of strikeouts
That’s not to say Davis won’t eventually become a decent major leaguer. He might even be decent out of the gate. But the hype can mostly be explained by post-Jacobs depression alleviation. If the Mets fan in your local league is buying into it, then by all means, allow him to claim Davis first. He’s just not a great fantasy option right now for standard 10- and 12-team mixed leagues.
For more on upcoming young players like Ike Davis, check out Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools.