We missed last week, as we true Americans were busy getting things from the NFL Draft and UDFA signings in order and evaluating them. If you didn’t see me do such, go to my Twitter account, and start asking me some questions about it. But as we know, this is baseball season and, even though this article will be here year round for NFL, MLB, and NBA, baseball is the main priority right now for those of you not in dynasty football leagues, which we do recommend you join. Anyway, enough of my excuses and onto baseball!
This is CJ4k. As he has only struck-out four times in the last seven games, collected a hit seven of nine games, and had four multi-hit games in those nine games. He isn’t walking much, but with an average of .311, he doesn’t need to. His BABIP is an unsustainable .406, but in 2010, he had a BABIP of .387. He’s seeing the ball better than he did two years ago, so it’s not out of the question to think that he could repeat those numbers, where he had an average of .308, and 11 homeruns. He has more pop than that as he enters a year where he just turned 27, which could be his prime. On Wednesday, Johnson went 4-for-4 with two homeruns and seven RBI. Meaning that, if he can hit 10 more, he will have surpassed his career high. It’s not that hard to do. Ride his hot-hand in 12-or-more-team roto leagues, or deep head-to-head leagues where you need batting average. He offers that–with minimal pop–but has some decent upside. Trust me on this, he is worth a pickup.
If you have paid any attention to any ‘pick-up’ articles this year, you will have come across the name of Bryan LaHair, who has an amazing .388 batting average, to go along with seven homeruns and 16 runs. Notice how I mentioned an unsustainable BABIP in the blurb about Chris Johnson? What about a .543 Batting Average on Balls in Play? That’s crazy. There’s little reason to think he will keep that up, along with his average in the stratosphere, so with the way competitors are gawking over him right now, it would be a smart move to try and deal him away before he comes back down to earth, and isn’t called the next Joey Bats, as he’s Mike Morse-lite.
For this next player, we will be looking at two doors: Door ‘A’ and Door ‘B’. Door A is an underrated former top Braves prospect with 17 runs, 8 stolen bases, two homeruns and an average of .273. The other Door, ‘Door B,’ has a veteran superstar that is respected by everyone, but has show regression this year. Such player, has a .310 Batting Average, two steals, one homer, and 11 runs. Which do you prefer? Jordan Schafer (A) or Ichiro (B)? We expect Ichiro to come around and have a better average, but the price tags on these players are much different, as one is a proven all-star, and the other is a former top prospect who, before this year, hadn’t proven much. But by watching every Astros game, I have seen Schafer change his approach, drawing 12 walks thus far, and battling pitchers deep into the count. Schafer is a fun, young player to watch, and Ichiro is definitely a buy-low candidate if you can get him. Both players are worth looking at in this case.
This next paragraph will be a collection of closers: Carlos Marmol has been relieved of his closing duties and Rafael Dolis will likely see the majority of the save situations, as he closed on May 4th, in a 5-4 game, in which he came through with the save against the Cardinals. This would purely be speculation to add Dolis, but Marmol should not be owned in any leagues, after struggling mightily last year, and performing like dung this year. Obviously, the money doesn’t matter. Also keep an eye on Heath Bell, who can’t seem to shed the thoughts of his new contract, with an ERA of 11.74, WHIP of 2.74, 0-3 W/L record, and 3-for-6 on save chances. While manager Ozzie Guillen says that Bell will still be the closer, owners should look at Steve Cishek, who seems to be next in line, if the role does get away from Bell, which could happen with numbers like those above. Chris Sale has been moved into the closer role, due to mechanical issues, loss of velocity, and elbow soreness. This means that Hector Santiago will be moved to a middle relief role, not setup, and should not be owned in any leagues. Also, if anyone has been watching ESPN lately, Mariano Rivera tore his ACL, and will remain out for the year. Whether David Robertson or Rafael Soriano closes, you can bet that they will se a lot of opportunities, and our money is on Soriano, due to the fact that A, he is being paid a ton, and B, that he has more experience as a closer.
Peavy screams of sell high. Whether or not Petco Park was protecting him, he was a good pitcher with the Padres, but in his last two years with the White Sox, Peavy has struggled, posting a 4.63 ERA in 2010, and 4.92 ERA last year. Therefore, when I say sell high, I MEAN sell high. He can’t maintain a 1.67 ERA with an xFIP of 3.72 and 57.1 Fly Ball Percentage. Get what you can now before he heads south for the summer.