Yesterday, fellow MLFS writer 65 Mustangs, wrote a piece about his draft day risks and how they’ve panned out. Sticking with a similar theme, I am going to review my first post for MLFS, in which I offered two players off to slow starts that I recommended adding, as well as two “stash” type players that didn’t offer immediate value but potentially could down the road. Let’s see how my advice from late May (the 18th to be specific) holds up today in late July.
Jason Heyward: Heyward was hitting a lowly .205/.304/.315 at the time of my post and has improved his line for the season to .261/.350/.380, including hitting .282/.368/.401 in June and July. While these numbers show an improvement, the potential power that I originally wrote about (ability to hit for 60+ extra-base hits) has still not happened this season. Heyward had just three home runs at the time of my post, and although he doubled this amount since bringing his total to nine, his Isolated Power (ISO) is just .119, or 14th worst among qualified outfielders. Despite this lack of power, Heyward’s fantasy value has been somewhat salvaged because of his runs batted in (RBI). From the first game of the season until June 17th, Heyward was the leadoff hitter for the Braves. He was moved to the 5th spot on June 18th and has hit there since, allowing for more opportunities to hit with runners on base. He had just 16 RBI in March, April, and May, yet has 26 RBI in June and July, bringing his total to 42. Heyward has certainly improved since the writing of my post in May, but he has still not lived up to expectations of a preseason top-60 fantasy player (according to Yahoo!). However, if he continues to improve in the last two months of the season like he has in June and July, he could come close to his preseason ranking. Hopefully you were able to find a desperate owner willing to sell low on Heyward because if you gave up a lot for him, chances are it hasn’t paid off…yet.
Carlos Santana: Santana is hitting .232/.371/.456 this season and those numbers might not look great, but considering he was hitting .154/.324/.301 on May 18th, this is a huge improvement. His June/July numbers look even better as he’s hitting .311/.421/.621 over these two months. I mentioned that Santana still had a decent on-base percentage (.324) in spite of his terrible batting average (.154) because of his ability to draw walks, and that “it’s just a matter of time before the doubles and home runs return as well.” While the doubles have remained relatively constant (seven in March/April/May to nine in June/July), his home run totals have skyrocketed. Hitting just six over his first 50 games (which covers March/April/May), Santana has hit 14 home runs in 45 games in June/July, bringing his total to 20. His ISO is up to .224, which ranks 7th best among first basemen and would easily be first among catchers if he has catcher eligibility in your league. There are only four first basemen with more home runs than him, and none with a higher walk percentage than his 17.3%, which actually leads all of baseball. Santana has been on fire as of late, which could partially be due to a position change. He started the season switching between third base, catcher, and designated hitter, but since June 6th (coincidentally his first game played in June), Santana has only played first base or been the DH. He offers more value at the catcher position, but his power numbers are among the elite at the first base position as well. If you heeded my advice and were able to add Santana in May (or even June), it is likely paying off hugely for you right now.
Jason Motte: The first of my “stash” players was Motte, as he was on the DL in May and closer Trevor Rosenthal was struggling for the Cardinals. Motte came off the DL and pitched just three days after my post, but unfortunately has not received any save opportunities this season. Rosenthal has righted the ship and has posted a 2.70 Fielder Independent Pitching (FIP) on his way to racking up 32 saves. Worse for Motte is that he’s pitching in more of a middle-relief role than as the setup man, meaning he is not close to earning save opportunities for the Cardinals. He’s pitched just 20 innings this year so it’s a very small sample size, but his numbers aren’t good. He has a 4.95 earned run average (ERA) and an even worse 6.43 FIP, to go along with a huge drop-off in his strikeout percentage (17.1% this season compared to 25.6% for his career). Again, it’s a small sample size, but Motte hasn’t given the Cardinals a reason to have faith in him. This was a swing and a miss for me, but considering the minimal to no risk in acquiring him for the potential high reward, I’d still give the same advice again if I had to.
Oswaldo Arcia: Arcia was playing in triple-A Rochester for the Twins at the time of my post and was recalled shortly after. My argument for adding him was that the outfield for the Twins was struggling and that Arcia offered good power potential. He has 16 extra-base hits through 54 games, which equates to roughly 50 extra-base hits over a full season, but he’s struggling otherwise. He went on a nice streak after being recalled, basically peaking on June 5th when his line was .302/.313/.587. He is now hitting just .221/.303/.385 for the season, yet his ISO of .164 would be good for 25th best among outfielders if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Again, he isn’t offering much besides decent power and his 30.3 strikeout percentage would be second worst among outfielders, again if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. He also is not getting any protection in the lineup as he hits between the likes of Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe, both of whom are struggling this season. I still believe in Arcia’s power, but he looks a bit lost at the plate right now. You can write Arcia off for this season until he we see if he can figure out MLB pitching or not, but he’s a guy to keep an eye on for the future.
As always, follow me on Twitter @BenBBruno and let me know your thoughts there or in the comments below.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio This Sunday August 3rd from 11:30am-12:30pm EST we will have two guests Chase Jacobs and Ryan Ingram. Chase is a writer for majorleaguefantasysports.com and an owner in MLFF Champions League. Ryan is a writer as well and also an owner in MLFF league one. We will be discussing Tight Ends and Running Backs primarily. Sports Palooza Radio Network is who we owe thanks to in providing the platform. You can call in live at 646.915.8596, you can listen online live, or you can download the podcast.
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