Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Top Pick Ups Around The Diamond - Week 4

C- Kurt Suzuki- Never hit for great average in the minors, but in classic Oakland A's fashion showed he know how to take a pitch and work a walk. Early on this season Suzuki has hit for average and is playing so well that the A's recently hit him lead off, a true rarity for a catcher. Suzuki is playing a bit over his head right now, but he'll be out there almost everyday, so he'll be able to accumulate decent enough stats for the rest of the season. He won't put up any elite numbers, and will probably finish in the middle of the pack for fantasy catchers.

1B- Joey Votto- We said before the season that this was a unique1 1B because he could hit a HR and steal a bag. Votto really struggled the first few weeks, but has turned it on recently and really found his hitting stroke. This is the type of 1B who we really like for the rest of the season to deliver consistent stats on a weekly basis and will be able to help your team with a variety of different stats across all 5 hitting categories. He won't have great power numbers, but will make up for it with SB and a solid AVG.

2B- Kazuo Matsui- Matsui underachieved for the Mets for a few seasons and then was dealt to the Rockies where he managed to turn a solid post season into another big money contract. It's amazing Matsui has not yet been busted for robbery as this will continue his trend of stealing money from major league teams. The Astro's offense will be decent and if Matsui is hitting he can blend right in, but he has shown in the past that he is injury prone and streaky. Those are not great characteristics of a trustworthy fantasy player.

3B- Brandon Wood- I have no idea why he is here, as he is not even in the majors yet. When he is finally allowed to hit on the major league level he will become an 80's type slugger. Look for good power, big K's and .250AVG .

SS- Bobby Crosby- He is hot and I wanted to ignore him but I can't because he is one of the top added SS in all fantasy leagues. I don't like Crosby. At some point he will get hurt, and he is mostly a production of the Oakland A's minor league hype machine, that over rates players to make them more appealing to other major league teams. For a time Oakland had a good run of fine prospects who turned into great major leaguers, but recently the trend has shifted a bit. Crosby, while he can hit, is never healthy enough to do it on a prolonged basis. Best case scenario, pick him up while he is hot and sell high.

OF- Carlos Quentin- One of the many D-Back's outfielders who had a tremendous amount of tools in the shed, but unfortunately couldn't put it together in Arizona. This season Quentin is playing everyday in the Chicago White Sox outfield and has started off hot. While batting only .24o, he does have 14R and 15RBI to go along with 4HR.

One thing I like about Quentin is that he knows how to draw a walk and get on base. Throughout his minor league career and into the majors Quentin has has gotten on base at about a .100 higher rate than his batting average alone shows. The ability to draw a walk really helps a player avoid hot and cold streaks and is paramount for putting up consistent stats throughout the season.

Another positive is that he plays on a very good offensive team in Chicago, so if he is on base there is a decent chance someone will be able to drive him in. He spends most of his time hitting in the 7hole, but could move up in the order if he keeps this production up throughout the season. While there is a lot to like with Quentin, I would add him if I were in a deep league and really needed the offensive boost for my outfield.

OF- Milton Bradley- For years Bradley has been an underachieving head case, who couldn't find a home. More recently however, Bradley has become an achieving head case, who can't find a home. I think for the most part Bradley has yet to reach his potential as a hitter because he is always battling nagging injuries that hurt him at the dish. Last season for the Padres Bradley carried the offense and really was the difference maker in the line up, which is why it hurt them so much when he went down with a bizarre knee injury.

DHing everyday will be good for Bradley. When healthy he plays a very fine outfield, but the problem is Bradley's inability to stay healthy for a prolonged time. I saw he was in left field for the Rangers the other day, and I don't care how good he says he feels, he has no business being out there if the Rangers want the best contribution they can get from him over the course of the season. He is worth a look and grab in all leagues, he is hot and looks healthy for now. Hopefully Ron Washington doesn't feel frisky any more and keeps Bradley in the DH spot where he won't have to worry about the wear and tear of playing the outfield everyday.

OF- Ryan Church- Church was becoming known as more of a platoon guy who wasn't trusted to hit against lefties in Washington, but played a good outfield and could always do enough with the bat to stay productive. With the Mets Church has been moved to the 2 hole in the order recently and has really thrived in the move. He has been walking more and has scored 17R on the season so far, but 7 of those have come in the last week since the move in the batting order.

The move to the 2hole also helps Church because it doesn't force him to try and do too much. In Washington he spend the majority of his at bats in the 4, 5, 6 spots in the line up, where there is more pressure to hit HR and drive in RBIs. In the 2hole Church can just focus on making solid contact and getting on base. The Mets are going to keep Church in the right field and it looks like he is going to play against lefties and righties, both of whom he is mashing against. Go out and get him, he looks like a solid add in all formats.

1 comment:

dchero said...

Great analysis as usual. You guys are the best, keep up the good work.