Here are a few National League-centric takes and proclamations from the world of baseball:
1. There is nothing ho-hum about Giancarlo Stanton's month-long run of fantasy destruction.
Four multiple-hit games. Six homers. Ten victories. Thirteen RBI. One walk-off grand slam.
It's already been quite a May for Stanton and the Marlins, who shocked the Mets with a six-run 9th on Sunday to improve to 18-16 for the season (fourth in the National League East). And once again, I felt indebted to the fantasy gods for passing on two Stanton-themed trades just three weeks ago...at a time when his balky knee was a major concern...at a time when I was seriously questioning the adjusted power projections of an outfield that included Stanton and Arizona's Justin Upton.
And yet, I declined both offers—for reasons I cannot fully explain (outside of the almighty "patience is a virtue").
From this point forward, AccuScore.com has Stanton projected for 25.3 homers (giving him 31 total) and 69 RBI (87 total). I'll buy the concept of 30 or more homers, but the 87 RBI seems a tad low, especially when Jose Reyes (83.6) and Hanley Ramirez (72) are projected to score 156 combined runs from May 14-Sept. 30. Stanton may fall short of 100 RBI...but 93-95 seems eminently doable.
2. In Tommy Hanson's case, nothing quiets an unruly mob like a nine-strikeout, one-run outing against the defending champs.
On May 3, just hours after Hanson's sluggish start against the Phillies, I received six emails or Tweets from irate fantasy owners, demanding a reason for the Braves righty's so-so start to the season. Was he hurt? Was his new throwing motion killing his velocity? Was he a product of too much hype back in March?
For each question of that ilk, I calmly reminded the masses that, in just three seasons, Hanson has become a lock for 11 wins, a sub-3.70 ERA, sub-1.20 WHIP and 165 strikeouts.
So, why all the doubts? Why no faith in Hanson eventually righting the ship and forging strong numbers from May to September?
On Sunday, Hanson needed only five innings to register nine strikeouts against the Cardinals. It wasn't the most dominant of performances for the 25-year-old red-beard (one run, three walks, five hits), but it was a timely reminder that Hanson (4-3, 3.43 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 43/19 K-BB) has earned the benefit of the doubt in the fantasy biz. He's earned the right to not be questioned after random outings.
It sounds trite (and boring), but let things play out with Hanson. His numbers will be there in the end.
3. Fantasy owners, be prepared to pay through the nose to acquire Joey Votto in trade talks.
Before Sunday's three-homer explosion against the Nationals, it would have been tough to concoct a one-for-one trade involving Votto (four hits, four runs, six RBI); but in the wake of his scintillating afternoon—which included the walk-off winner—it would be darn near impossible to execute a simple Votto swap, short of Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp or maybe Carlos Gonzalez carrying the torch.
Headed into April, Votto was a top-six overall asset and early candidate to capture NL MVP honors. At the very least, he was the second-most valuable fantasy asset (behind Kemp), given the Senior Circuit's stunning lack of high-end talent at first base.
With Sunday's output, it doesn't seem like Votto (5 HR, 24 RBI, 21 runs, 2 steals, .319 batting, 1.059 OPS) has slipped one bit from that preseason assessment.
Here are some random, but plausible one-for-two trade scenarios involving Votto:
Votto for Ian Kinsler/Michael Bourn
Votto for Justin Verlander/Jason Kipnis
Votto for CC Sabathia/Billy Butler
Votto for Dan Haren/Matt Wieters
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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