On Deck Circle: Top 75 Batters, Week 6

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On Deck Circle: Top 75 Batters, Week 6
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"Say whaaaaaat ?!"

It's a common phrase we use when something is said that really surprises us. It's something so surprising you do not believe it at first and as the messenger to repeat the message so you can make sure you heard correctly.

Like most things in life, this saying can be applied to fantasy baseball.

April is especially a "say what?!" month because with just one month's worth of data, numbers tend to be very skewed so here are my "say what?!" player of the 2010 season so far:

 

My 2010 "Say Whaaaaat ?!" Team

C –  Jason Varitek – 39 PA/5 HR/.800 SLG
1B – Paul Konerko – Leads MLB with 13 home runs
2B – Kelly Johnson/Ty Wigginton – Lead all second basemen with 10 home runs
3B – Casey McGehee – Second among 3B in RBI (28)
SS – Alex Gonzalez – Leads all shortstops in HR (10), RBI (27) and SLG (.594)
OF – Andruw Jones – Nine home runs and six steals in 107 plate appearances
OF – Juan Pierre – Leads MLB with 15 steals…and has a .292 OBP
OF – Austin Jackson - Has a .371 BA and…and a .511 BABIP ...Just sayin’

Click here for the original article and a list of my top 75 hitters.

 

Surging

Juan Pierre, OF, Chicago White Sox

I mentioned Juan Pierre in my “say what?!” team above , but it was more because I could not believe that he led the league in steals despite posting an on-base percentage that is 50 points lower than his career average. Over the last week, Pierre has batted .313 and has a .353 OBP that has led to five steals. If he can continue to get on base at a decent rate, it is not crazy to think he can approach 60-70 steals this year.

Vladimir Guerrero, DH, Texas Rangers

It will be interesting to see how Vladimir Guerrero will respond to the hot summer days in Texas, but for now he seems like he’s back to his old self. He has batted .360 over his last seven games and hit four home runs and led the league with 13 RBI. The Rangers’ lineup is no joke and he should continue to get plenty of RBI opportunities batting in the cleanup spot.

Victor Martinez, C/1B, Boston Red Sox

Victor Martinez had a horrendous April, in which he batted .238 with one home run and five RBI. However, so far in May he has two home runs and nine RBI in just nine games. The entire Red Sox offense is starting to come around and Martinez will love to have the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury back in the leadoff role in the next week or two.

 

Falling

Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

Yikes! May has not been kind to Carlos Pena as he has come to the plate 34 times and walked back to the dugout empty handed 31 times. Out of those 31 failed at-bats, 13 were of the strikeout variety, which is downright embarrassing. By this time, you should know what Pena is and what he isn’t so a slump like this is not out of the norm. He will kill your batting average, but should provide you with 35-40 home runs so there is some value in that.

Chone Figgins, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners

What has happened to Chone Figgins? I’ve been holding on to hope that he will turn around his season, but he is currently sitting on a .185 batting average and while he is walking more this year (17.5 BB%), his strikeouts are much higher as well (27.8 K%). He is affected by a very low .247 BABIP , especially for a speedster and his .194 BABIP on grounders is 70 points lower than his career average. All is not lost for Figgins, but he needs to get it going fast.

Hunter Pence, OF, Houston Astros

Through my traveling as a freelance writer, I actually had the opportunity to talk to Hunter Pence at a Reebok event in January and I asked him if he had big things in store for us fantasy owners in 2010. Naturally, as a Pence owner myself in 2009, I was left both excited and disappointed at the end of the season, but it has become clear to me that when Pence told me he wouldn’t disappoint this season he was lying right to my face.

Well, Mr. Pence, not only have you discouraged me from asking other baseball players fantasy-related questions in the future, but you are hereby shunned from my fantasy teams FO -RE-VER . Yes, I displayed absolutely no stats in this paragraph so here is a link to his Yahoo! player page .

 

Pickup of the Week

Mike Aviles , SS, Kansas City Royals

Mike Aviles was everyone’s favorite sleeper middle infielder for the 2009 season. Thirty-six games and a .183 batting average later, Aviles was a huge bust. He was recently called up from Triple-A when Alex Gordon was demoted and in eight games Aviles has batted .417 with two home runs and five runs. He is definitely worth a look because he plays a very shallow position that is full of underachieving players such as Alexei Ramirez, Yunel Escobar and Asdrubal Cabrera.

 

On the Mend

Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas Rangers

Cruz was placed on the DL on April 27 with a hamstring cramp and the rest has appeared to work wonders. He is scheduled to start a rehab assignment today and if all goes well he should be back in the major leagues by Thursday or Friday. Hamstring injuries are always unpredictable but it seems like Cruz owners should prepare to activate the slugger very soon.

 

Down on the Farm

Brett Wallace, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

How does Brett Wallace sleep at night? He has nine home runs in 31 games down at Triple-A to go along with a triple slash line of .294/.361/.597. Then he looks up at the current Blue Jays lineup and sees Lyle Overbay starting at first base and he is slugging .301 in 32 games.

Yes, you read that right. Overbay’s slugging percentage is almost the same as Wallace’s batting average. It is only a matter of time before Wallace gets the call to the big leagues and once he is up he will show that he has the ability to get on base and hit for decent power.

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