The National League is much more interesting than the AL this week. One guy, in particular, has me excited for next year, should he get a starting role. I think you’ll figure out who that is as you read.
Josh Hamilton | CIN | OF – Ryan Freel is still on the DL and Hamilton is coming off. He should get regular playing time even with the Reds’ infatuation with Norris Hopper. As long as the injury didn’t affect him much, he should continue putting up good power numbers with a .280-ish batting average. His good walk rate will help him score some runs.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Eddie Guardado | CIN | OF – David Weathers‘s job is pretty safe. I don’t see Everyday Eddie picking up many saves, even if he probably is a better option than Weathers.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep NL-only leagues.
Brian Fuentes | COL | RP – Making rehab appearances, Fuentes might be back in the majors in a week or two. It might take him another couple of weeks after that to regain the closer’s role. Still, if you’re looking for saves, Fuentes is worth stashing. Barring another injury, Fuentes will close in September.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues with a DL-spot.
Bob Howry | CHC | RP – Another decent pickup for save speculators. Ryan Dempster hasn’t pitched very well since returning from the DL, so a trip back to the sidelines is a possibility. He could also be temporarily removed from the role until he regains his form. In either case, Howry would probably get the save chances, even though Carlos Marmol has been pitching well.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.
Ryan Spilborghs | COL | OF – WOW. I was expecting to write how his 10 home runs are flukish, but his HitTracker data is fantastic. 8 went further than 400 true feet, and two went further than 450. Add in a decent 35% fly ball rate, and Spilborghs (gotta get used to spelling that one) could be a nice pickup for teams looking for a late season HR boost. 22% HR/FB doesn’t look so bad anymore. I don’t know if he can stay this hot, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if that number goes up. The downside to his power is that he hits most to center, which will prevent some of the shorter ones from clearing the fence. He also boasts a 83% contact rate, 9% walk, and 20% line drive rate. His .348 BABIP is probably too high, but he could still hit .300 the rest of the way. Isn’t playing everyday, but when he does he could be active in many leagues. If he starts playing more this recommendation would improve, and I would then take him over Josh Hamilton.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.
Byung-Hyun Kim | ARZ | SP – Won’t give you a good ERA or WHIP, but if you’re desperate for strikeouts, Kim is a cheap option.
Recommendation – Should only be owned by teams desperate for strikeouts.
Patrick Misch | SF | SP – Pitched in both AA and AAA this year and last. Showed good control both times at AA, but it wasn’t good in his first stint in AAA. In 65 IP this year there, his BB/9 was 1.53. Of course, it was as a reliever. His K/9 in the majors might not go much higher than 5.00, but he has the ability to show good control. Only alright in regard to ground balls. There are better options.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.
Anthony Reyes | STL | SP – Has always had decent peripherals. K/9 should go above 7.00, but his control is only so-so. More of a fly ball pitcher, posting a 36% xGB%. Better than Misch, less strikeouts than Kim, but puts up enough to be useful without killing your ERA and WHIP.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.
Rick Ankiel | STL | OF – It’ll be interesting to see Ankiel’s HitTracker data tomorrow after his 2 homers tonight. 24% HR/FB and 41% fly ball rate in AAA this year was impressive. Not a good contact hitter, though, and will have a tougher time than Spilborghs finding playing time. Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds, Juan Encarnacion, Ryan Ludwick, and So Taguchi are already in the crowded St. Louis outfield. If you need power, you can try Ankiel, but I think Hamilton and Spilborghs would be better pickups.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.
Shawn Hill | WAS | SP – A good synopsis might call Hill a poor man’s Fausto Carmona. That’s not exactly a compliment, though. Might have a tad lower K/9 with a few less ground balls. Coming off the DL soon, Hill might have a little value.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.
Matt Belisle | CIN | SP – The Reds’ second most skillful starter (behind Aaron Harang) was sent down today. Was a victim of bad luck with a 5.40 ERA and 3.98 LIPS ERA. If he is called back up, it’s a good possibility it will only be to join the bullpen. The Reds don’t even have a definite replacement yet. Another example of poor Reds management. It’s a shame really. A smart MLB team might buy low on Belisle this winter, which would increase his value for next year.
Recommendation – Can be dropped in all but the deepest leagues, unfortunately.