called-shots

Called Shots: Week 4

The biggest stories of the season so far have been the power outbursts by players who always had the potential, but had not displayed it consistently at the major league level.  Justin Upton has continued his hot start and has 9 home runs through the first three weeks to lead MLB.  Bryce Harper is right on his tail with 7 jacks, and tied with him is Chris Davis who is hitting .403 to go along with his 7 bombs.  Surprisingly, Dexter Fowler also has 7 home runs, as well as catchers J.P. Arencibia and John Buck.  I’m not sure what we can expect from Buck moving forward, but I’d ride the hot streak while it lasts.  For Arencibia, we’ve always known he has the power, but how much will he hurt you in the batting average department (currently hitting .250)?  Meanwhile, Matt Kemp has yet to go yard and has the same home run total as Giancarlo Stanton who is off to another slow start.

  1. Ryan Braun – The only player in baseball to have 100 runs and 100 ribs the past four years and with 30+ steals the past two seasons, he is the most complete player in fantasy baseball.
  2. Miguel Cabrera – Miggy hasn’t gotten into a power groove yet, but you can’t complain about a .355/.430/.500 line.
  3. Joey Votto – After a 1-12 stretch last week, Votto busted out with a 4-6 night with a home run on Saturday, followed up by a 3-5 performance with another home run on Sunday.  Votto is hitting .328/.522/.516 going into week four.
  4. Justin Upton – Leads the majors with 9 home runs and has as much potential as any player in the game.
  5. Carlos Gonzalez – At 27-years-old, he is ready for a career year and he’s playing like it right now with 4 HR, 4 SB, a .303 ISO and a line of .364/.442/.667.
  6. Bryce Harper – The question heading into 2014 drafts will be do I take Harper in the top 10, or the top 5? Harper already has 7 home runs, is hitting .369 and slugging .738.
  7. Prince Fielder – He is walking at a 14% clip, has a princely .304 ISO and a .333 batting average to boot.
  8. Robinson Cano – A career year looks to be on its way, as Cano could not have started much better than 5 HR to go along with a .296 ISO and a line of .324/.385/.620.
  9. Mike Trout – After just one stolen base attempt through the first few weeks, Trout has picked up the pace with two steals on Sunday to give him three for the year.  He is hitting .307 and has two homers to go along with the three steals, but it is still hard not to feel underwhelmed after he set the bar so high last year.
  10. David Wright – David Wright is looking like he did in his days as a perennial first round pick, walking more than he strikes out (19.7% to 13.2%) and hitting for power (2 HR) and plenty of speed (5 SB).
  11. Troy Tulowitzki – Tulo is doing his thing, but the injury concern will not go away until it is October and he’s been on the field for six straight months.  As it is right now, he’s performing as well as anyone in the game with six home runs leading to a lights out .362 ISO and a slash line of .328/.400/.690.
  12. Matt Kemp – Finally showing some signs of life, Kemp has 3 steals the past two days, but is yet to hit a home run.
  13. Andrew McCutchen – McCutchen is just trucking along, with 2 HR and 6 SB so far.  His BABIP has dropped 84 points from where it was at the end of last year but we should expect that to bounce back and improve his batting average which is currently at .273 closer to .300.
  14. Adam Jones – On the surface Jones is not doing anything much different than he has in the past.  He still is not taking walks, and his ISO and K% are at similar rates to his career.  His .365 batting average has been fueled by a .429 BABIP, but the one major difference in his game is a 27% line drive rate that has sustained his inflated BABIP.  This rate has been climbing throughout his career from 16.5% in 2009, to 17%, to 17.6%, to 21.5% last year.
  15. Jose Bautista – Joey Bats is doing his thing: taking walks (13.2%) and hitting for power (.304 ISO).
  16. Giancarlo Stanton – Another slow start for Stanton, still, don’t panic yet.  Some players just treat April as if it were extended spring training.  Don’t sell low.
  17. Evan Longoria – A nice steady performance from Longo so far, hitting .281/.356/.500 with 4 HR.
  18. Ian Kinsler – I was very wrong about Kinsler in my initial rankings as he has been on a tear.  He is striking out an incredibly low 7.9% and walking in 10.5% of his plate appearances.  He also has 5 HR and 2 SB with a line of .303/.395/.545
  19. Alex Rios – His torrid start continues, as Rios is well on his way to a possible 30/30 season.
  20. Shin-Soo Choo – Choo is on fire and he has loved hitting in Great American Ballpark, hitting all three of his home runs there and producing a line of .409/.559/.750 in 12 games.
  21. Jason Heyward – Heyward has done next to nothing so far, but it’s too early to panic on a player with his talent.
  22. Starlin Castro – Castro is doing his thing with some power (2 HR) and some speed (2 SB) to go along with a .301 batting average.  A ranking this high assumes he takes another step forward this year, and with a 13 game hitting streak it looks like he is doing just that.
  23. Adrian Beltre – Beltre has been a victim of an incredibly low .207 BABIP as he has made consistent contact (8.3% K-rate) but does not have the hits to show for it.  Looking at his Plate Discipline numbers at FanGraphs, Beltre actually has a lower swing percentage (50%) than he did last year (52%) but his contact on balls outside of the zone has gone up (from 74.6% to 79%) and his contact on balls inside of the zone has gone down (89.5% to 87%).  Beltre will be fine, but right now it looks like he’s pressing too much at the plate.
  24. Dustin Pedroia – Pedroia has yet to hit for an ounce of power (.030 ISO) but is hitting.313 with an incredible 17.3% walk rate and 4 SB.
  25. Adrian Gonzalez – Adrian is enjoying LA so far, hitting .385/.455/.554.  We’re still waiting on the power (2 HR) but you likely didn’t draft him looking for 30+ HR.
  26. Billy Butler – Butler has hit into a lot of bad luck so far, as his .216 BABIP matches his .216 batting average.  His 3 HR are encouraging as well as an 18.8% walk rate compared to a 17.2% strikeout rate.
  27. Matt Holliday – He’s walking (14.7%) more than he strikes out (13.2%) and his batting average has been brought down by bad luck (.261 BABIP).  With a solid .175 ISO Holliday should be fine going forward.  Try to buy low.
  28. Albert Pujols – His plantar fasciitis continues to bother him, and that is an injury that will not go away without weeks of consistent rest.  Either Pujols will go on the Disabled List at some point this season, or this will be an issue that affects him all year long.
  29. Buster Posey – Posey hasn’t done much yet and while we know a hot streak is coming, exactly what to expect from him in 2013 is still a mystery.
  30. Chris Davis – He leads MLB in wOBA (.545) 14 of his 25 hits have gone for extra bases, leading to an insane .452 ISO.
  31. Jacoby Ellsbury
  32. Ben Zobrist
  33. Paul Goldschmidt
  34. Josh Hamilton
  35. Edwin Encarnacion – Edwin is off to a very slow start, and while you should fight the urge to overreact, it’s hard not to when the player doesn’t have an established track record.
  36. Hanley Ramirez
  37. BJ Upton
  38. Desmond Jennings
  39. Joe Mauer
  40. Yoenis Cespedes
  41. Aramis Ramirez
  42. Ryan Zimmerman
  43. Chase Utley
  44. Pablo Sandoval
  45. Jason Kipnis
  46. Brandon Phillips
  47. Mike Morse
  48. Jay Bruce
  49. Ian Desmond
  50. Will Middlebrooks
  51. Todd Frazier
  52. Allen Craig
  53. Yadier Molina
  54. Jimmy Rollins
  55. Alex Gordon
  56. Anthony Rizzo
  57. Brett Lawrie
  58. Carlos Santana
  59. Matt Wieters
  60. Asdrubal Cabrera
  61. Jose Reyes
  62. Jose Altuve
  63. Paul Konerko
  64. Freddie Freeman
  65. Eric Hosmer
  66. Ike Davis
  67. Elvis Andrus
  68. Rickie Weeks
  69. Austin Jackson
  70. Hunter Pence
  71. Nick Markakis
  72. Alcides Escobar
  73. Brett Gardner
  74. Angel Pagan
  75. Nori Aoki
  76. Carlos Gomez
  77. Mark Trumbo
  78. Josh Willingham
  79. Chase Headley
  80. Wilin Rosario
  81. Carl Crawford
  82. Carlos Beltran
  83. Everth Cabrera
  84. Curtis Granderson
  85. Martin Prado
  86. Dexter Fowler
  87. David Ortiz
  88. Salvador Perez
  89. Mike Napoli
  90. Mark Reynolds
  91. Jean Segura
  92. Corey Hart
  93. Mike Moustakas
  94. Kevin Youkilis
  95. Victor Martinez
  96. Jayson Werth
  97. Nelson Cruz
  98. Shane Victorino
  99. Coco Crisp
  100. Evan Gattis
  101. Michael Bourn
  102. Zach Cozart
  103. Alejandro de Aza
  104. Erick Aybar
  105. Carlos Quentin
  106. Josh Reddick
  107. Nick Swisher
  108. Lucas Duda
  109. Lance Berkman
  110. Domonic Brown
  111. Ryan Howard
  112. Daniel Murphy
  113. Howard Kendrick
  114. Kyle Seager
  115. Neil Walker
  116. Adam Dunn
  117. Chris Carter
  118. Adam LaRoche
  119. Melky Cabrera
  120. Ben Revere
  121. Michael Cuddyer
  122. Manny Machado
  123. Jed Lowrie
  124. Dan Uggla
  125. Dayan Viciedo
  126. Pedro Alvarez
  127. David Freese
  128. J.J. Hardy
  129. Colby Rasmus
  130. Alfonso Soriano
  131. Josh Rutledge
  132. Matt Carpenter
  133. Kendrys Morales
  134. Andre Ethier
  135. Jonathan Lucroy
  136. Trevor Plouffe
  137. Starling Marte
  138. Brandon Crawford
  139. Marco Scutaro
  140. Torii Hunter
  141. Justin Morneau
  142. Nate Schierholtz
  143. Jason Kubel
  144. Alexei Ramirez
  145. Michael Young
  146. Chris Johnson
  147. Andrelton Simmons
  148. Justin Ruggiano
  149. Garret Jones
  150. J.P. Arencibia

 

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