called-shots

Called Shots: Week 8

With one quarter of the season behind us, the rankings are finally taking shape.  With a huge week, Carlos Gonzalez moves up into the third position and one could easily make an argument for him at #1 overall.  Owners are still waiting for Ryan Braun, Bryce Harper and Justin Upton to get in gear with their wheels, as they collectively have just six stolen bases.  It goes without saying that a lot of their perceived value is in the added stolen base production each of them is expected to provide.

What else can I say about Alex Rios that hasn’t already been said?  Well, how about the fact that he has been every bit as good as Carlos Gonzalez this year.  While CarGo has a superior walk rate (13.9% to 8.9%) Rios has the superior strikeout rate (15.6% to 22.5%).  Rios has also achieved his .301 batting average on a completely legitimate .312 BABIP, compared to CarGo who is hitting .308, but with an unsustainable .358 BABIP.  The only other difference between the two in the power/speed department is CarGo’s one extra stolen base.  If you can acquire Alex Rios for something less than the price of a top 20 player, go for it.

  1. Mike Trout – Trout is on pace for a 30+/30+ season and all of his numbers are trending in the right direction, with the exception of a few less steals than his owners may have hoped for.  Compared to his end of season numbers in 2012, his walks are up, his strikeouts are down and his .239 ISO is one point higher than last season.
  2. Miguel Cabrera – Cabrera’s numbers are also trending upward compared to his MVP/Triple Crown winning season.  His walk rate (10.7%) nearly matches his strikeout rate (11.7%) and both are improvements over 2012.  His ISO is nearly what it was last year (.272 compared to .277) and he is currently flirting with a .400 batting average.
  3. Carlos Gonzalez – CarGo added 3 HR, 3 SB, a .375 batting average and a 1.365 OPS this past week and for the season is now hitting .308/.401/.579 with 10 HR and 8 SB.
  4. Bryce Harper – Harper was in and out of the lineup this past week after his collision with the wall, but he did find time to tally his 11th HR of the year.
  5. Justin Upton – The younger Upton has his walk rate all the way up to 15.7%, which helps to offset his elevated 25.9% strikeout rate.  He’s also started to pick it back up with the bat, hitting .304 with 2 HR and a 1.037 OPS in the past seven days.
  6. Ryan Braun – Braun just keeps trucking along, hitting .375 in the last week and generally pleasing his owners all season long.
  7. Joey Votto – Last week I advised trading for Votto before he finally got hot, and he slammed that window of opportunity shut with a 14/24 week including 2 HR and a 1.572 OPS.  His plate discipline numbers are predictably spectacular: 17.9% walk rate compared to a 17.9% strikeout rate.
  8. David Wright – Wright added 3 more SB this past week and is hitting .315 with a .212 ISO.
  9. Robinson Cano – Steady as he goes, Cano added 2 more HR and has 12 on the year.  He is not walking much (5.9%) but you can see why he wants to continue swinging the bat.
  10. Prince Fielder – Prince has slowed down a bit and is stuck on 9 HR.  However, his lineup provides some measure for his ranking, as he can thank Miguel Cabrera for a large portion of his 37 RBI.
  11. Alex Rios – Rios continues to produce at a Carlos Gonzalez level, so an argument can be made that this ranking is too low for him.  He does not strikeout much (15.6%), is finally taking his walks (8.9%) and his .312 BABIP indicates that his .301 batting average is completely legit.  With 10 HR and 7 SB, he has firmly established himself as an elite player.
  12. Andrew McCutchen – The most impressive part of McCutchen’s season to date is how much contact he is making, as his strikeouts are down all the way to just 10.7%.  Once his .287 BABIP rebounds, a bounty of stolen bases should follow.
  13. Evan Longoria – It was a quiet week for Longoria, but he did hit .292 and remains an elite option at 3B.
  14. Troy Tulowitzki – Tulo’s torrid start has slowed down in the power department, but if he can stay healthy he’ll be competing for a batting title at the end of the year.
  15. Paul Goldschmidt – It was a huge week for Goldschmidt with 3 HR and a .500 batting average.  His .333 average overall is inflated by a .383 BABIP, and he is not likely to keep up a 26.1% HR/FB, so I would trade him away if someone is willing to treat him as a top 10 player.
  16. Shin-Soo Choo – The career year continues for Choo.  He has his ISO up to .241, is walking at a rate of 15.5% and has cut his strikeouts down to 19.3%.  He is on pace for 20 SB and his triple slash line of .309/.456/.549 tells you everything else you need to know.
  17. Adam Jones – The nicest part of Jones’ season so far has been his willingness to steal bases, as he is nearly halfway to his career high of 16 set last season.
  18. Adrian Beltre – Beltre has his batting average all the way up to .291, despite a BABIP of just .284.  He is making more contact than he ever has and is also walking more than in the past, so he should only continue to get better as this season progresses.
  19. Giancarlo Stanton –  Stanton has been running in a pool and will begin jogging soon, but there is still no timetable for his return.
  20. Jose Bautista – Bautista is doing everything we expected of him to begin the year: hit for power, take lots of walks and have a batting average capped at .250.
  21. Buster Posey
  22. Anthony Rizzo
  23. Manny Machado
  24. Dustin Pedroia
  25. Ian Kinsler (DL)
  26. Chris Davis
  27. Edwin Encarnacion
  28. Yoenis Cespedes
  29. Jean Segura
  30. Chase Utley
  31. Carlos Gomez
  32. Billy Butler
  33. Adrian Gonzalez
  34. Matt Holliday
  35. Jason Heyward
  36. David Ortiz
  37. Joe Mauer
  38. Pablo Sandoval
  39. Jason Kipnis
  40. Albert Pujols
  41. Brandon Phillips
  42. Aramis Ramirez
  43. Starlin Castro
  44. Ben Zobrist
  45. Todd Frazier
  46. Matt Kemp
  47. Josh Hamilton
  48. Hanley Ramirez
  49. Jose Altuve
  50. BJ Upton
  51. Desmond Jennings
  52. Ryan Zimmerman
  53. Mike Morse
  54. Ian Desmond
  55. Allen Craig
  56. Yadier Molina
  57. Jimmy Rollins
  58. Alex Gordon
  59. Carlos Santana
  60. Matt Wieters
  61. Asdrubal Cabrera
  62. Dexter Fowler
  63. Wilin Rosario
  64. Starling Marte
  65. Jay Bruce
  66. Austin Jackson
  67. Hunter Pence
  68. Brett Lawrie
  69. Nick Markakis
  70. Everth Cabrera
  71. Alcides Escobar
  72. Angel Pagan
  73. Nori Aoki
  74. Jose Reyes
  75. Elvis Andrus
  76. Mark Trumbo
  77. Mark Reynolds
  78. Josh Willingham
  79. Chase Headley
  80. Carl Crawford
  81. Carlos Beltran
  82. Curtis Granderson
  83. Howie Kendrick
  84. Martin Prado
  85. Mike Napoli
  86. Josh Donaldson
  87. Paul Konerko
  88. Freddie Freeman
  89. Eric Hosmer
  90. Ike Davis
  91. Salvador Perez
  92. Corey Hart
  93. Will Middlebrooks
  94. Mike Moustakas
  95. Kevin Youkilis
  96. Jayson Werth
  97. Nelson Cruz
  98. Shane Victorino
  99. Coco Crisp
  100. Michael Bourn
  101. Alejandro de Aza
  102. Chris Carter
  103. Erick Aybar
  104. Nick Swisher
  105. Nate McLouth
  106. Lucas Duda
  107. Lance Berkman
  108. Justin Morneau
  109. Domonic Brown
  110. Ryan Howard
  111. Michael Cuddyer
  112. Daniel Murphy
  113. Howard Kendrick
  114. Kyle Seager
  115. Zach Cozart
  116. Neil Walker
  117. Adam LaRoche
  118. Victor Martinez
  119. Evan Gattis
  120. Alfonso Soriano
  121. Josh Rutledge
  122. Matt Carpenter
  123. Jed Lowrie
  124. Dan Uggla
  125. Dayan Viciedo
  126. Pedro Alvarez
  127. David Freese
  128. Rickie Weeks
  129. J.J. Hardy
  130. Kendrys Morales
  131. Andre Ethier
  132. Adam Dunn
  133. Jonathan Lucroy
  134. Trevor Plouffe
  135. Marco Scutaro
  136. Torii Hunter
  137. Nate Schierholtz
  138. Jason Kubel
  139. Carlos Quentin
  140. Alexei Ramirez
  141. Michael Young
  142. Brandon Crawford
  143. Andrelton Simmons
  144. Chris Johnson
  145. Garret Jones
  146. J.P. Arencibia
  147. John Buck
  148. Brett Gardner
  149. Vernon Wells
  150. Justin Ruggiano

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