called-shots

Called Shots: Week 5

Justin Upton finally takes the top spot this week, as there seems to be no way of slowing him down.  David Ortiz makes the biggest jump, from the 87th position to #64 after returning from the DL ten days ago and proceeding to hit .500 so far with 3 HR.  The man in front of Ortiz is the surprising Dexter Fowler.

Fowler was always that prospect who teased teams with his potential but never took the next step until his mini-breakout last year.  The knock on him had been a lack of power, as he hit just 13 HR last year and he has obliterated that notion jacking 8 so far this year en route to a .316 ISO through the first month of the season.  His walk rates have steadily increased from 11.3% in 2009, to 12.1% in 2010, up to 12.8% in 2011 and he is currently sitting at 13.4% this season.  Fowler looks to be for real as a legit 20/20 threat who will help in batting average and be a boon in OBP leagues.

Debuting in the ranks is Nate McLouth at #137.  The man formerly known as “McLousy” had been a fantasy darling back in 2008 when he put up a power/speed combo of 26/23 for the Pirates.  He was then shipped to Atlanta the following year and was seen as just another in the long line of young Pirates stars to be traded away.  After a near 20/20 season in 2009 though, McLouth fell off the face of the fantasy landscape, only to resurface this year as the Orioles have given him another chance after a briefly successful call up last season.  All McLouth has done with that chance is steal eight bases, knock a couple homers and take a free pass at a rate of 16% compared to a strikeout rate of just 9.6%.  This has resulted in a line of .346/.452/.513 that has earned him quite a bit more playing time than anyone could have expected heading into the season.

  1. Justin Upton – There is no question in my mind Upton has earned the top position in these ranks.  If I had Upton I would not trade him straight up for any other player unless it was purely based on positional or category needs.  You cannot argue with 12 HR and an insane .446 ISO.  His 12.1% walk rate also shows that he’s not being overly aggressive, as his overall swing percentage of 43.7% is as low as it has been since 2010.  He has a higher upside than Braun and is putting it on display.
  2. Ryan Braun – Braun has had a very interesting season so far, his walks are up (9.3% to 14.1%) strikeouts are also up (18.9% to 28.3%) and his ISO is also up from his normal mid to upper .200s to .316.  This all despite hitting line drives at a pathetic 7.5%.  You would think his FB% would have increased to make up for this but he’s sitting right near his career average at 37.7%.   It’s too early to draw much of a conclusion from these numbers, but another troubling stat is he has just 1 SB so far.  Braun should be fine, but it will be interesting to see if any of these trends stick.
  3. Miguel Cabrera – No worries with Miggy, as he is taking his walks (11.7%) not striking out (12.3%).  Nothing to see here other than another elite season from Cabrera.
  4. Joey Votto – If your league doesn’t count OBP in some form, Votto is probably not the 4th best hitter, but with a 20.3% walk rate leading to a .445 OBP, he is an offensive machine.  His 4 HR have been encouraging after somewhat of a slow start.
  5. Carlos Gonzalez – No HR or SB this past week but I still trust him more than the guys below him to be a five-category star.
  6. Bryce Harper – Still chasing Upton, Bryce has 9 HR and a .744 SLG in the early going.
  7. Prince Fielder – His wRC+ of 163 is currently higher than it has ever been in a single season, I see no reason why this can’t be a career year for Prince.
  8. Robinson Cano – Speaking of career year’s, enjoy this one from Cano.
  9. Matt Kemp – He has as much power as Juan Pierre right now with 1 HR and an ISO of .088 and Pierre actually has more speed with 8 SB to 4 from Kemp.  However, Kemp can get as hot as any player in the game and it’s coming.  Eventually.  Hopefully.  I’d love to trade for him right now from a discouraged owner.  Forget about what he’s done so far and imagine what his numbers could look like for your team moving forward.
  10. Mike Trout – His BABIP will have to improve from it’s current level of .305, which will bring up his pedestrian .252 batting average, but it is not likely to reach the .383 he put up last year.
  11. David Wright – Wright is still looking like his old first round self, walking more than he strikes out (18.6% to 15.7%), hitting for power (.195 ISO) and delivering on what should have been his biggest question mark with 6 SB so far.  .305/.431/.500 isn’t too shabby either.
  12. Troy Tulowitzki – Honestly, I’d trade Tulo now while he’s smoking hot.  Thanks for the great month Troy, now go sit on the DL for someone else’s team.
  13. Andrew McCutchen – Like Trout, McCutchen has been the victim of a low BABIP (.231) after putting up an unrepeatable .375 BABIP last year.  He’ll be fine, but he’s not a first round player if he hits .275.
  14. Jose Bautista – I don’t know if any player has been the victim of more bad luck than Joey.  His average (.192) is actually way above his BABIP (.152), which you almost never see.  He’s still taking plenty of walks and hitting homers.  He’ll be fine, go buy low.
  15. Adam Jones – Wow, Jones is somehow walking in just 1.8% of his at bats?  He’s been great so far, but his .339 batting average has only led to 1 SB.
  16. Evan Longoria – Still going strong, Longo added a couple homers this week and is sitting on six heading into May to go along with a .301/.365/.538 line.
  17. Ian Kinsler – The most incredible part of Kinsler’s numbers so far is his ridiculously low strikeout rate of just 7.3%.  With that kind of contact to go along with a solid walk rate and his power/speed combo, you could not possibly ask for anything more from a 2B.
  18. Alex Rios – The most impressive part of Rios’ 2013 season right now is a walk rate of 11%, up from the previous two seasons at 4.1% and 4.7%.  If this can continue, to go along with his power/speed combo (6 HR, 5 SB) there would be an argument to be made to take Rios in the first round next year.
  19. 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.
  20. Giancarlo Stanton – Now there’s the Giancarlo we all wanted to own heading into the season.  After breaking the seal with his first HR last Saturday he followed it up with 2 HR on Sunday.   He then proceeded to go on the DL with a grade 2 hamstring strain that will leave him out for three weeks as the best case scenario.  You can probably expect Stanton to be out for the entire month of May.  Still, I think this presents a nice trade opportunity, especially if you have free DL slots.
  21. Starlin Castro
  22. Adrian Beltre
  23. Dustin Pedroia
  24. Chris Davis
  25. Adrian Gonzalez
  26. Billy Butler
  27. Matt Holliday
  28. Albert Pujols
  29. Buster Posey
  30. Jacoby Ellsbury
  31. Jason Heyward
  32. Ben Zobrist
  33. Paul Goldschmidt
  34. Josh Hamilton
  35. Edwin Encarnacion
  36. Hanley Ramirez
  37. Yoenis Cespedes
  38. Aramis Ramirez
  39. BJ Upton
  40. Desmond Jennings
  41. Joe Mauer
  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. Dexter Fowler
  64. David Ortiz
  65. Paul Konerko
  66. Freddie Freeman
  67. Eric Hosmer
  68. Ike Davis
  69. Elvis Andrus
  70. Rickie Weeks
  71. Austin Jackson
  72. Hunter Pence
  73. Nick Markakis
  74. Everth Cabrera
  75. Jean Segura
  76. Alcides Escobar
  77. Angel Pagan
  78. Nori Aoki
  79. Carlos Gomez
  80. Mark Trumbo
  81. Josh Willingham
  82. Chase Headley
  83. Wilin Rosario
  84. Carl Crawford
  85. Carlos Beltran
  86. Curtis Granderson
  87. Martin Prado
  88. Salvador Perez
  89. Mike Napoli
  90. Mark Reynolds
  91. Corey Hart
  92. Mike Moustakas
  93. Kevin Youkilis
  94. Victor Martinez
  95. Jayson Werth
  96. Nelson Cruz
  97. Shane Victorino
  98. Coco Crisp
  99. Evan Gattis
  100. Chris Carter
  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. Adam LaRoche
  118. Melky Cabrera
  119. Ben Revere
  120. Michael Cuddyer
  121. Manny Machado
  122. Jed Lowrie
  123. Dan Uggla
  124. Dayan Viciedo
  125. Pedro Alvarez
  126. David Freese
  127. J.J. Hardy
  128. Colby Rasmus
  129. Alfonso Soriano
  130. Josh Rutledge
  131. Matt Carpenter
  132. Kendrys Morales
  133. Andre Ethier
  134. Jonathan Lucroy
  135. Trevor Plouffe
  136. Starling Marte
  137. Nate McLouth
  138. Marco Scutaro
  139. Torii Hunter
  140. Justin Morneau
  141. Nate Schierholtz
  142. Jason Kubel
  143. Alexei Ramirez
  144. Michael Young
  145. Brandon Crawford
  146. Andrelton Simmons
  147. Chris Johnson
  148. Garret Jones
  149. J.P. Arencibia
  150. Brett Gardner

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