This is the first installment of our Monday Roundup. It’s purpose is to provide “under the radar” insight to help you navigate your way throughout the Fantasy Baseball season. While the Matt Kemp’s and Miguel Cabrera’s of the world put up great overall numbers and garner most of the highlights, more often than not it is the nondescript moves you make throughout the year that can provide that extra boost in the final standings. So here goes…
Carlos Pena has already slugged two HR this season, but what’s been more surprising is where he has been placed in the batting order. Both Saturday and Sunday’s games saw Pena hit second in the lineup, right in front of Evan Longoria. Pena has shown good OBP in years past, and despite not the fleetest of foot, this could provide a boost in runs scored albeit perhaps a decrease in potential RBI. Most likely not one of the starting first baseman in many leagues, he could provide good counting stats in the utility slot.
We’ve all seen Yoenis Cespedes hit 3 monster home runs on TV. They’ve been rocket shots that have left the park in a hurry. There’s very little dispute as to the power potential in that bat, even with the home ballpark being pitcher friendly. But the problem isn’t so much with Cespedes himself, but with who else is in the lineup. We mentioned the 3 HR, but he has only one other hit on the season, and should he get on base, with the likes of Seth Smith, Kurt Suzuki, Cliff Pennington, and Josh Donaldson hitting behind him, I’m not so sure he’ll touch home plate many times beyond hitting home runs. Could pitchers eventually start to pitch him a little more cautiously knowing the rest of the order isn’t as threatening? Time will tell, but this smells a little like early season sell high to me.
If you could get on base at a good rate in front of Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, and Jay Bruce, you would expect to score a bunch of runs correct? Well that’s exactly where Zack Cozart is slated in the lineup. Hitting second behind Brandon Phillips and in front of the three previously mentioned power hitters, Cozart just needs to make contact and get on base to be a valuable asset to a fantasy team. His AAA and AA numbers suggest the ability to do just that. Scorching the ball early this season, perhaps only the running game is what will separate Cozart from joining the top half of SS in a 12 team league. Double digit SB are not out of the equation either. If he’s still available in your league, don’t hesitate.
Is David Freese a legitimate MVP candidate if he can stay healthy all season? Sure seems like he is riding his 2011 post-season heroics into early 2012 without a hitch. The Cardinals as a team are hitting the cover off the ball. Carlos Beltran (7-18, 2 HR, 1 SB) and Rafael Furcal (10-19,2 SB) have both been early season sparks, and we know Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman’s abilities. Freese did have a 26 HR season in AAA and has a career .302 BA as a professional, so this isn’t unprecedented.
Starlin Castro has already stolen 4 bases in 3 games. After 22 SB / 9 CS in 2011, we were unsure as to how high the SB ceiling was with this youngster. If he can steal 30 in ’12…? Fernando Rodney seems to be the go-to guy for the Rays at the moment, but as we’ve seen with Rodney in the past, he’s a train-wreck waiting to happen. Buyer Beware. Alfredo Aceves was a hot pickup late last week. And he just can’t get anyone out thus far. No clue where the Red Sox go from here. It’s not like Mark Melancon has been any better. But if Daniel Bard is available in your league, it may be worth a speculative play, despite the Sox claiming they won’t move him out of the rotation. I get the feelling that no matter how nasty Kenley Jansen is to start the year, it is absolutely Javy Guerra’s job to lose. So for all you owners who drafted Guerra after Jansen…kudos for now.
That’s a wrap for our first Monday Roundup. We hope you’ll check it out every Monday morning throughout the season. And as always, we appreciate your comments!
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