Just over 50 games into the season — and about 200 plate appearances in — we have a little bit more information to judge our players on. One of the key statistics that tends to stabilize around the 200 PA mark is BB%. We’ll call today the all optimistic or all bullish version. Next Wednesday will feature the updated tier rankings, but perhaps two weeks time will bring us an all bearish write up.
The rate at which Chris Davis goes unappreciated — even by the present author — is amazing. Davis now leads baseball with 17 home runs and is tied for third with 18 doubles. Adding to his value is his 13.5% walk rate, which, if you are scoring at home, is good for 16th in the league. His Swing%, Contact%, and SwStr% are both better than career averages and he has stated previously that “the patience is paying off.” Whether he specifically meant patience as walks, waiting for the right pitch to drive, or both the process seems to be working for him and fantasy owners everywhere. Davis is seeing four-seam fastballs less and less — 30.2% thus far — so how he keeps adjusting to pitchers adjusting to him will be fascinating. For now, pitchers are struggling to get him out, at least that is what it looks like given his .344/.437/.728 line. He’ll eventually cool off as his .381 BABIP comes back down, but given that he has a career .340 BABIP, he should continue to be a very good fantasy outfielder.
After leaving Brantley off of the previous AL OF Tiered Rankings, the present author is currently eating his words. Having rode Brantley last season with a mostly empty (almost) .290 average, being a one category player didn’t place him on the fantasy radar, not in a position as deep as the outfield. Brantley still doesn’t offer much in terms of power or speed, but with an improved lineup around him, his runs and RBIs are up compared to seasons past. He has shifted from hitting at the top of the lineup to the bottom third in recent games, however his average has held steady. He currently sports a .354 OBP which when looked at with last season’s .348 mark make him valuable in OBP formats as well. His rate stats will fall a bit once his BABIP stabilizes, however that should not discourage potential owners. Brantley is available in 60% of Yahoo! leagues, 40% of CBS leagues, and 20% of ESPN formats.
Alejandro De Aza
There is good news and bad news when looking at De Aza’s numbers.
The good news? He is on pace to have the most home runs of his career this season, and a 20-20 season isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility. His current .302 BABIP is 35 points below his career average and he has exclusively hit leadoff, boosting his runs scored.
The bad news? De Aza’s already less-than-stellar walk rate — 7.5% career — has gone down two points from last year’s 8.0% mark. Conversely, his strikeouts are up to the point where he is striking out in over one quarter of his plate appearances. He is hitting just .243 and he has a sub .300 OBP.
Hope relies on that vexing mistress known as BABIP as well as the fact that two thirds of the season is yet to be played. De Aza should hit .270 the rest of the season with double digit home runs and the potential to steal 20 more bases. He nabbed 26 bags last season (though was caught 12 times) and scored 80 runs. Expect good things from De Aza from this point onward. Make a trade for him now and buy low, then reap the benefits of him for the rest of the season.
Print This Post