With a lot shifting in the American League outfield, let’s get down to business. But this time it isn’t to defeat the Huns.
For all the struggles that the Los Angeles Angels have been experiencing, it is hard to find any fault with Mike Trout. He already has double digit steals and home runs as well as a 149 wRC+. The surprise here is Chris Davis, of course. with 20(!) home runs already and a reduced strikeout, plus an increased walk rate, it is hard to find any real faults in his approach or his numbers. Davis’ year to date is certainly impressive, however he can’t keep up this pace forever, right? We’ll see, but given what he has done — and more importantly what he projects to end the season with — has earned him a spot in the top tier.
Adam Jones is on pace to reach the 30 home run mark for the second straight season and is stealing more bases — not to mention he is yet to be caught — than he has in the past as well. Apparently Baltimore Orioles enjoy running, as they currently lead the AL in steals and are tied with the Colorado Rockies for the MLB lead. If the O’s continue running at even half of their current pace, their players will all receive a nice boost in fantasy value.
Not much separates Jennings from Bourn. The cutoff and rankings difference is based on their respective steals and caught stealing, and the fact that Bourn has more steals despite having 80 fewer plate appearances than Jennings. The final season totals will probably be 40 steals for Bourn and 30 for Jennings. Factor in Bourn hitting leadoff and Jennings being shuffled around a bit lately, as well as the 20 points difference in batting average and he nudges Jennings from the third tier.
Although Swisher has been underwhelming thus far, there is reason to hope. He has hit either three or cleanup all year and figures to continue to do so. A bump in to his astonishingly low RBI count of 20 should be counted on. Crisp gets a boost for continuing to run at a very efficient pace as well as increasing his walk rate and contact rate. As a result, his strikeouts are down and he is hitting almost .300 despite no change in his BABIP.
A big April (.346/.452/.513, .373 BABIP) from McLouth turned into a rather disappointing May (.258/.308/.381, .284 BABIP), however McLouth still has 21 steals and has been caught just once. Though his May numbers are much closer to his career .251/.337/.422, .281 BABIP numbers, we have never seen McLouth run like this before. Even if he settles into a .260 average, he is on pace to (though probably won’t) clear 60 steals. Add in him hitting leadoff and you have a chance to reach 100 runs this season. Melky has had a hot month of May, though his seasonal ISO is still below his career average. He hasn’t run as much as hoped, though he does project for around 10 steals the rest of the way. Here’s to hoping both McLouth and Melky return/continue swinging the good wood. Make sure the context is appropriate before saying “swinging the good wood” in public. Reddick is currently posting the best O-Swing%, Swing%, and BB% of his career and his BABIP is in the tank. I’d expect a nice rebound for him. He has six hits in five games since returning from the disabled list so look to buy low on him now.
A lot of Michaels, including a few good options. Brantley is essentially a poor man’s Melky Cabrera, and that isn’t an insult. Not all is lost for fellow Granderson owners, but with him still at least three weeks away, things
are getting have been quite frustrating. The punch bowl is still mostly full for anyone looking to drink the Chris Carter kool-aid. After a 14-game homerless streak — during which he had all of three RBIs — Carter has popped three home runs in his last six games. His strikeout rate and contact rate is poor (read: horrifying), though if you can stomach his average, he should post another 15-20 dingers the rest of the way. For a bargain bin type player, it is hard to complain about 20 home run upside. Nava is a good player who becomes a real steal in on-base percentage leagues. Even in standard leagues, he is worth looking at as he has hit at the top of the lineup with Ellsbury nursing a groin injury. If Ellsbury hits the DL, expect Nava to hang on to his roster spot even with the activation of Victorino in most likely a few days.
Here is a lot of steals in Stubbs and Davis. Hicks still has upside and Gomes and Bay have a little bit of power for you. Doumit is a decent option, but if you happen to be rostering him, he really belongs in the catcher slot. To use Doumit on an outfield slot isn’t a total waste, but it isn’t the best use of him.
Part time players, injured players, bad players, and Houston Astros. Fingers crossed that Bourjos comes back in a week or so and builds on the foundation of his first 96 PA’s this season. He is on the minor league rehab path and should be back on June 10. If you have room, stash Bourjos on your bench and wait for his return.
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