Over the weekend we saw two impact bats from the same last place Houston outfield get traded to different playoff contenders in the National League East. Lets take a gander at how the productivity of Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn looks from here on out.
Anyone that moves from the Astros to the Phillies is automatically going receive a boost to their fantasy value. The Astros team OBP is terrible at .312, and that’s counting the .353 of Pence who can’t exactly drive himself in every time up. The Phillies offense has actually been a touch below league average this season, but hitting fifth behind Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will surely present Pence with more opportunities to knock runners in. He’s hitting for much less power this year (.160 ISO), but a move to Citizen’s BankParkmay not restore his pop as much as you may think. The park has actually been pretty neutral over the years, ranking 17th, 16th, 12th and 15th in offense over the past four seasons according to ESPN’s park factors. The move is certainly an upgrade for Pence and the Phillies, but should only give a small bump to his fantasy numbers going forward.
The biggest loser in the Pence trade isn’t Raul Ibanez, he of the .295 OBP and .318 wOBA, its rookie Dominic Brown. He was hitting .246/.334/.393. While the power wasn’t what we would have hoped he was certainly playing better than Ibanez, but because he’s apparently unfamiliar with left field he gets to toil in Triple-A while Ibanez continues to hurt the Phillies already below average offense.
Bourn was the best position player to be traded by the deadline, even if most of Americadoesn’t realize it. He also instantly becomes the second best player on the Braves behind Brian McCann. His main contribution to the Braves will be solidifying the leadoff and centerfield positions. His 39 stolen bases are nearly as many as the Braves have as a team. Currently Bourn is the 32nd ranked player in Yahoo! leagues and that figure doesn’t look to change. He’s going to continue to get on base and run, and should score more runs with the Braves lineup hitting behind him.
As for the Astros, they lose their two best players and the outlook for the rest of the season got even bleaker, if that’s possible. Their current lineup is depressing. Carlos Lee is the only player who has any real value, unless you’re a Clint Barmes fan. It’s time to start streaming any pitcher you can againstHoustonfor the rest of the season, and likely 2012 as well.