You know it affects you. April, that is.
One or two of your players go out there and they really stink it up or they really light the world on fire and despite the fact that you’re a rational human being with faith in the sample size of the marathon instead of the sprint, reliance on our collection of nerds that try to preach patience when warranted — it messes with you.
We have the luxury now of looking at the stat line and having, most categories considered, stable numbers. So when Ryan Zimmerman falls off the face of the earth and then cortisone suddenly rejuvenates him into Clark Kent, well — we’ve still got a steady .280/.349/.451 which is just vintage Ryan Zimmerman.
What I’d like to do today won’t be terribly useful for your fantasy teams, that is unless this small sample size can mess with your head. It’s possible you’ve been kinda sorta thinking that Mike Moustakas has been laying down on the job without digging very deep, and well, you’re spot on. What follows are some staggering trends over the last 30 days that are just so fun that I thought they should be shared – and well, hell, it’s my birthday, and I’ll small sample size if I want to.
Strikeout king: Mark Trumbo 39.6% K% (24.8% on the season).
Toughest to strike out: Jose Reyes, 4.8% K% (8.1% on the season).
Masher of the month: Albert Pujols, .410 ISO (FOUR HUNDRED AND TEN!). Honorable mention: Aramis Ramriez, .352 ISO (.235 on the season).
Lucky bounce award: Pedro Alvarez .469 BABIP (.315 on the season).
BABIPBEOTCH: Adam Dunn .159 (.233 on the season, so what else is new, Adam?).
Frozen rope award: Jordan Pacheco 36.8% line drive rate.
Certificate in can of corn: Drew Stubbs – 28.9% infield fly ball rate. Fully thirty percent of the balls you hit in the last month have been straight up. Incredible.
Where did it go: Justin Upton 19.7% swinging strike rate (9.8% on the season).
You can’t throw it by me if you tried: Marco Scutaro 1.1% swinging strike rate (2% rate on the season, so, yeah…).
Swing at anything: Neil Walker 47.6% O-Swing% rate (31.9% on the season).
Can’t take the heat: Jesus Montero, 3.36 runs below average per 100 pitches on the fastball.
Hot, hot heat: Russell Martin, Mark Trumbo – tied, highest average fastball speed faced – 93.0 mph
Batting king: Yadier Molina, .407 batting average.
Batting jester: Kelly Johnson, .154 batting average.
That’s probably more fun with the leaderboard than you need. If there’s anything to take away from this fantasy-wise, it’s probably to follow the what goes up must come down principle. As we head into September, my general approach and my advice to you is two pronged: If you have a comfortable lead or if you’re in a position of strength in certain categories, trust in the rest of season projections that we have on the player pages — essentially to be conservative. If you’re needing lightning in a bottle, go ahead and play the regression game and take a big risk on someone that’s suffering through an ugly streak – the likes of Justin Upton, Drew Stubbs, Kelly Johnson, or others you can identify as laggards on the leaderboards who may be available in your league.
Win at all cost.