Here are your fantasy baseball links for today, August 12:
Gonzalez has stopped hitting fly balls, basically. His season ground ball rate is 46.7%, easily the highest of his career. He had been in the high-30% range the last two years. The high ground ball rate helps explain his MLB leading .389 BABIP (.310 career coming into 2011), which has resulted in the MLB best batting average.
He was missing on 18% of his swings before the All-Star break, only 10% after. Matsui swings at better pitches, makes better contact, and his batting average is reaping the benefits.
With Smith not having to worry about lefties as often, he can focus all his attention to crushing right-handers like he has in the past. While this will limit his playing time, it could very well increase his home run production the rest of the way. If Seth Smith is still available in your format, add him, start him against right-handed pitching and watch in joy as he blasts baseballs over the fence for your team down the stretch.
Still, with better than three strikeouts per walk, Luebke is almost an every-start play in mixed leagues. Because of his fly-ball tendencies, it might make sense to limit him to bigger parks against less powerful offenses, but he's a Padre, so that's a little easier than it might be for most pitchers. Make sure Luebke is not still on your waiver wire. He's a great bench asset in any league.
Follow the jump for the latest fantasy baseball news and analysis.
Fantasy Baseball Strategy, How to Pick Up Spot Starters | Razzball
A look at how a fantasy baseball expert picks up free agent pitchers off of waivers.
Lawrie is a highly touted prospect who destroyed Triple-A pitching for a .353 average, 18 HR’s and 13 SB’s, before the long awaited call-up. So far in four games Lawrie is 4 – 14 with a HR and a pair of Runs and a pair of RBI. Lawrie should hit for a solid average and in that ballpark should continue to show the power he showed at Triple-A. He’s currently available at 2B in most systems, but he’s playing 3rd and will gain eligibility there soon making him also eligible at both MI and CI.
[W]ith Justin Morneau rejoining the team on Friday, the Twins are simply overfilled at three of the four corner positions and Kubel’s not exactly an option at third base. Jim Thome is rightly going to get plenty of playing time in his quest for his 600th home run, keeping Kubel from being the full-time DH, and Delmon Young, Michael Cuddyer, Ben Revere, and Kubel are all competing for time in the outfield corners — especially since Alexi Casilla’s return means that they won’t simply stash Cuddyer at 2B to alleviate some of the pressure.
His low batting average certainly doesn't help fantasy teams, but with 12 homers, 41 RBI, and a .385 on-base percentage in 2011, it's amazing that Iannetta is still available in so many fantasy leagues, particularly at a position with few offensive stars and many injuries this year.
A 6-3, 230-pound right-handed hitter, Perez is now 21 years old. He has a consistent swing with few mechanical flaws, makes contact, and flashes above average power. However, he seldom draws walks, inhibiting his on-base percentage, and he is one of the slowest runners in professional baseball. He has been young for his leagues, and while his numbers haven't been exceptional since leaving rookie ball, he should be at least adequate with the bat eventually and should provide occasional power.
Splitting time between Double- and Triple-A, Darnell has slashed .317/.415/.573 with 23 HRs and a near 1:1 K:BB ratio. His plate discipline is his best asset (16% BB rate), and his solid pop will certainly be muted by Petco, so he’s only actionable in deep NL leagues, where he could do enough to help owners in need of a corner infielder or utility option.
Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Arodys Vizcaino, Brett Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, Tim Beckham | KFFL.com
Some big-name Rays prospects are shuffled, Arodys Vizcaino ascends to the 'pen and Brett Jackson's on a tear.