CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 12: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians hits a single to right during the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field on August 12, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Here are your fantasy baseball links for today, August 22:
At 25-years old and with room to significantly improve on his average, there is a lot to like about the season that Santana has been able to put together. While no one is going to currently be ranking him as the top catcher in the league, would it really be surprising to see him reach that mark as soon as 2012?
You can see from the above graphic that Granderson is swinging at more fastballs that land in the zone, while chasing outside fastballs a bit less. His increased plate discipline has resulted in a lot more production. And while his 34 total HRs is second behind Jose Bautista's 35, his 23 HRs off fastballs leads all major leaguers.
So our conclusion on Sanchez is a mixed bag. His great improved in swinging strikes seems real—the result of going more frequently to his cutting four-seam fastball instead of his two-seamer. Thus, we should expect his strikeout rate to remain high. But his improved walk rate isn't explained by anything really. So what to expect? Anticipate Sanchez's K rate to stay high around nine, but expect his BB rate to drop closer to last year's than this year's walk rate. He's not a fluke, but he's not completely for real, either.
It’s worth pointing out that Youkilis is merely book-ending his season with terrible luck on batted balls as his April BABIP was .250 and in August, it’s .219. So I’d expect that things will improve once he returns from the disabled list.
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However, owners need to keep expectations in check. While he should be better than his first stint, he also isn’t likely going to set the world on fire. He’s not going to hit for much power and likely, at least initially, is going to hit towards the bottom of the Angels order. Think about a player who could hit between .260-.280 with minor pop and 10-12 SB.
Alex should have around a 0.280 AVG, 15 to 25 HRs, 10 to 20 SBs, and 150 Runs+RBIs if he gets 600 PA in 2012. These numbers are not going to get him star treatment, but he should viable contributor in all but the shallowest of leagues.
No, despite hitting in a potent lineup in a hitter's park, there isn't much to like about Russell Martin for the rest of this season. His overall numbers (which aren't great anyway) are propped up considerably by the now distant month of April. There was hope that a move out of Los Angeles and into New York would revitalize the former All-Star catcher, and perhaps it did for a month, but the Russell Martin of '09-'10, and not the Martin of '06-'08, is the one we are ultimately seeing emerge in pinstripes.
[Lavarnway] started last night’s game and batted seventh. He’s bound to receive many opportunities to pick up RBI no matter where he bats in the Red Sox order. He’s a solid pickup in deep A.L. only leagues and is a good candidate to stash away in keeper leagues due to his power from the feeble catcher position.
Note that Fister posted a .252 BA against with the Mariners, a good fielding team. With the poor fielding Detroit Tigers, that's up to .369. He doesn't miss bats, so even though he's good at getting hitters to fish outside the strike zone, those balls in play still depend on his fielders catching them. So far, the Tigers haven't.
Since being activated August 12, Hundley is making up for lost time, going a mind-boggling 15-for-28 with two homers, five RBI, and eight runs scored. Get him active in all formats for the stretch run.
Based on his improvement this season, his age and his lofty draft position; Leake is a player worth keeping going forward. Even if his ceiling isn’t much higher, Leake has already shown the ability to succeed in the majors despite his age. Those types of players tend to be good investments going forward.
Shut-Down Candidates | Fantasy Baseball Cafe
Candidates to be shut down by their teams due to an innings cap or other workload related issues. Definitely something to pay attention to, especially if you're in a head-to-head league and are gearing up for the playoffs.
This final stretch is when a lot of fantasy leagues are won because fantasy managers get lazy with their teams, even if they are in contention. They start to focus on football, especially those who play fantasy football and have their draft in late August/early September. Take advantage of the diverted focus and continue to put max effort into your title hopes or quest to finish in or higher in the money spots.
Now it appears that last year was the fluke, and if [Weaver] cannot muster another 9.0+ K/9, then he will probably be looking at a similar season to 2009, when he posted a 3.75 ERA. His great fortune this year will very likely get him drafted as a top five starter in many leagues, but I think there’s a good chance he ends up finishing the season outside the top 10.
Ryan Dempster is basically pitching the way he always has, but his results suggest otherwise. Unfortunately, the issue here is that the Cubs defense stinks, and since that won’t be changing this year, Dempster is likely to continue underperforming his SIERA. The good news is that team defenses sometimes change dramatically from season to season, so this could provide a great opportunity to acquire him cheaply for next season.
Again, [Nova] doesn't have the greatest numbers, but he is generally solid, and with the Yankees behind him, he's likely to pick up some wins, even ones he may not deserve. If that's an area of need for you, and you can make some sacrifices elsewhere, he's your guy.
Josh Vitters: Will He Figure Things Out? | Minor League Ball
Great stuff from our own Ray Guilfoyle. Here's the key for me:
Then again, Vitters is only 21 years old, and maybe the power and patience will come as he matures as a hitter. Maybe something will click on for him. Early scouting reports on him said he had one of the sweetest swings around, and Cubs fans deserve someone to get them excited about baseball again.
The profile here is rather similar to that of another lefty-hitting Blue Jays first baseman who was known for his high batting average, an elite eye and good extra-base hit ability — fella by the name of John Olerud. Given all the power hitters in Toronto’s lineup (Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia), it would seem the team could afford to employ a hitter like Cooper at first to balance things out. Of course, the org is still giving regular time to Edwin Encarnacion, who is useless defensively and streaky as all heck with the bat. He does have a $3.5 million team option for 2012, but would it be such a bad idea to see if Cooper could handle first base, moving Lind back to DH and thus putting an end to the E-5 Era once and for all?
Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Bryce Harper, Tyler Skaggs, more | KFFL.com
The 2011 season might be over for the Washington Nationals' top prospect. See you in 2012? Plus, the Arizona Diamondbacks' future ace is rollin', and more.
Schafer uses his head to start a triple play - Video | MiLB.com
H/T Grant Brisbee/Baseball Nation