Mets outfielder Lucas Duda is having a solid first season in the big leagues, and will be a sleeper pick in 2012 drafts. He went 3-4 with a run scored in the first game of the Mets double dip with the Marlins yesterday, but went 0-4 in the second game. Thus far, in 220 at bats, Duda is hitting .291-.357-.482 with 7 HRs, 38 RBI and 26 runs scored. In his last 10 games, he is 13-41 with 2 HRs and 9 RBI, but with a 9-0 K/BB rate. Duda will be the Mets starting right fielder in 2012, and I can see him approaching 25 HRs and 85 RBI in a full season with the Mets.
According to Troy Renck at the Denver Post, the Rockies are going to call up catching prospect Wilin Rosario in September and get a look at their catcher of the future. After hitting .285-.342-.552 with 19 HRs and 52 RBI in 270 ABs at AA Tulsa in 2010, he is repeating AA this season, and struggling a bit. He is hitting .250-.281-.448 with 19 HRs, 44 RBI, 49 runs and a 88-16 K/BB rate in 388 ABs this season. He will probably start the 2012 season in AAA, and I can see him putting up solid stats hitting in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.
Phillies starter Cole Hamels pitched well in his first start back from the DL last night, going 6 innings, giving up just one run on 2 hits, no walks and striking 7. He did not get the win, but looked like he hadn't miss a start. Hamels becomes a free agent at the end of 2012, and the Phils may do their best to sign him long term this offseason. I don't put anything past Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, plus he has a few contracts coming off the ledger that could help him sign Hamels long term.
More Roundup after the jump
Indians catcher Carlos Santana has not met expectations this season, but he has still put up solid power numbers. Maybe expectations got frothy, and I am guilty of being involved with that, so maybe I was a year early on his big breakout season. Last night, Santana went 2-3 with a HR and is now hitting .242-.350-.444 with 20 HRs, 64 RBI, 62 runs and a 107-77 K/BB rate in 450 at bats. Looking at his batted ball data over at Fangraphs indicates that his line drive rate has dropped and his ground ball rate has increased this season. A few more line drives in 2012, and his BA will approach .290ish, and he could hit for more power as well. One positive indicator is his HR/FB rate has increased from 11.1% to 14.1% this season, so a few more fly balls in 2012, could result in 25-28 HRs.
I remember writing about Alex Gordon's hot start earlier this season and hoping that he could continue to hit well enough, and prove that the hot start was not a fluke. Well, Gordon is doing his part to prove he is for real, as he went 4-5 with a HR and 2 runs scored last night. For the season, Gordon is hitting .305-.378-.506 with 19 HRs, 72 RBI, 87 runs, 14 SBs and a 120-56 K/BB rate in 524 ABs. Gordon has benefitted from a .359 BABIP, but is hitting plenty of line drives-around 21.5%-that indicates he can keep the BA high if he can maintain a 20% LD rate. He has hit 40 doubles in addition to the 19 HRs, so there might be more HR power in his bat.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not have his best stuff last night, but still held the Padres to one run in a complete game victory. He gave up just 6 hits, walked 2 and struck out just 5 batters. Vin Scully said after the game that Kershaw had a remarkable performance because he had to actually pitch last night, as he did not have his best stuff. He is now 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a 212-50 K/BB rate in 198.2 innings pitched. It bears repeating that I think he should win the NL Cy Young award this season, but one cannot overlook the greatness of Phillies ace Roy Halladay. Halladay has a few more years on Kershaw, but the stat page tells one that they are very similar starting pitchers.
Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez was the subject of trade rumors this season, with the Rockies claiming him on waivers after the July 31st trade deadline. There is some thought that those trade talks will be re-visited in the offseason, and with the Rockies having spent some big time coin on Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez last offseason, coupled with their trade of #1 starter Ubaldo Jimenez back in July, Wandy could end up being a Rockie this offseason. Add in the fact that the Astros are in a rebuild mode, trading Wandy for prospects makes a lot of sense. Last night, Wandy had his stuff going, as he struck out 13 Pirates over 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. He is now 10-9 with an excellent 3.43 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and a 140-57 K/BB rate in 160 innings pitched.
White Sox starter Mark Buerhle shut out the Twins on 4 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts over 7.2 innings last night to win his 11th game of the season. He is now 11-8 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 92-37 K/BB rate over 177 innings pitched. Buerhle is also a free agent this offseason, and with the White Sox moving pitching prospect Chris Sale to the starting rotation, this could be his last season in Chicago.