Just a heads up for all of our readers, the fantasy baseball writers here at Fake Teams start a series today where we will publish our 2012 Fantasy All Stars, for both the AL and NL, for each position. I lead off with the AL and NL Fantasy All Star catchers at 10am this morning.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has caught fire ever since receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing shoulder. Yesterday, he went 3-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI raising his triple slash line to ,241-.302-.366 with 6 HRs, 36 runs and 35 RBI this season. In his last 8 games, he is 14-37 with 3 HRs and 13 RBI. Time will tell if this hot streak is real and we will see the old Ryan Zimmerman for the remainder of the season, but he has been a better second half hitter in his career than in the first half.
The Phillies got swept in Miami this weekend and Ruben Amaro Jr. is back to pulling Ruben Amaro Jr. quotes. A day after saying his team is not in fire sale mode after dealing Jim Thome to the Orioles last night, there are rumors/talks that he is already taking calls for Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino. It pays to not listen to what he has to say to the media. Hamels will have plenty of suitors, but apparently the asking price is HUGE. Amaro Jr. is looking for 4-5 prospects for Hamels. No team will make an offer even close to that.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is quietly having an excellent all around season at the plate. Yesterday, he went 1-4 with his 19th HR, and is now hitting .282-.364-.554 with 19 HRs, 45 runs, 50 RBI and 5 stolen bases. Yes, 5 stolen bases. In his last 10 games, he is 12-35 with 5 HRs, 8 RBI and 2 stolen bases, and is on track to hit 39 HRs, score 93 runs, drive in 104 and steal 10 bases. If he can hit 44 home runs this season, not out of the realm of possibility, he will have hit 100 home runs at the age of 22. If he averages 40 HRs per year for the next 8 years, he could have 400+ home runs by the age of 30. Quite amazing.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe might be the biggest breakout power hitter of the 2012 season. Plouffe went 2-4 with 2 home runs yesterday, and now has 18 on the season. After hitting .121 in April and .185 in May, Plouffe hit .321 with 11 HRs in June, and has continued hitting for power in July. His slugging percentage is up to .570 and only guys named Josh Hamilton, Ryan Braun, Mark Trumbo and 7 others have higher SLG than Plouffe right now. I am sure I am not the only one who thought his power was a fluke, but as every day passes, he is proving his critics wrong.
Don't look now, but it appears that Royals first baseman is getting closer to returning to the Hosmer we all expected to see this season. Hosmer went 3-4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base yesterday, raising his triple slash line to .233-.300-.384 with 9 HRs, 31 runs, 36 RBI, 8 stolen bases and an excellent 35-25 strikeout to walk ratio in 279 at bats. Heading into Sunday's game, only two hitters had a lower BABIP than Hosmer, Jose Bautista and Justin Smoak. Hosmer's slow start has everything to do with his .237 BABIP, and i think he will reward patient fantasy owners in the second half of the season. Even with the bad luck at the plate, he is on track for 19 HRs and 17 stolen bases, so it will be interesting to see if this hot streak turns his season around or not.
Kenneth Arthur wrote about Angels outfielder Mike Trout on Thursday, asking if he was the best player in baseball. If he isn't the best, he is well on his way to eventually being the best. I am becoming more and more convinced that Trout will be a first round pick in 2013 drafts. Trout went 2-4 with a walk, double, HR, 3 runs and an RBI yesterday, raising his triple slash line to .339-.395-.542 with 9 HRs, 51 runs, 33 RBI and 22 stolen bases. After missing all but 3 games in Aoril, he is on pace to hit 18 HRs, score 105 runs, knock in 68 and steal 45 bases. Yep, first round pick in 2013 seems like a slam dunk.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt hasn't been an every day hitter all season, and just recently started playing every day, but I think we are finally starting to see the promise in his bat this season. Belt went 3-4 with a double and a stolen base yesterday and is now hitting. .269-.376-.446 with 4 HRs, 18 runs, 29 RBI, 5 stolen bases and a 48-31 strikeout to walk ratio in 175 at bats. The K rate is a bit high, but I think that number will come down as the season goes along.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon had a horrific start to the Sunday night game vs the Mets, making two errors on two consecutive plays leading to two unearned runs and about 15 more pitches for starter Clayton Kershaw. But, after the two errors, he went on to get 2 hits, score a run, drive in a run and steal 3 bases. His triple slash line is one of the worst, if not the worst in baseball, but his 28 stolen bases leads major league baseball. He is on pace for 57 steals this season, all while hitting .228-.278-.279. If he can hit anywhere close to how he hit in the minors, he could steal 70 bases one year. Gordon pulled up lame running out a grounder late in the game and was pulled for the 9th inning, and was seen talking to the team trainer afterward. He may miss a game or two as a result.