Giancarlo Stanton: In midst of monster season
Well. I could have prediction Stanton was going to have a monster season in 2014, and I said as much on these pages when I wrote about my keeper league trade in the offseason. Yes, I traded Stanton in the last year of his contract, along with Devin Mesoraco for Oscar Taveras. Yep. Not looking good right now, as Mesoraco is hitting well too. Although, even with that deal, I am in top two in league in home runs and RBI at the moment. But, had I not made that deal, I could have spent my available cash on draft day differently.
Stanton had a huge night at the plate last night, going 3-3 with a grand slam, two walks, two runs, and five RBI in the Marlins 8-4 win over the Mariners. The grand slam was of the walk off variety with no outs in the ninth inning. Stanton raised his slash line to .329-.390-.657 with six home runs, 14 runs, 26 RBI, and two stolen bases in 70 at bats. He has 26 RBI in 17 games. Crazy to think about what he can do in a full season of at bats. I think he finally puts up a 40 home run season in 2014.
For more on Stanton, make sure you check out Fish Stripes, SB Nation's Marlins fan site.
Aaron Harang tosses seven no-hit innings
The Braves couldn't have predicted the performance that they have received from Aaron Harang when they signed him as a free agent back in March. Last night, Harang threw seven no-hit innings in the Braves 6-0 win over the Mets. When a starter throws seven no-hit innings, he is usually dominant, with more strikeouts than walks, but that was not the case with Harang. He walked six while striking out five, and needed 121 pitches to get 21 outs.
Harang is now 2-1 with a league leading 0.70 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP and a 22-12 strikeout to walk rate in 25.2 innings thus far. He is available in more than 35% of mixed leagues right now, so I would go out and grab him if he is still available. But, there is always a but, I see him regressing from here, and he is due for a blow up start, but you have to ride the hot streak.
For more on Harang's performance, check out Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fans site.
Martin Perez: Finally reaching his potential?
Not many years ago, Rangers starter Martin Perez was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. But, as he moved up to higher levels of the minors, his performance on the mound got worse, and so did his ranking in the Top 100 prospect rankings. He finally turned things around in 2013, earning a call up, and pitching very well for the big league club, winning 10 of his 20 starts with a 3.62 ERA.
He has continued to pitch well in 2014, including Friday night's complete game shutout of the White Sox. Perez gave up just three hits, a walk and struck out eight in the Rangers 12-0 thrashing. Perez is now 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a 20-7 strikeout to walk rate in 29 innings. Perez has induced 11 or more ground ball outs in each of his last three starts.
Elvis Andrus is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, and ranks in the top 7-8 amongst fantasy shortstops. Last night, he went 1-2 with two walks, two runs scored, and two stolen bases in the Rangers 12-0 win over the White Sox. Andrus has hit in 16 of his 17 games played thus far, and is now hitting .308-.357-.415 with a home run, 11 runs scored, 3 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 10 attempts thus far. Andrus stole 42 bases last season, and he could reach 50 stolen bases in 2014, as Ron Washington has given him the green light to run when he wants, or so it appears.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout is once again doing Mike Trout things at the plate. Manager Mike Scioscia is batting him second in the Angels lineup this season, but I think he should either bat leadoff or bat third. Last night, Trout went 2-3 with two doubles, 2 runs, an RBI and a stolen base in the Angels 11-6 win over the Tigers. Trout is now hitting .338-.400-.676 with five home runs, 14 runs, 13 RBI and two stolen bases thus far. The two stolen bases might sound a little light after three weeks, but he only stole four last April and finished with 33 on the season, so there is no reason to fret.
Earlier this offseason, I predicted that Angels first baseman Albert Pujols would hit less than 30 home runs this season. After hitting his fifth home run last night, that prediction is not looking so good right now. Pujols went 2-4 with the home run, two runs, and three RBI in the Angels 11-6 win over the Tigers. Pujols raised his slash line to .279-.347-.574 with five home runs, 10 runs and 13 RBI in 68 at bats this season.
I drafted Troy Tulowitzki in the Tout Wars mixed league auction back in March, as I thought my $30 winning bid was a few dollars undervalued. Sure, he comes with the injury risk, but he also produces when healthy. Last night, he went 3-3 with a home run, a double, a walk, two runs, and five RBI in the Rockies 12-1 win over the Phillies. Tulo raised his slash line to .360-.460-.620 with two home runs, 13 runs and 11 RBI this season. With Hanley Ramirez struggling at the plate right now, Tulo is the top fantasy shortstop for now.
Padres starter Tyson Ross was one of my streaming pitcher selections in Friday's Streamer Report, and he didn't let me down, as he shut out the Giants on four hits, a walk, nine strikeouts and ten ground ball outs in eight innings of work. For some reason, Ross is still available in 97% of leagues, so you should run to your league waiver wire to add him now. Ross is now 2-2 with a 2.13 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 25-11 strikeout to walk rate in his 25.1 innings.
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