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Don't Believe The Hype: Wait, Brandon Moss Is Good? Edition

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If you own a Toronto pitcher, well, it doesn't sound like you will for very long. Drew Hutchison sprained his UCL, and is on the disabled list while they figure out how much damage there is. Teammate Kyle Drabek tore his own UCL, and will undergo Tommy John surgery, making him unavailable for the rest of 2012 and half of 2013. Jerome Williams' UCL is fine, but he's on the DL thanks to an exercise-induced asthma attack. It hasn't been a good week for pitcher injuries: Anthony Bass has shoulder inflammation, as well.

Christian Friedrich wasn't that great to begin with, but with the Rockies moving to a four-man rotation and a limit of just 75 pitches per start, he's not going to have many opportunities for wins. Considering he already pitched for a team losing constantly, that's not a good situation.

As for the adds... well, it's a strange group this week.

Brandon Moss, OF (36 percent owned, +30 percent): Moss has now played in 14 games and logged 51 plate appearances, and is hitting .283/.353/.804 thanks to seven homers. That's more than half of his hits, and 10 out of the 13 have been for extra bases. It's not all positives, though, as he's also striking out nearly 30 percent of the time, and the lack of other hits (in addition to the .236/.300/.382 career line he owned heading into 2012) suggest that he'll be in trouble once this little power outburst has run its course.

Moss was a prospect back in the day when he was with the Red Sox, but he had a hard time ever repeating the success he found as a 20-year-old at Single-A. Once he started to pick things up again in the high minors, a couple of years later, the Red Sox included him in the Jason Bay trade with the Pirates. He failed to stick from there, ended up heading to Philadelphia and then Oakland, and now finds himself back in the bigs, productive for the first time.

It's hard to put much stock into what happens in any 50 plate appearance sample. Given the past of Moss, it's difficult to assume he's going to mash going forward. But he's the only Oakland first baseman in recent memory who might even have a shot at hitting -- that's saying something about many of the other options -- so if you have room to stash him or give him a shot while he's on his game, go for it. Just don't cut anything of value to do so.

Pedro Alvarez, 3B (45 percent owned, +15 percent): Alvarez has 13 homers, 12 doubles, and is slugging .470. He's also hitting just .218, in part due to whiffing 31 percent of the time, but also because he has just a .252 batting average on balls in play -- if the ball doesn't leave the park, Alvarez just isn't getting it to land where they ain't very often.

He's been much better as of late, though, hitting .243/.321/.554 over the last 28 days, and has even cut into his strikeouts over that stretch. This could be Alvarez finally doing what he was expected to do -- he never lost his power in 2012, after all -- and that would be a great thing for many owners, especially considering how little he's owned. You're taking a chance that he tanks again, of course, but it's too early to be giving up on someone this young with this talent.

Jose Quintana, SP (19 percent owned, +14 percent): Quintana has looked solid in his five starts this year. While he's struck out just over five batters per nine, he's kept walks to a minimum, and posted a 1.53 ERA in his 35-1/3 innings. It's hard to think that will keep up, no matter how few walks he allows, but as long as you're expecting someone to be average or a little worse, you won't be disappointed.

Quintana likely isn't being picked up for that, though. To his credit, though, Quintana has a history of punching out more batters than this, and he did strike out six in eight innings in his last start, and four in 5-1/3 frames the time out before that. If that's going to be the kind of starter he'll show up, then he's worth owning.

John Mayberry, LF (25 percent owned, +12 percent): Mayberry has homered four times in his last five games, giving him six on the year. Before you think that hey, he just started playing recently, that was his 65th game, and 183rd plate appearance on the year. That puts Mayberry at an uninspiring .249/.284/.422. Just because he's playing every day doesn't mean he has value in standard mixed formats, and it's likely the people picking him up are desperate for any kind of help in their outfields.

Mayberry has been a bit better than this in his career, but he's also been a part-time player who comes into games for favorable match-ups. Playing all the time has not gone nearly as well for him, and it shows in his numbers.

Justin Grimm, SP (12 percent owned, +11 percent): Grimm is in the Rangers rotation not just for a spot start, but even after the addition of Roy Oswalt, as it's Scott Feldman who was sent back to the bullpen. He's had a solid-but-short minor-league career, and acquitted himself well in his first start, by going six innings against the Astros while striking out seven, walking none, and finishing with a quality start.

The Rangers score plenty of runs, and have a good defensive team behind Grimm, so there's little harm in rolling the dice on him. He might be mostly unknown as far as Rangers pitching prospects go, but the 2010 draft pick has done little but succeed in his time as a pro.


Chris Archer, SP (12 percent owned, +8 percent): Archer pitched very well in his first major-league start, but since he was facing Stephen Strasburg, very well wasn't enough to get the W. He's a tempting short-term plug for mixed leagues while he fills in for Jeremy Hellickson, but is a must-own in AL-only.


Tyler Thornburg, SP (7 percent owned, +2 percent): Don't go out and pick up Thornburg yet, but just file his name away for later. He filled in for Shaun Marcum for a start before he was optioned back to Triple-A.