I am not sure if you have noticed, but Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is having probably his best season of his career this season, as he is on pace for career highs in home runs and RBI. Bruce went 3-4 with a HR and 2 RBI yesterday and is hitting .265-.342-.552 with 32 HRs, 32 doubles, 80 runs, 93 RBI and 7 stolen bases thus far. He is on pace to hit 38 HRs and drive in 109 runs. And looking at his player page over at FanGraphs, his BB% and K% has flatlined over the last 3 seasons:
2010: 10.1 BB%, 23.7 K%
2011: 10.7 BB%, 23.8 K%
2012: 10.2 BB%, 23.7 K%
His increase in power is a result of an increase in his HR/FB% from 16.0% in 2011 to just under 20% this season. I still think he has a few 40 HR seasons in him down the road.
Phillies starter Roy Halladay could come at a very nice discount in 2013 drafts after his up and down 2012 season and I will be buying. Halladay held the Reds to 1 run on 8 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts in 7.1 innings yesterday to win his 9th game of the season. He is now 9-7 with an uncharacteristic 3.87 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.55 xFIP, a 1.14 WHIP and a 109-25 strikeout to walk ratio in 137.1 innings. He might fall to around the 4th or 5th round based on his performance this season, maybe even lower, so he will present an enormous buying opportunity should that prove true.
I predicted Mets first baseman Ike Davis would have a strong second half and he has made me look smart for doing so. Davis went 1-3 with a HR, 2 walks and 3 RBI, and is now hitting .224-.299-.451 with 26 HRs, 56 runs and 77 RBI in 441 at bats this season. Davis is prone to long slumps and strikes out a little too much, but if you can take the horrible batting average, Davis is a cheap source of power.
Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller made his first big league appearance out of the bullpen yesterday, tossing two scoreless innings, giving up 1 hit, no walks and striking out 4. Not a bad first big league appearance for the young prospect.
White Sox outfielder Alex Rios is having a solid bounce back season after a terrible 2011 season. Rios went 2-3 with 2 HRs and 6 RBI yesterday, raising his slash line to .298-.329-.516 with 22 HRs, 81 runs, 82 RBI and 20 stolen bases this season. Like many players, he seems to have a good year followed by a bad year, so I am not sure what to expect in 2013.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Braves starter Mike Minor struggled mightily to begin the 2012 season, giving up home run after home run, but he seems to have settled in as a major league pitcher this season. Minor held the Rockies to just one hit, 4 walks and 7 strikeouts in 7 shutout innings last night to win his 8th game of the season. He is now 8-10 on the season with a 4.58 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 4.45 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP and a 124-51 strikeout to walk ratio in 155.1 innings of work. If he can reduce the 25 home runs he has given up this season in 2013, his overall stats will look much better across the board.
Make sure you place a check mark next to the name of Tigers starter Doug Fister when looking for trade targets in 2013. Fister has been dominant in the second half in each of the last two seasons. Last night, he held the Indians to just one run on 4 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts to win his 8th game of the season. He is now 8-8 with a 3.54 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 110-31 strikeout to walk ratio in 129.2 innings this season. Over his last 10 starts, he has given up 1 run or less in 6 of those starts and 2 runs or less in 8 of those starts. Since the beginning of July he has reduced his ERA by more than a run.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks is having some kind of start to the month of September. Weeks went 2-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 4 RBI last night, raising his triple slash line to .230-.336-.395 with 16 HRs, 72 runs, 51 RBI and 12 stolen bases this season. Over his last 10 games, he has 5 multi hit games, going 18-42 with 15 runs, 3 HRs, 6 RBI and 4 stolen bases.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had some growing pains since the All Star break, but has started to hit for power lately. I traded Harper in a keeper league about 3 weeks ago, and certainly could use his power right now, but when you are in contention, you have to give up talent to help you get over the top. Harper went 2-3 with 2 walks, 2 HRs and 2 RBI last night, and is now hitting .259-.330-.449 with 17 HRs, 20 doubles, 6 triples, 77 runs, 47 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Over his last 10 games, Harper is 13-37 with 5 HRs, 10 runs and 10 RBI. He could easily end up with 20+ HRs this season as a 19 year old. And his best years are still ahead of him.