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Yasiel Puig: Better than Bryce Harper and Mike Trout?
Before you call me crazy, hear me out. I am not saying that Puig will be better than either Bryce Harper or Mike Trout over the long haul. What I am saying is that Puig has had a better start over his first 13 games than either Harper or Trout last season. Here is how each of them have performed over their first 13 games in the big leagues:
Trout: 15-57, 2 HRs, 8 runs, 7 RBI
Harper: 10-56, 0 HR, 5 runs, 3 RBI
Puig: 23-48, 4 HRs, 7 runs, 10 RBI
I used Trout's first 13 games from 2012, rather than 2011 in this analysis. Certainly, age is a factor here, as Puig is 22 years old, as far as we know, while Harper is 21 years of age, and Trout is 22 years old as well.
Puig's amazing start in the big leagues was certainly unexpected, while both Harper and Trout arrived with much more hype. What do you expect from Puig the rest of the season? Recently, ESPN's Keith Law projected him to hit 18-19 home runs the rest of the season with regular playing time, and I think that is a reasonable estimate for Puig.
For more on Puig and the Dodgers, make sure you check out the great work over at True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fans site.
Kyle Blanks: Finally healthy and producing
Kyle Blanks burst onto the roto scene back in 2009, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 22 runs in 54 games. Heading into his 2010 season, Blanks was drafted with much hype, and I bought into it, trading for him in a keeper league. He hasn't played much since then, mainly due to two serious injuries, having Tommy John surgery in 2011, and surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder last season. This season, he has been healthy, and has been a pleasant surprise for Padres fans and fantasy owners. He hit a three run home run in the Padres 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks yesterday, and is now hitting .281-.365-.511 with 8 home runs, 23 runs and 26 RBI in 135 at bats this season. He is playing some first base with Yonder Alonso on the DL, as well as some left field, and should continue to play everyday, even when Alonso returns if he can continue to hit for power and get on base at a .365 clip.
For more on Blanks and the Padres, make sure you check out Gaslamp Ball, SB Nation's Padres fan site.
Would you roster a starting pitcher with 5 wins, a 3.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 65.1 innings? You would, wouldn't you? I picked this guy up in an AL only keeper league a few days ago, and so should you. This pitcher is Indians starter Corey Kluber, and he is owned in just 5.9% of ESPN leagues right now. That number should rise after he shut out the Nationals for 8 innings yesterday, giving up just 7 hits, no walks and striking out 8 in the Indians 2-0 win.
Reds top starter Johnny Cueto looked great in his return from the DL yesterday, limiting the Brewers to just one run on 5 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts in the Reds 5-1 win. Cuetp is now 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 37-13 strikeout to walk rate in 43.1 innings. He has made just seven starts this season, but has given up one run or less in five of those seven starts, and three runs or less in all seven starts.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco is barely owned in most leagues, and despite being a sub-.500 pitcher, he has been better than his record indicates this season. He held the solid Cardinals lineup to just one run in 7 innings yesterday, giving up just 3 hits, walking one and striking out 4 to win his 4th game of the season. He is 4-7 with a 3.61 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 76-23 strikeout to walk rate in 94.2 innings this season. He has given up three runs or less in 11 of his 15 starts this season.
Braves starter Julio Teheran is fast becoming another in a long line of excellent starters developed by the Braves farm system. Some prospect experts were down on him over the last few seasons after he struggled in AAA, but now Teheran is showing he is the real deal. Teheran shut out the Giants on 7 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Braves 3-0 win last night. Teheran is now 5-3 with a 3.36 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 66-16 K-BB rate in 83 innings this season.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester started the 2013 season like the pitcher we saw two years ago, but has struggled of late. Yesterday, he gave up 5 runs on 9 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts in the Red Sox 6-3 loss to the Orioles yesterday. Lester fell to 6-4, and has seen his ERA rise from 2.72 to 4.37 over his last six starts, giving up 28 runs over his last 35 innings. I wonder if he is hiding an injury.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout went 2-3 with 2 walks and a run scored in the Angels 6-5 loss to the Yankees yesterday. Trout got on base 4 times and did not attempt a stolen base. Why?
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