Minor League Ball: Organization Top 20 Prospects in Review
Minor League Ball's John Sickels is in the middle of reviewing all of his preseason Top 20 Prospects and you can find all of them in the link below:
John also hosted an All Questions Answered thread on Monday morning, so go check out the Q & A.
Yu Darvish: Best fantasy starter in 2013?
Rangers ace Yu Darvish has flirted with no-hitters in the past and yesterday he flirted with one more. This time, he went into the eighth inning with the no-no, only to see some dude named Carlos Corcoran hit a home run off of him with one out in the 8th inning. Darvish finished with a season high 15 strikeouts, limiting the Astros to just one hit and a walk in winning his 12th game of the season. He is now 12-5 with a 2.64 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and an amazing 207-51 strikeout to walk rate in just 153.2 innings.
He leads the majors in strikeouts, is averaging over 12 strikeouts per nine innings and is striking out an amazing 33.8% of the batters he faced this season ( or 207 of 613 total batters faced). His 33.8% strikeout rate is very good for a closer/reliever, yet he is accomplishing this as a starter who regularly goes 7 innings.
He may not win the American League Cy Young award, but he could get plenty of votes if he goes on a streak like he did last August-September, and the Rangers win the AL West. One can make the case that he is the best FANTASY starter in the game right now, due to the strikeouts. He is currently on pace for 282 strikeouts, so he would have to put together a long streak of double digit strikeout totals to finish with 300. Over his last four starts, he has struck out 46 of the 107 batters he has faced, or 43% of the batters. 43%!!!
For more on Darvish's dominance, please check out Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Rangers fan site.
Clayton Kershaw: Best starter in the game
I was watching some of the Dodgers-Rays game on Sunday Night baseball on ESPN and watched as Kershaw dominated the Rays in the early innings due to the starting time of the game, and I couldn't help but wonder if I was watching the National League Cy Young award winner for 2013. I am pretty sure he is the odds on favorite to win the award. I also thought that there is a pretty good chance, I am optimistic, that we will be watching Kershaw start several games in the playoffs this season. To make the World Series would be a dream come true for me. It's been almost 25 years since their last World Series appearance.
Back to Kershaw. Kershaw was dominant on Sunday night, giving up just two runs, one earned, on 3 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in the Dodgers series sweeping win over the Rays. Kershaw is now 11-7 with a major league leading 1.88 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and a 174-39 strikeout to walk rate in 182.1 innings this season. He has given up three runs or less in 23 of his 25 starts, two runs or less in 19 of his 25 starts, and has gone 7 or more innings in 20 of his 25 starts this season. Yep. Best starter in the game.
For more on Kershaw, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.
Who the heck is Andrew Albers? One of our regular readers asked about him in my Monday Streamer report and I was not as confident in Albers as I was in my other three choices. As it turns out, I should have ranked him higher. All Albers did was throw a complete game shutout of the Indians in his second major league start. Albers limited the Indians to just two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Albers got 9 ground ball outs and 16 fly ball outs, and that could catch up to him as hitters make adjustments to him.
I have said it many times before, but Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda is the most underrated starter in baseball. He has been the best starter in the Yankees rotation this season, and he showed why on Monday night. Kuroda shut out the Angels on 3 hits, a walk and 7 strikeout over 8 innings last night, moving his record to 11-7 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He just gets better with age and should have plenty of suitors in the free agent market this offseason.
There were lots of low run-scoring games on Monday night, so here are my thoughts on yet another pitcher, Reds starter Mat Latos. Latos was supposed to see his ERA rise with the move to Cincinnati last season and that didn't happen. His ERA actually dropped some after his gem vs the Cubs last night. Latos shut out the Cubs on 6 hits, no walks and 9 strikeouts in the Reds 2-0 win. Latos is now 12-3 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a solid 154-46 K-BB rate in 154 innings this season.
More from Fake Teams:
- Streamer Report: Tuesday's Streamers
- Now Appearing At A Stadium Near You: Avisail Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox
- Injury Report: Hanley, CarGo, and my poor computer
- Roto Roundup: Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Davidson, and Others
- So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen
- Two-Start Pitchers: Week 19 (Aug. 12-18)
- Complete SP Rankings: Week 19