2014 NFL Draft: Post-draft rankings and analysis
Now that the 2014 NFL Draft is over, it's time to update our 2014 rookie position rankings. Our fantasy football writers were all over the draft and here are a few articles addressing the fantasy impact of round 1 of the draft, the winners and losers from round 1, and our post-draft position rankings.
Mookie Betts playing center field in AA
I wrote about Betts' move to center field in AA yesterday:
Zack Greinke: National League Cy Young leader?
I didn't get to the Roundup this weekend, but wanted to write about Dodgers ace Zack Greinke as he dominated the Diamondbacks on Friday night, shutting them out for eight innings on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts in the Dodgers 7-0 win. Greinke moved his record to 7-1 with a 2.03 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 2.67 xFIP, a 1.11 WHIP and a 61-12 strikeout to walk rate in 53.1 innings. He has raised his strikeouts per nine from 7.50 K/9 to 10.29 K/9, is walking just over two batters per nine innings and keeping the ball on the ground at a 48% clip.
I was checking out my Twitter timeline on Saturday morning and came across this tweet from fantasy writer Jason Collette:
Last 25 starts for Greinke: 16-3, 1.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 25% K rate, 5% BB rate, holding batters to a .209 average. #ace— jasoncollette (@jasoncollette) May 17, 2014
It is no secret that Greinke loves pitching in the National League West, and that tweets tells the story. Even more impressive is the fact that Greinke has given up two runs or less in each of his last 21 starts dating back to July 30, 2013. He has been pretty darn consistent over the last year, and right now, he might be the early favorite for the National League Cy Young award.
Astros center fielder George Springer struggled upon his call up to the big leagues, but looks like he is starting to figure things out. Since the beginning of May, Springer is hitting .281-.349-.509 with 3 home runs, 9 runs scored and 8 RBI in 71 at bats. He is striking out in almost a third of his plate appearances, but he is starting to produce when he does put the ball in play. Progress.
Springer went 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout in the Astros 8-2 win over the White Sox on Sunday, raising his slash line to .235-.313-.365 with three home runs, 9 runs scored and 13 RBI in 115 at bats thus far. In addition to hitting better in May, he is also hitting for more power as he is slugging about 300 points higher in May vs April.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu landed on the 15 day disabled list due to posterior tibia tendinitis in his left ankle. The injury is not considered serious and he should return when the 15 days are up. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko will fill in while Abreu is out. Abreu is one of the early favorites, along with Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, for the American League rookie of the year award through the first quarter of the season.
The Nationals are considering having Ryan Zimmerman play left field when he returns from the disabled list. He has been playing left field in fielding drills before games over the last few days, and if he proves he can play there, he will fill in until Bryce Harper returns from the disabled list in July. Zimmerman is still a few weeks away from returning from the disabled list, so this possible move bares watching for fantasy owners, as he could gain outfield eligibility this season.
The Royals have struggled to hit home runs this season, but Alex Gordon did his best to change that on Sunday, as he hit not one, but two home runs. Gordon went 4-4 with two home runs, 3 runs scored and 6 RBI in the Royals 8-6 win over the Orioles. Gordon raised his slash line to .268-.320-.402 with three home runs, 21 runs scored, 22 RBI and just one stolen base. Like most Royals hitters, Gordon is well behind home run projections for him, and is on pace for just 11 home runs.
A's outfielder Brandon Moss doesn't get the praise and love that other younger hitters get, but he is having another excellent season at the plate. Moss went 3-3 with two walks, two doubles, a triple, 4 runs scored, and three RBI in the A's 13-3 win over the Indians. Moss raised his slash line to .301-.391-.582 with 9 home runs, 24 runs scored and 39 RBI in 146 at bats. He is on pace to hit 33 home runs, score 88 runs and drive in 144 runs.
Moss' teammate Yoenis Cespedes had a big day at the plate as well, going 2-5 with 5 RBI in the A's 13-3 win over the Indians. Cespedes is coming off a disappointing 2013 season, but is off to a good start in 2014. Cespedes is now hitting .262-.331-.503 with 7 home runs, 23 runs scored and 27 RBI in 149 at bats. He is showing improved plate discipline thus far, improving his walk rate to 9.6%, reducing his strikeout rate to 16.9%, and improving his power as measured by ISO and SLG%. Once he gets healthier, we could see the home run total rise.
The Mariners spent a fortune on second baseman Robinson Cano this offseason, and the early returns show that they aren't getting their money's worth despite his solid day at the plate on Sunday. Cano went 4-5 with two runs scored and an RBI in the Mariners 6-2 win over the Twins. Cano is now hitting .318-.366-.406 with ONE home run, 19 runs scored and 24 RBI thus far. He is on pace for 72 runs scored and 90 RBI, but just FOUR home runs. Back in March, Cano was a first round pick in the majority of mixed league and AL only league drafts, but that will change unless he improves his power stroke.
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