Josh Harrison: Career year or what we can expect in 2015?
I was watching the Pirates-Reds game last night, and was amazed at how much of an impact Josh Harrison has made to the Pirates lineup this season. Last night, he hit a triple to drive in the tying run and scored the winning run later. In the field, he made 2-3 great plays at third base, and is an improvement at third over the struggling, and injured, Pedro Alvarez.
Harrison was a waiver wire add in most leagues this season, but has become a must own as he does a little bit of everything for his fantasy owners. He went 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI last night, raising his slash line to .308-.342-.50r with 12 home runs, 62 runs scored, 45 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 22 attempts, all career highs.
Heading into next season, fantasy owners will have to decide if Harrison is having a career year, or if we can expect more of the same next season. He is one pace for a 15 home run, 20 stolen base season, and can play all over the field, so he is going to have plenty of love on draft day 2015.
For more on Harrison and the Buccos, make sure you check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.
Jorge Soler and the Puig-like start
I grabbed Jorge Soler in the Tout Wars mixed league two weeks ago, and the rule says, you have to roster the player in your starting lineup even though he is not called up yet. So, I did that. And naturally, this Monday I took him out of my lineup, assuming he wasn't getting a call up till next week.
Well, you know what happened after that. Soler was called up on Wednesday, and all he has done is put up a Puig-like start to his major league career. Last night, he went 3-3 with a walk, two home runs, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Cubs win over the Cardinals. He now has three home runs in his first three games.
Consider the Cubs lineup with Javier Baez, Starlin Castro (or Addison Russell), Kris Bryant, Soler, Arismendy Alcantara, and Anthony Rizzo next season. Lots of power up and down the lineup. Crazy potential.
For more on Soler and the Cubs, make sure you check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation's Cubs fan site.
Braves outfielder Justin Upton has had a habit of disappointing fantasy owners over the last few seasons due to his low RBI totals and long cold streaks, but this year has been different, as Upton is putting his name into the MVP discussion in the National League. Last night, Upton went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Braves 5-2 win over the Marlins. Upton has had a solid season at the plate, slashing .288-.362-.524 with 26 home runs, 70 runs scored and 91 RBI, and is on pace for 31 home runs and 109 RBI. He is now a strong consideration as a late first round pick in 2015.
Giants catcher Buster Posey is probably the hottest hitter in the game right now, and he continued his hot hitting ways on Friday night, going 5-5 with a triple.3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Giants 13-2 win over the Brewers. Posey has hit in 8 of his last 9 games, six of which have been of the multiple hit variety. He is now hitting .297-.352-.472 with 18 home runs, 59 runs scored and 71 RBI. Coming into the season, I had concerns about his power output after he struggled mightily in the second half of the 2013 season. His manager Bruce Bochy has used him at first base with Brandon Belt on the disabled list, and stats show he performs better when not behind the plate. Bochy has hinted about a position switch for Posey in the future, but fantasy owners can still look forward to drafting Posey as a catcher once again in 2015.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina returned from the disabled list last night, and not shockingly, Cardinals young starter Shleby Miller pitched well. Miller limited the Cubs to 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 7 innings, leaving with the score tied at two, and did not figure in the decision. Miller has struggled for most of the season, pitching to an 8-9 record with a 4.19 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and an underwhelming 101-68 strikeout to walk rate in 152.2 innings. I own him in one of my NL only keeper leagues and will not be writing his name down as one of my 10 keepers heading into the 2015 season.
Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has quietly put up another solid season at the dish this season. Last night, Ellsbury went 2-5 with a home run and 2 RBI in the Yankees 5-2 win over the Blue Jays. Ellsbury is now hitting .286-.347-.431 with 14 home runs, 64 runs scored, 64 RBI and 37 stolen bases in 42 attampts. The Yankees lineup behind him might be the worst in quite awhile, so the rune total is below expectations, but the move to Yankee Stadium has boosted his home run total. He is on pace for 17 home runs and 45 stolen bases, so he could approach the 20 home run total in 2015. He will move up my outfield rankings in 2015 as a result.
One of these years, we will get to see what Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos can do when healthy for a full season. Last night, he went 2-4 with 2 home runs and 2 RBI in the Nationals 8-3 win over Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. Ramos is now hitting .292-.329-.438 with 9 home runs, 24 runs scored and 38 RBI in just 67 games. Over the last two seasons, he has put up a 25 home runs and 97 RBI in 145 games, a glimpse into what kind of production one can expect from him in a full season. I don't see him putting up a 25-100 season in 2015, but a 20-80 season is certainly in reach.
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