Giancarlo Stanton: Hitting for power, not much else
After going 1-4 with two more strikeouts, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is hitting just .211-.324-.469 with 11 home runs, 20 runs scored and 25 RBI this season. He owns a 60-24 strikeout to walk rate in his 174 plate appearances this season, and only three hitters are striking out at a higher rate than Stanton.
Here is more on Stanton's struggles from Buster Olney's blog post on Sunday:
Giancarlo Stanton's struggles are bordering on historic. From the Elias Sports Bureau: Stanton is the second player (and first position player) in the past 50 years to go hitless with 15 strikeouts in a five-game span (Wayne Twitchell also did so in 1973).
From Zach Jones of ESPN Stats & Information: Over his last five games, he has swung the bat 46 times and put the ball in play just twice. Those are numbers you see from a bad-hitting pitcher.
His hard hit and contact rates are down in a big way compared to last season. Entering Sunday, he was hitting just .156-.280-.344 in the month of May, so he is probably looking forward to the month ending. Hopefully he can bust out of this month long slump for Marlins fans and his fantasy owners come June 1st.
Matt Harvey almost sent to minors?
This isn't breaking news, but Mets starter Matt Harvey has been one of the worst starting pitchers in the game thus far in 2016. Only six other qualified starters have a higher (read worse) ERA than Harvey's 5.77 ERA, and his .385 batting average of balls in play is the second worst in the game behind only Wily Peralta from the Brewers.
After his last start, where he gave up 9 runs, 6 of which were earned, in just 2.2 innings, there was talk that the Mets should place him on the disabled list to let him clear his head and work on his mechanics.
From Newsday's Marc Carig:
The Mets huddled on Friday to begin the daunting task of reassembling Matt Harvey’s shattered confidence. Their options ran the gamut.
Most were traditional, such as dispatching the embattled pitcher to the minors for a head-clearing sabbatical, a person briefed on the situation told Newsday.
So, the Mets even discussed sending him to the minors. I like my idea of a stint on the 15 day disabled list more. Teams can make up any injury they want as most players play with some kind of ailment.
Anyway, Harvey will not be sent to the minors and will not land on the disabled list. He will make a start this week, but when is the question.
For those who are getting trade offers involving Harvey, I think I would deal for him, as he is much better than he has shown to date, but I would not pay full price for him.
Mets ace Noah Syndergaard is already one of the best starting pitchers in the game and he hasn't even pitched a full season in the big leagues. Yesterday, he dominated the Brewers lineup giving up an unearned run on 6 hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Mets 3-1 win. He moved his record to 5-2 with a 1.94 ERA, 1.69 FIP, 0.98 WHIP and a 76-9 strikeout to walk rate in 60.1 innings. Coming into his start, only three starters had a higher strikeout rate, Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, and only one starter, Kershaw, had a higher K%-BB%. The Mets would be smart to buy out some of his arbitration years real soon.
Another starter who has been a huge disappointment this season is the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel. Coming off a season where he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, Keuchel has not been the same pitcher we saw in 2015. On Sunday, he was knocked around for 7 runs on 9 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Astros 9-2 loss to the Rangers. The loss moved his record to 2-6 with a 5.92 ERA, 3.92 FIP, a 1.59 WHIP and a 53-26 strikeout to walk rate. The walks and increased hard hit rate has hurt Keuchel thus far. Last season, he walked just 51 batters in 232 innings. This season, he has already walked 26 in just 62.1 innings. Since shutting out the Tigers back on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15th), Keuchel has given up 36 runs, on 59 hits, 15 walks and 36 strikeouts in 41.2 innings, and has seen his ERA rise from 2.15 to 5.92. If I owned Keuchel, I know I wouldn't get much in return for him, but I would consider dropping him, but I think I would wait till June to do so, as there are still more than four months left in the season, allowing him time to turn things around.
With other second baseman like Astros Jose Altuve, Nationals Daniel Murphy and Mariners Robinson Cano stealing the headlines for fantasy purposes, one second baseman who is quietly having a very good season is Ian Kinsler. The Tigers second baseman went 1-5 with a run scored on Sunday in the Tigers 9-2 win over the Rays. He is now hitting .313-.361-.531 with 10 home runs, 40 runs scored, 24 RBI and 4 stolen bases. He leads the majors in runs scored with 40, and, among his keystone brethren, he ranks in the top five in home runs, RBI and batting average. Sometimes going against the grain and drafting the older veteran player can be the smart move on draft day, and Kinsler has not disappointed his owners to date.
Well, the scouting reports on Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts have proven to be accurate. The guy can hit. On Sunday, Bogaerts went 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI in the Red Sox 5-2 win over the Indians. The three hits improved his slash line to .346-.397-.495 with 4 home runs, 33 runs scored, 25 RBI and 6 stolen bases. He hasn't reached his power potential yet, but he is on pace for 15 home runs, 122 runs scored, 93 RBI and 22 stolen bases. The stolen base total to date are a surprise, especially since he stole just 10 bases last season. He is getting the green light more often this season. Should he reach the 20 stolen base level, he will move into the conversation as a top 3 shortstop for me. He currently ranks in the top five among all qualified fantasy shortstops in runs scored, RBI, stolen bases and batting average. If I had to rank fantasy shortstops for the rest of the season, I would rank Bogaerts at #3 behind Manny Machado and Carlos Correa, but Rockies shortstop Trevor Story would make me think long and hard at #3.
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