But Will They Dig the Same Guys In August?

By Eddie Mayrose

No matter how closely we follow Fantasy Baseball, there are still those, “Really?”, moments that occur as we follow the scroll on the bottom of the screen during MLB Network’s Quick Pitch. Adam Dunn has 15?!  Who’s this guy Reddick with 12 for Oakland?!  Isn’t Dayan Viciedo in the minors?  Some form of each of these questions has been asked over the past few weeks by just about everyone but the jurors that fell asleep at the Roger Clemens trial. And each was followed by the same musing:  Can he keep this up or have I already missed the boat.

The late, great Forte Bellino of the 40Kane Fantasy Baseball League had a saying for such transactions. “Missed the wedding, made the funeral.”  It seems more likely that, having missed the hot streak from Edwin Encarnacion that owners have expected for the better part of a decade, you’ll pick him up or trade for him and watch him immediately revert to his standard mediocrity.  For the good Doctor, such transactions become Fantasy Baseball’s version of a cold shower, as he’s never had a problem cooling off the hottest of players.  So, where does that leave us with those guys that have enjoyed an unexpected burst of power to this point? And, perhaps more importantly, who are the late bloomers that might land a date with the hot girl before the season is out?  Let’s take a look.

Boyfriend Material

Is Billy Butler enjoying a breakout season?

Billy Butler- Long a doubles machine for the Royals, this professional hitter has matured to the point that many of those two-baggers are now dingers.  Butler is looking at a 30 HR season.

Jason Kipnis- The Indians young, second-sacker is no flash in the pan, as his solid start follows a September 2011 call up that saw him go deep seven times.  He’s a sure 20-20 guy with 30-30 potential.

Bryan LaHair- With all the troubles the Cubs have had over the last few years, you have to wonder what took them so long to give LaHair a shot.  He’s spent the last 3 seasons at AAA averaging 30 HR and 90 RBI.  We were hesitant to jump on LaHair’s bandwagon at first, but no longer.  He’s a hitter.

Josh Reddick- The A’s best player.  Since Yoenis Cespedes has disappeared, Reddick is Oakland’s only, real, offensive threat.  Despite having no protection in the lineup, he’s still posted 12 bombs while also pacing the A’s in BA and RBI.  Not convinced?  Get a good look at his swing; one of the sweetest in the game.

 

One Night Stands

Can Adam Jones maintain his HR/Fly Ball ratio? We don't think so.

Adam Jones- Make no mistake, Jones is absolutely living up to all of the expectations the Birds had for him when he was acquired from Seattle.  His 2012 season will, no doubt, yield a career high of 30+ HR.  However, his HR/Fly Ball ratio is absurdly high and we don’t think he can sustain it.  We expect him to hit close to 30, which means he’s already logged close to half of that total.

Dayan Viciedo- We’ve been burned by Dayan in the past, so we’re hesitant to commit just yet. While he may actually be a youngster coming into his own after a few false starts, we can’t overlook the fact that he has but 4 BB in 148 AB and a mere 3 extra base hits outside of his 10 jacks.  The jury is still way out on Viciedo, and we think you should let someone else find out if he’s the real thing.

Matt Joyce- A very reliable part of the Rays’ lineup, he’s on pace to shatter his presonal best of 19 HR; set last year. In projecting forward, though, we can’t dismiss how badly his statistics fell off in 2011 after a torrid start. Sadly, we expect more of the same.

Edwin Encarnacion- Hell hath no fury like a Fantasy Owner scorned. Encarnacion and his potential have been making fools of us for years.  So much so, that we can’t believe his success is sustainable.  His BA for May stands at .222, down from his April mark of .322 and he’s walked just 17 times.  If, (a big if), his power surge continues into June, look for AL pitchers to change the book on this free swinger.

 

Blind Dates

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is a solid, Buy Low power source.

Paul Goldschmidt- Let’s not forget that the D’Backs, in the middle of a pennant race last season, inserted this young slugger into the middle of their lineup for the stretch run.  He’s always hit for power and average, he’s in a great hitter’s park and he’s starting to get his feet under him.  Bet that he’ll finish with 20+ and steal him while you can.

Ryan Zimmerman- The Nats’ best hitter is finally beginning to look healthy.  With Adam LaRoche raking behind him and Bryce Harper emerging, it’ll be no time before Zim is putting up the numbers that are his signature.

Ian Kinsler- Be patient here.  Kinsler is enjoying a wonderful start, with a .285 BA and 14 doubles. He’s only got 5 HR right now, but we still like him to finish near 30. Go get him.

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