May 25, 2012
Mr. Fantasy Freak
Every year, we have certain household names that perform to under expectations. Hitters might stop hitting home runs, strike out more than usual, or have to perform in a different role to make room for top prospects. Pitchers might forget how to throw strikes, have problems keeping the ball in the yard, or find too much of the plate too often. This is my "Struggling Stars" line up:
Catcher: Mike Napoli, Tex. After lighting the world on fire in the 2011 World Series, as well as the start of this season, Napoli hasn't really done much. Don't let the 7 home runs fool you. Most of those were in April. His .325 OBP for the year is something to keep an eye on. He is fighting for at-bats with Mitch Moreland, Micheal Young, and Yorvit Torrealba, and with the way he is swinging the bat right now, he might start to lose some.
Prediction: I think eventually he will figure it out. Maybe not to the tune of the .320 BA, 30 HR, and 75 RBI's of last year, but he will hit 20-25 bombs.
First Base: Eric Hosmer, KC. I could have just as easily gone to Albert Pujols, but he has been picking it up (4 home runs and 8 RBI's in his last ten games). Hosmer has big expectations coming into the year, and maybe they were too much for the 22 year old. His .191 average was not what he expected going into the year.
Prediction: Hosmer is a talent that will easily bounce back. His average has gone up 16 points in the last few weeks and everything he has been hitting is hit hard, although right at people. I think a .260 average and 25 long ones aren't out of the question.
Second Base: Rickie Weeks, Mil. For a guy who has hit 113 home runs in his career, Weeks sure has missed out on his power. He has only tallied 4 this season. His 9 RBI's also leave more to be desired. He has also struck out 58 times in 41 games. Not good for a perrenial star second baseman.
Prediction: I just don't see him figuring it out this year. He has played in almost every game for the Brewers and hasn't produced. 2 stolen bases? Come on now. The Brewers are struggling and so is Mr. Weeks.
Third Baseman: Scott Rolen, Cin. What has happened to Scottie Too Hotty? An injury filled season has kept one of the most solid third baggers of his time from being on the field. But when he has been on the field, his talent hasn't been. .174 average and only 2 home runs are shocking from this long time star.
Prediction: Rolen still hasn't been cleared to swing a bat after battling a shoulder injury. Don't expect too much from him this season. This may be the last season where Rolen is relevent in fantasy baseball.
Shortstop: Erick Aybar, LAA. Just when we thought Aybar would take the next step in his career, he did the exact opposite. He has been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season. We didn't expect the home runs, so that isn't a surprise. But the .222 average and only 4 stolen bases surely are.
Prediction: He hasn't really strung together many multiple hit games this year. Could he be pressin? Possibly. Either way, I would stay away from him for the rest of the season.
Left Field: Logan Morrison, Mia. This kid has all the tools to be a star, but we didn't expect this start to the season. With the Marlins getting some much needed offensive pieces in place, one would be led to think Morrison would take that next step. Not so much. The 6 extra base hits aren't getting the job done.
Prediction: Don't worry, Morrison owners. There is good news. Just kidding. He is 2 for his last 31. I think it might be time to add him to the Toothpick Catergory, Alex.
Centerfield: Colby Rasmus, Tor. After getting a fresh start in Toronto, the power hitting centerfielder was supposed to fit right in with the Bautista's, Encarnacion's, and Lind's. He hasn't. We didn't expect much of an average from Rasmus, but the .216 is barely hanging on, if that. Only 3 home runs in a dome stadium also is unimpressive.
Prediction: I think Rasmus puts quite a few more in the seats the rest of the season. I will say 18 home runs to end the year, with 80 RBI's. Quote me.
Right Field: Shin-Soo Choo, Cle. This guy has been the most underrated player in the game for a few years now. But this wasn't the start he was hoping for. It's not the 16 RBI's that is lacking. The 7 stolen bases and 11 doubles also aren't the problem. The 3 home runs from this borderline-elite player are the disappointing stat here. He is too good for that.
Prediction: I think Choo will absolutely go off, especially after the All Star break. He is too talented a player to be held down this long. 25 home runs and 88 RBI's will be right around his total.
Designated Hitter: There aren't really any DH's that are struggling.
Pitcher: Tim Lincecum, SF: His nickname "The Freak" has been used more derogetory this season so far. A 6.04 ERA looks like a misprint, but unfortuantely it isn't. 2-4, on a team that doesn't necessarily score a ton of runs, isn't that bad. But Lincecum has got to figure it out soon. Matt Cain and Madison Baumgardner have held down the fort so far, but that won't last all season.
Prediction: Lincecum is going to turn it around. And it starts tonight against Miami. The swing-and-miss fastball might not be there right now, but if he uses his other pitches effectively, he can blow people away with his now-average fastball.
Comments? Feel free. I love to hear why I'm wrong or why I'm right.