Drafting Michael Bourn? That’s a paddlin’. Focusing on steals in an OPS league? That’s a paddlin’. Drafting a SAGNOF who hurts your OPS and doesn’t steal bases? Oh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’! In all honesty (which implies that I’m rarely honest with you?), I feel sorry for fantasy owners who were counting on him for stolen bases. Don’t you feel that way too, Matt Kemp? They had their fantasy teams left cold and ashamed, lying naked on the floor. No, let’s not get into Rihanna right now. But I really don’t know where to start with Michael, so I’ll begin at the beginning and go on till I come to the end, then stop. His current .288/.341/.381 line is fine in OBP leagues, but hurts in leagues that use slugging. The fact that he only has 13 steals is puzzling, considering that he’s a guy you would pencil in for 50 a year. Perry Farrell told me to note that Bourn’s been caught stealing seven times, a potential indicator of less speed. To make a not-so-long story short, I wouldn’t count on Bourn turning his season around. Anyway, here are some other guys I’m watching in OPS leagues:
David Ortiz – I mention him all the time, but he has as many stolen bases as Bourn in the past month! And it’s a non-zero number!
Carlos Gomez – Unlike Michael, this guy is stealing bases in bunches. Not to mention that his power looks legit. Oh wait, I guess I just mentioned it. I was very skeptical of the new CG, but now I’m thinking that he could make a former life of Jacoby Ellsbury jealous. Count me on board with this rare bright spot of the 2013 Brewers.
Starling Marte – This year he’s had an OPS in the high .800s in April and June, but an OPS in the .600s in May and July. What does this mean, my fellow detectives? I’m guessing that either he doesn’t like months with a “y” in its name and should be amazing the rest of the year, or he’s probably going to be somewhere in between going forward. My fortune cookie says, “signs point to the latter.”
Manny Machado – For whatever reason (how’s that for clarity?), I never really liked him too much for 2013. Where is the love, Black Eyed Peas? Since his hot start, his season embodies a certain Tom Petty song. I think his June line of .303/.325/.437 could be on the higher end of what to expect for the final two months of the season.
Dayan Viciedo – In May, I said, “He might be available in your league and I think that his current .276/.328/.448 line is a good baseline for the rest of 2013.” Being a narcissist, I agree with myself.
Prince Fielder – Why yes, I would love to buy low on Prince if given the opportunity. There’s a great chance he has a power surge and makes it rain, of the purple variety.
Michael Morse – He’s coming back from the DL this week and is available in a lot of leagues. Before the season, I thought his upside was .280/.330/.480, which isn’t spectacular for his position, but can help if you need some slugging (and who doesn’t?).
Billy Butler – Looks like he’s rounding into form. Pun intended.
Tom Jacks is sporadically on Twitter @votetomjacks