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If you’re at all interested in how valuable a power-hitting middle infielder might be, take a look at Javier Baez and his +93% jump in ownership this week. Like any big call-up there is some helium to sift through, but once we get past the hype and the temporarily high-pitched voice, we are left with a very talented player – the type that can impact fantasy teams down the stretch. This has been well-documented, but Baez has typically struggled early on with each promotion to a new level. He also has a lot of swing and miss in his game which we’re already seeing with 12 strikeouts in his first 29 plate appearances. On the positive side, he’s made the necessary adjustments at each level (most recently his June/July surge in Triple-A) and with that swing and miss comes elite bat speed and home runs. Baez can also steal bases by the way. He swiped 16 in 104 games with the Iowa Cubs prior to his call up. As a top prospect he should have been long gone in keeper leagues, but owners in redraft leagues as shallow as 10 teams should be acquiring Baez for the stretch. There’s more upside in his bat than any you’ll find on the wire, and it’s my guess that as the calendar turns to September, we’re already going to see less strikeouts and more slugging. Here are the other big adds and drops for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Dustin Ackley – 64% owned (+36%)

Ackley has enjoyed quite the hot streak lately. He has four home runs and eight runs batted in over his last ten games. That’s as many as he had in the first three months of the 2014 season. Simply put, he’s hitting more balls in the air this month than he had all year. His August fly ball percentage of 45% is ten points higher than in any other month this season. 21% of those are leaving the park which is about 14% higher than anything he’s posted in his previous years. It all feels fluky and streaky to me, which is fine if you’re shuffling players who are hot in and out of your lineup. It’s not so great if you’re picking him up just in time for the streak to end, which seems to happen to me quite often. Complicating things even more is the acquisition of Chris Denorfia and the return of Michael Saunders. If Ackley’s bat gets cold it could kill some of his playing time. TRASH.

Kole Calhoun –  75% owned (-21%)

Fantasy owners are souring on Calhoun, whose hot June and July have given way to a meh August line of .263/.317/.316 with no home runs and only one stolen base. He’s still hitting line drives, but he’s putting more balls on the ground and less in the air in August. This isn’t the worst thing in the world since Calhoun does have speed, but a lot of fantasy owners are playing him for his ability to chip in the occasional homer and steal. Without homers, Calhoun loses some of his luster. Steamer is still projecting Calhoun to finish the year with 15 homers and seven stolen bases. He should also continue to see plenty of hittable pitches and runs scored leading off in front of Mike Trout. Like any Angels player, my biggest fear with Calhoun is that he starts to sit if Scioscia gets any crazy ideas. Calhoun sat out against lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu recently, but I’d be comfortable moving forward with the Angel leadoff hitter as he’s recorded multiple hits in each of his last three games. Could be the start of another hot streak like we saw in June and July. TREASURE.

 

From Around The Web

  1. No Soup for Yu says:
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    Hey Mike I need to add a reliever for my holds league… Thinking about Boxberger, Nashek, or Clippard. Who should I drop to pick up a RP and who should I drop? Stroman, Odorizzi, Wheeler, Marte, R Davis

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think both Boxberger and Neshek are good options. Guessing you don’t need both Marte and Davis since they are similar types of players and likely one is on your bench at the moment.

  2. Bulls, bears, & puppy dog tails are all fine & dandy, but how about more on a guy by the name of Buck Farmer in Detroit?! Any guy who is a SP and has a monster buck farm, has got to be a high upside player, just sayin’. “My name is Buck, Buck Farmer.” Sweet! Haha. Keep up the good work Mike!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha! thanks man!

  3. Ryan says:
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    Keeper league…

    Which side is the better play for next season? Will Cingrani return and dominate with his FB?

    Ben Zobrist FOR Tony Cingrani and Alcides Escobar

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Return? sure. Dominate? not sold on that

      depending on the number of players kept, none of those three are great options IMO

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Escobar side if taking a flier on Cingrani

  4. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Hey Mike,
    Speaking of Baez … Wanted to get your opinion; 6 man keeper (keep as long as we like), standard scoring. Cutch, Stanton and Goldy are forsures … Who u got for the last 3 spots out of Braun, Donaldson, Kipnis, Arenado and Baez? Am I crazy to consider Baez as a keeper in this group? He looks to have immense ‘future’ value out of the 2b/SS position. Thinking Tulo with lower batting average but more stolen bases and potentially more power. Please confirm I am not crazy or talk me off the ledge. Obviously I realize it’s super early and lots will change; just looking for your reaction at this point. Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Like you said, there is still plenty of time to look at your keepers, but you are not crazy at al to want to keep him. Elite power from the middle infield is the type of gamble I’d want to take with one of my last keepers. Love Arenado too BTW

      • Dr. Sauce says:
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        @Mike:
        Yah got too admit I have a soft spot for Arenado. Again early but if given the choice would you want Arenado or Donaldson? Would be tough to protect two third baseman, especially given that I have other options. Thanks for response; appreciate your perspective.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime. I’d still go with Donaldson

  5. phenomenot says:
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    In my 12 team 14 keeper league, where, with some luck, I have a slim chance this year, who would you see as potential trade chips to boost specific needs (our deadline is next week).

    i guess i’m asking which 14 would you keep for next year. Im having a hard time

    posey, navarro
    rizzo, c.davis
    baez,hill
    desmond
    headley, alvarez

    span, eaton, crisp,
    beltran, ozuna,
    polanco, sethsmith

    iwakuma
    arrieta
    kluber
    stroman
    aaron sanchez
    ryu
    liriano

    harvey, jofer (dl)

    reed
    melancon
    rodney
    cotts, walden, familia, oday, cecil

    razzball built this team.

    • Cram It says:
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      @phenomenot: Can ya narrow it down a bit? Otherwise, you don’t have 14 keepers. I’d trade almost anybody for whatever you need to win.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      man, pick 14? okay here goes…

      Hitting- Rizzo, Baez, Polanco, Ozuna, Crush, Desmond, Posey
      Pitching- Harvey, JoFer, Kluber, Iwakuma, Ryu, Stroman, Arrieta

      that’s a 7/7 split. If you wanted to lean hitters I could see protecting Eaton too

      nice team

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        going off what Cram is saying, the only guys that I wouldn’t consider trading to upgrade would be Rizzo, Baez, and Polanco

        • Cram It says:
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          @Mike: Right there’s a few definite keepers, then everyone else is game to try and help you win this year, which only he knows what he needs, hopefully.

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            yup exactly

          • phenomenot says:
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            @Cram It: for sure…it was just intended as a fun quick-pick. who do you prefer of harvey and jofer? i might trade one with a bottom team for maybe a 3b.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              I’d lean Harvey just cause I think he is closer to contributing

            • Cram It says:
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              @phenomenot: Oh, it didn’t sound like that. It came off more like “I have no idea what I’m doing, please pick my team for next year.” I’d rather have Jo-Fer

              • phenomenot says:
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                @Cram It: @Mike: i think i get your handle now

                • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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                  @phenomenot: you should’ve seen when he used to be around more.

      • phenomenot says:
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        @Mike: Thanks for playing! Interesting to see Ryu and Ozuna. I like Eaton too. I carried him over this year, but he keeps hurting himself.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime…I like both those guys. Eaton is kind of interesting but you’re right he’s getting banged up a lot and honestly there are a lot of plyaers like him out there. I usually like to keep guys that I feel are less replaceable

  6. Justin B says:
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    Mike,
    Hanley down, Everth down…now what?
    Segura is actually a FA (shocking) but he has been TRASH. Next best available are BCrawford, Rutledge, Jeter, Cozart (4 at Coors this week). Thoughts?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I know. Bummer

      Rutledge has been really cold since having the flu or whatever it was, but he’s got the 4-gamer at Coors this week. He and Segura would be the two best options IMO

  7. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Would you start Bailey in Col coming off his “sore elbow and hopefully nothing more serious”

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      nope. not just because of the elbow, more because I rarely start anybody in Coors

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Mike: I hear you. Separately – assuming Bailey is not heading to the DL, would you drop any of Ventura, McHugh, Odorrizi, or Liriano for Paxton (after his Det start)? Thanks.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Nah, I’d stick with those four for now

  8. Yo I have Tulo, the Gimp from Cinncy Votto, and the Deer Hunter from San Diego Cashner using up the only Two DL spots I have. I’m holding a slim lead in my League. Is Degrom From the Mets Worthing stashing?. Do you think they will still limit his season with this DL stint?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      it’s tough to say, but shoulders are never easy. I don’t think he’s any better a stash than what you’ve already got there

  9. Joeg414 says:
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    Do you think if Werth is out for ….2 plus weeks, Taylor will play most everyday?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Taylor should play yes. I think Werth is getting an MRI

      • Hondo says:
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        @Mike: Yep,but the Nats announcers said he doesn’t have any structural damage.I don’t know what they’re looking for,maybe they don’t either.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha…that’s the truth right there

  10. AKSNOW says:
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    Need to drop someone when Springer returns. Santana, Yelich, Polanco, Marte, Bruce or Calhoun?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      that’s a tough one. Between Bruce and Calhoun IMO. I’d lean Calhoun

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Actually, Santana might be the best drop if you don’t need the steals or average

      • AKSNOW says:
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        @Mike: Ya, that’s what I was thinking but it is nice to have Santana to slot into SS or 2B for daily leagues when that position player doesn’t have a game. Might have to be Calhoun since Bruce is hotter right now.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          agreed, I love having Santana on my daily league team. Calhoun it is :)

      • AKSNOW says:
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        @Mike: Forgot Adam LaRoche can be dropped. Calhoun over him?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I’d hang onto LaRoche for the extra power/RBI

          • AKSNOW says:
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            @Mike: Awesome, thanks!

            • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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              @AKSNOW: you have at least 2 weeks till springer’s back.

  11. Count de monetball says:
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    Baez is on pace for 69 home runs. Yup!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha nice!

  12. Matt says:
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    Guys, NEED ADVICE ASAP, so I’m 1st in my 15-man roto auction league up by 10 pts, 2nd place made a huge deal trading a really cheap Goldy to revamp his team, I got offered Darvish/Ortiz/Melky (all who I won’t be able to keep next year except for Ortiz at $15) for my $6Machado, $8 Tavaras/ $20 Craig (all next yr prices, prices inflate $5 a year) we must keep 10 keepers every year so far next year I have Puig $11, CarGomez $20, Dee Gordon $7 Garret Richards $10, Kluber $7 Alcantara $10

    Obviously Machado and Tavaras won’t help much this year, do I pull the trigger? My rotation would then be :

    Darvish
    Price
    Latos
    Kluber
    Paxton
    then RP slots
    Alex Wood
    Garrett Richards
    Drew Smyly

    my hitters would be

    C-Montero
    1B-Davis
    2b-Zobrist
    3b-Miggy
    SS-D. Gordon
    CI-Ortiz
    MI-Alcantara
    OF-Puig
    OF-CarGomez
    OF-Melky
    Util-Trumbo/Choo/Werth

    Thoughts?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think you need to make the move if that helps you win now

      • Matt says:
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        @Mike: It definitely would…def wouldn’t be in as good shape losing out on Machado and Tavaras for a combined $14 next year. Decisions decisions….

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yeah that’s a tough one. Might want to wait until tomorrow when they say more about Machado and how long he will actually be out

          • Matt says:
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            @Mike: Thanks for the advice, yeah from what I’ve been hearing it’s a strained ligament and there’s even a chance Machado night not need a DL stint (wow)

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              anytime

  13. fausto says:
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    I know I harass you on a daily basis. Quickie.
    Lowrie (broken finger)
    Hardy (im keeping hes the best option even with bad thumb back by Saturdayish)
    quick fix at ss solarte, jeter, simmons(ankle), crawford, hechavarria I got nobody at ss and the league won’t trade with me bc I win. Id have to give Gomez for Asdrubal as an example in order to trade in this league. Thanks mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no worries at all. I like chatting baseball

      yikes on the Gomez trade…haha

      I’d go with Solarte or Hech for now

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: Solarte party!

  14. chris says:
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    Which catcher ROS – Gattis or Sal Perez. I’ve asked before and it was gattis. Any change in thought? Gattis seems lost right now. H2h points league. Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d ride the hot hand at catcher. I still like Gattis though if I had to choose

  15. fausto says:
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    What happened to Rutlidge? Hes available too for short term ss.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Slumping since he had that virus or whatever I still like him at Coors. Four games there this week I think

  16. Luv da rookies says:
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    $280 nl only league 5×5

    For next year…. A $5 Franco. OR. A $25 rendon?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      As much as I like Franco, give me the more proven piece in Rendon even if the price is higher

      • Luv da rookies says:
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        If you don’t mind what do you predict for Franco next year In a 5×5?
        Will he make the team out of spring?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I think making the team is definitely a possibility. He’s had a better go of it recently in Triple-A, and I could see him being similar to Singleton with less swing and miss. Maybe 15-20 homers out of the gate with the upside for 30 dingers down the road. Whether he ends up at first or third I’m not sure yet.

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