David Freese has an OBP higher than his slugging, which is only a good sign when you’re Joey Votto. His .224/.298/.259 line is begging you to beg me why you still have him on your roster. What’s cooler than being cool? David Freese! Somewhere, Mr. Freeze says, “Ice to see you, David.” Here’s the deal: his plate discipline appears to be just as good as last season. The only significant change is in his batted ball data, where he’s hitting a lot more ground balls and less fly balls than he’s hit in his career. This looks like something that is highly likely to normalize as the season progresses so, like Jim Cramer, I’m going to tell you to, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” In fact, I expect him to produce near his career .290/.350/.430 line for the rest of 2013. Color me optimistic, Radiohead, but I’ll be buying low on Freese. Anyway, here are some other players who have hit me with their best shot in OPS leagues:
B.J. Upton – It can’t get any worse, right? Right?! Before the season started, I said, “I expect some OBP improvement for Upton this year and project a .240/.330/.450 line.” Well, I’ll admit that improvement is now unlikely considering that he’s striking out way too much. I still expect him to rebound, but a .700 OPS could be his ceiling unless he turns things around quickly.
James Loney – Only the Loney. Cue Roy Orbison, one of my many heroes. Check out Loney’s stats – they’re baloney! Ok, I’ll stop. But seriously, only on the moon would I expect Loney to maintain a near 1.000 OPS. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned him because he’s never been relevant in OPS leagues. To me, it’s a no brainer that Loney hits near his career .766 OPS going forward.
Anthony Rizzo – Rizzo es muy delicioso. There’s your weekly Spanish lesson. After a slow start, Rizzo has been one of the best hitters over the past couple weeks and his line now sits at a fantastic .279/.350/.531. In February, I said, “I love Rizzo almost as much as Bill James does. Almost. I believe in his 30 home run power upside and good overall skills. He won’t hurt you anywhere and I think he’ll have a .280/.350/.500 season as long as he doesn’t get Valley Fever.” I still think that’s a reasonable expectation, but Rizzo has the potential to continue topping an .850 OPS this season. Hey Anthony: fantasy owners still like you when you’re 23!
Jacoby Ellsbury – A couple months ago, I compared him to Angel Pagan. Take that as you will. Not satisfied? Ok, well I think the best case going forward could resemble his 2009 line of .301/.355/.415.
Aaron Hill – He’s going to be coming back in a couple weeks, so it’s worth buying low (free?) where necessary. After the 2012 season, I said “I think he’s a better player than his 2011 numbers indicate, but I see him having the upside for an .800 OPS next year instead of the .882 he posted this year.” That’s a backhanded sort of compliment because I’d take that production from a second baseman in a heartbeat.
You can follow Tom Jacks on Twitter: @votetomjacks