Josh Donaldson is fired. As in, he’s been on fire since last August and I’m finally willing to announce that I’ve seen his face. Now I’m a believer! What’s there not to like? An improved walk rate, reduced strikeout rate, better contact, increased power, and a brand new hairstyle. After getting to know him from afar, I think he’s less likely to hurt your team than Jafar. There are many possible reasons for his improvement: receiving consistent playing time in the majors, having the pedigree (former first round pick), seeing the movie Moneyball, being in his prime, and, my favorite conspiracy explanation: that he’s no longer catching. All of these likely contributed in some way, but the important thing is I don’t expect him to fall off a cliff any time soon (as long as he cancels that hiking trip). For the rest of 2013, I’m going to optimistically project a .270/.350/.460 line, which is solid for a third baseman. Hold him if you own him. Otherwise, I’d see if his owner expects heavy regression (band name?). Shout out to commenter SwaggerJackers for inspiring me to cover Donaldson. On a different note, after next week’s article I’m going to have a very temporary Razzball hiatus (aka two weeks) while I travel to my motherland (or literally my mother’s land) for the first time. Whoever correctly guesses the country can pick who I’ll cover as my lede next week. I might give hints if asked on Twitter. Ready? Go! And here’s my Quick Draw McGraw approach to OPS leagues:
Josh Hamilton – Stand By Your Ham. Yes his .700 OPS is nauseating, but I’m optimistic going forward. It looks like he’s turning things around (every time he gets a little bit closer) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him produce an .850 OPS the rest of the way.
Starlin Castro – Have I mentioned him this year? Signs point to no. I expect his OPS to be about 100 points higher than it’s been so far. That’s my Starlin-eyed surprise.
Mark Teixeira – Looks like he’ll return at the end of this week and that he’s being picked up everywhere. A few months ago, I said that I won’t expect much more than an .800 OPS from him this year.
Jason Heyward – There might not be a better time to buy low than right now. I think he’ll begin to hit like we thought he would very soon. I’m going to personally see to it that he switches jerseys back with Evan Gattis.
David Ortiz – That’ll do, Papi. That’ll do.
Lance Berkman – He’s kind of been a slacker, but hey – like a ska band playing 52 pickup, I expect him to pick it up, pick it up, pick it up. I conservatively projected a .270/.370/.480 line before this season and believe he’ll top that going forward.
Jed Lowrie – He’s been battling injury (what else is new?) and slumping lately, but I expect him to maintain his .800 OPS.
Pedro Alvarez – Spanish lesson of the week: Pedro es muy bueno. Say it with me. “Pedro es muy bueno.”
Dayan Viciedo – 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.
David Murphy – I expect him to be a lighter version of Viciedo, in every sense of the word.
Jason Kubel – Cheap power returning from injury? Yes please, madam. Maybe it’s because I’m hungry, but I have the urge to add “tac” at the beginning of his last name.
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