My wife and I have a long running joke on what’s worse, Hot Dog breath or hot dog breath? Hot dogs are a requirement for me at the ballpark, but the last time I was there, I gleaned some interesting information about the difference between the jumbo dog and the regular dog. That is, there is no difference. At least not at my local stadium, named after a terrible beer. I asked for the jumbo dog, didn’t have enough cash for it, and asked for the regular. They were the same size, except one was in silver and blue foil, the other in silver and red. I asked the woman at the counter what’s the difference? She smiled and said “nothing.” I appreciate that kind of candor and told her so; so I took my regular hot dog, covered it in mustard and onions, and enjoyed my favorite food at the ballpark.
Furthermore, the breath you get after eating a hot dog isn’t great. On the flip-side, in the middle of summer after taking the dog on a long walk, yields some strong hot dog breath. Is there a difference? Sure, but not too much. So I pop a mint, the dog takes one of those dog improving breath treats, and we move on. What did all that have to do with fantasy baseball? Uh…not much, so take the hot dog tip, avoid hot dog breath in all cases, and add Ben Paulsen to your fantasy teams.
Ben Michael Paulsen, or BMP, not Basic Metabolic Panel for those in the medical field, is 28 years old; drafted in the 3rd found out of Clemson in 2009. Justin freakin’ Morneau kept him in the minors too long (this was not the same as how long Ryan Howard had to wait for Jim Thome to finally leave the Phillies years ago). In the minors he had seasons of 19, 18, and 20 home runs to go with an OPS of .709, .867, and .912 in those same seasons. So dude has power.
Finally Ben came up in July of 2014, where in 66 plate appearances over 31 games he hit four homers with a .920 OPS. He helped that season if you played him. Last year he had a .787 OPS over 354 plate appearances which totally plays if you started him when he actually played, or at home at a minimum.
This season in the last two weeks he has a .975 OPS with four runs, one home run, and nine RBIs. That plays. So play with him. Play him, I mean. Yeah don’t play with him unless you have his Starting Lineup figurine. Are still they making those? Not one for Ben Paulsen but I did find a 1999 Ben Grieve on the A’s figurine for $5.99. $5.99 feels a bit high. Seems like the only person buying that one is Ben Grieve himself. His pose is of him bunting; isn’t that a bit insulting? I guess it’s better than Mo Vaughn’s down on one knee pose, but at least that one is appropriate, because I imagine he’s looking for snacks.
Back to BMP. Right now he’s in a platoon with Mark Reynolds, which is a joke. Not a funny one either. He’ll take over the job at some point soon; he has to, right? Walt Weiss get him in there! Paulsen qualifies at 1B and OF, which is always a nice add-on. He’s owned in only 6% of ESPN leagues (What?? Is OPS not an option in ESPN?) and 20% of Yahoo as of this writing. Go get him and play him when he starts which he should start doing every day.
Update on past two guys I’ve written about: Michael A. Taylor and Logan Forsythe. Logan’s been crushing it, but still lacking in homers and RBIs. The past two weeks he has an OPS over one with a homer, nine runs and two steals. Pretty good, don’t you say? No I said it, but you should agree. If he’s still out there in your league go get him, but he’s probably gone. Wait until he’s had a bad two weeks (as almost all hitters do) and see if you can get him.
Taylor is probably still out there in most leagues, and he’s still good for a fill in start until Revere returns; which is soon from what I’ve read. Taylor has two home runs and 3 steals in the past weeks, but his OPS is still horrid. If you need/want to cut bait with him, I wouldn’t argue; in a keeper I’d try to hold.
A quick word on Strategy and fill-in starters. Get up games and innings. Simply, yet effective. Don’t be down games played or innings pitched going into August, especially September. It’s really easy to get down games played early, and then you’re playing catch-up in September when guys are hurt, take off more games either on playoff bound teams or eliminated teams ready to finish up the season.
Also it adds to your stats bumping you up the standings (even though it feels artificial) it can discourage the teams at the bottom of the standings from staying competitive, because it’s just human nature that when you’re down a whole bunch of points you’re going to get discouraged. Usually the part-time managers in any league are like this, and I like to clear them out of the way first. Onward and upward and all that.
I’m here to answer your weekend Fantasy Baseball questions. Let me know what you think about hot dogs, hot dog breath and Hot Dog breath, and Ben Paulsen in the comments.