Goldy worth his weight in gold highlights this week’s Week That Was.
Quick reminder that Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio with Rick Wolf and me is now on every Tuesday night from 10pm to midnight eastern time. Feel free to call in to comment on anything you like (or, heaven forbid, dislike) about the analysis and tips below or just to hear the Wolfman howl. Oh, and of course, we will recap NFL week 3, forecast week 4 and help those of you in your fantasy baseball title hunt take one step closer to fantasy nirvana.
Quick apology – had technical difficulties on the road or this column would have been up Saturday morning. I hope it helps with your last week of moves!
Ok, now back to the business at hand . . . .
Paul Goldschmidt: Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 with a dinger and 2 RBI against the Rockies on Friday. Goldy is having a monster season and is only going to get better. I know that is hard to imagine as he is hitting .306 with 35 home runs and 121 RBI. However, consider this: he is only in his 2d full year in the bigs. If you combine his improving walk rate and falling k rate with the fact that players often take strides in their 3rd full year, the sky is the limit. Oh, and he hits in a great hitters’ park. When making keeper decisions for next year, feel free to pay a premium to keep Goldy.
Robbie Erlin: Robbie Erlin faced a depleted Dodger lineup Friday but hey, you can only pitch to the guys who step to the plate. Last night, Erlin did his job, tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings while striking out seven. Erlin is a guy to keep an eye on for next year. First, he pitches in SD and anyone who does needs to be on your radar screen. Second, over his last 25 innings, he has a sweet 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Third, his ugly year-long ERA is not nearly that bad as shown by a FIP of 4.10. Finally, he is only 22 and has room to grow. If he wins a rotation spot in 2014, he could be a very good bargain.
Matt Adams: Matt Adams had a big night for the Cards and his fantasy owners. Adams went 3-5 with a home run and three RBI on Friday. Keep an eye on this one folks. If he ever ends up playing full time (either DH in the AL or because the Cards move Craig to the OF), he will do some serious damage. Even in part time duty, he is hitting .280 with 15 HR in just 286 AB. Do the math and you see that is 30 HR at a strong average in full time play. With Craig hurting, he could easily get enough playing time in the last week to make him a fantasy pennant race hero and has a good chance to become a centerpiece in a keeper league for years to come. Buy!
Avisail Garcia: Speaking of fantasy keepers, Avisail Garcia had a night just like Adams Friday, going 2-4 with a homer and three RBI. Garcia, who spent most of the year in the Tigers farm system, has blossomed on the south side of Chicago. He is now hitting .280 with five homers and 26 RBI in just 207 big league at bats. Given that Garcia raked at a .375+ batting average in the minors this year and hit .319 in his Detroit audition in 2012, you have a big time hitter in the making. He probably will not be Miguel Cabrera but then again, who is? Garcia is a keeper league darling to watch carefully.
David Wright: David Wright returned with a bang Friday, going 2-4 with a two-run homer. Wright is only 30 and despite missing 7 weeks, is hitting .310 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. Of course, he is a must start down the stretch. More importantly, there may be some out there who discount Wright because of the injury this year and the putrid nature of the Mets offense around him. Yeah, the second part is true but Wright will still be a fantasy stud for a few years to come.
Jordan Zimmermann: My preseason pick for NL Cy Young continues to pitch like well, a Cy Young candidate. Friday, Jordan Zimmermann spun a two-hit shutout on his way to his 19th win of the season. Overall, JZ has 19 wins, a 3.18 ERA and 159/50 K/BB ratio over 206 1/3 innings. There are those who reduce his fantasy value because he will not reach 200K. Do not be one of those people. This is a strong ratio, really good pitcher who pitches in a fairly weak NL East. He is for real and should contend for the Cy Young award for a number of years to come.
Dioner Navarro: Dioner Navarro went yard for the 13th time this year Friday. Those in NL only leagues should be taking notice. Navarro will never make you forget Yadi Molina, but can be a very good $1 keeper who provides pop at the weak catcher position. The question is whether Navarro is a fluke. I say no. He is a 29 year old catcher blossoming late as many catchers do. He was a prized prospect years ago and is now paying dividends for the Cubs and smart fantasy owners alike.
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page. Schultz says: “With one more week left to the season, there is no novel solution for turning your fortunes around. Nonetheless, with free agency still open, there's a chance to scan your waiver wire and, in keeper leagues, look for bargains for 2014. Speaking of next year, here are something interesting things to remember in the spring.
After struggling to keep his average over .200 in the first half of the season, Victor Martinez will once again finish the season hitting over .300. Quite quietly, Howie Kendrick has posted a .304 average while Daniel Nava has likewise hit an unpublicized .300. Also of note, the National League batting title will come down to whether Michael Cuddyer or Chris Johnson will hit over .330.
As for power numbers, without full time at bats, Brandon Moss and Chris Carter each launched 27 HRs and Nate Schierholtz hit 21. Although not traditionally thought of as a source for power, Kyle Seager and Wil Venable each slugged 22 homers while Jedd Gyorko and Matt Dominguez each stroked 20. For those that look for exceptional production from their catchers, keep in mind that Jason Castro and Carlos Santana put up similar numbers this year.
Speed is always a mercurial category. For next year, it might do to remember that Eric Young stole 40, Alex Rios 38 and Jarrod Dyson 32. The rejuvenated Alfonso Soriano is 2 steals away from a 30 HR, 100 RBI, 20 SB season
From the pitching side, Hisashi Iwakuma and Francisco Liriano will finish with lower ERAs than Stephen Strasburg and Adam Wainwright and cost you much less in 2014. Hyun-Jin Ryu quietly completed his rookie season with a 3.03 ERA, not far ahead of Travis Wood and his 3.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Amazingly, Jose Fernandez breakout year will end with him finishing the year with a .98 WHIP and finish fourth!!!! in the category behind Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey (who gained much more notoriety for his rookie success) and Max Scherzer. With a bevy of quality starters, A.J. Griffin will end the season with the lowest WHIP on the As staff and Bronson Arroyo will only finish the season .02 behind Homer Bailey.
At the other side of the game, Grant Balfour and Addison Reed both quietly challenged for 40 saves and Koji Uehara, Rex Brothers and Kenley Jansen would have much more press were they closing from day one.”
Response: Forward looking wisdom. Nice! Now Schultzie if you could explain your Browns trading away Trent Richardson, I would like to hear it!