Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.
Note: We apologize for our premmature/condensed post. Tonight is the 14th annual Cap Boso Invitational draft in the
parents' Noise's basement. Preparations must be attended to (i.e. beer/NCAA '10 consumption). The PBR keg was officially tapped at 9:37 AM CST.
Baseball aficionados have always maintained any player is one trade away from an opportunity.
Acquired from the Dodgers in mid-April for a pair of PTBNLs, the former midlevel prospect is finally getting a shot to prove his mettle. With Freddy Sanchez(notes) now feeding seals at Fisherman's Wharf, the utility-man will see extensive action at second base over the remainder of the season. Defensively, Young isn't exactly Ryne Sandberg, but with an overabundance of outfielders on roster, John Russell is content utilizing him at the four:
"He's progressed in his work with [infield coach] Perry [Hill], but we have to see how he reacts to double-play balls, see how he reacts to cutoffs and relays and certain things that he has to do. There will be a learning curve for him even though he played there in the Minor Leagues. At the Major League level, he'll have to continue to develop. So far, so good with the limited look."
Based on his unrepeatable off-the-shoe-of-Garrett-Jones-barehanded grab last week, Young's defensive prowess is already legendary. Deep leaguers competing for precious roto points hope his power-packed bat will be equally superlative. Revisiting his 2006 Baseball America scouting report, he definitely possesses the tools of a Jose Lopez(notes)-caliber two-bagger:
"Young's bat speed is among the best in the system. He's an aggressive hitter who looks to pull the ball early in the count and rarely gets cheated at the plate. He has the strength and bat control to pepper line drives to all parts of the park. He has solid-average power. His plate discipline and willingness to walk aren't pluses. His tools compare favorably to Matt Stairs'..."(notes)
Drawing comparisons to a 41-year-old Russian nested doll is unmistakably appealing. Flip his top and several miniature Chase Utleys probably won't emerge. But tiny Mike Fontenots are a distinct possibility.
Glancing at his major league returns, impatience has been and continues to be a mitigating characteristic. In 336 career MLB at-bats, he's notched a 0.35 BB/K ratio. However, the 27-year-old's above average power is legitimate. Suiting up for Triple-A Las Vegas in '07, he totaled an eye-catching line - 490 at-bats, .337 BA, 17 HR, 97 RBI, 107 R, 4 SB. And over his entire minor league career, he averaged a long-ball once every 26.4 at-bats. Unquestionably, he possesses the upside to launch 15-20 homers annually.
Adequate stopgaps at middle infield can be few and far between in wire-exhausted formats. If you're in that kind of a situation, the eight percent-owned Young could be the solution. He will yield modest returns in BA and steals, but his power potential is certainly intriguing, especially if he continues to log at-bats out of the three/four.
Fearless Forecast (rest of season): 165 at-bats, .276 BA, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 23 R, 2 SB
*Battered, bruised or should not be used: Brad Bergesen(notes) (leg, placed on 15-day DL), Frank Francisco(notes) (pneumonia, activation imminent), Vladimir Guerrero(notes) (leg, could be activated this week), Scott Hairston(notes) (quad, day-to-day), Brandon Inge(notes) (persistent knee pain, will continue to tough it out), Ian Kinsler(notes) (hamstring, day-to-day), Kevin Millwood(notes) (pulled butt muscle, day-to-day), Alexei Ramirez(notes) (ankle, should return Sunday), Tim Wakefield(notes) (back, late week activation possible), Yunel Escobar(notes) (wrist, day-to-day), Geovany Soto(notes) (oblique, may rejoin club Friday in Colorado), Roy Oswalt(notes) (Back, DL trip likely), Jose Reyes (hamstring, minor setback in rehab), Shane Victorino(notes) (knee, likely out until Tuesday)
For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.
Other AL Double Dippers: Gio Gonzalez(notes), Oak (Tex, at KC), Jarrod Washburn(notes)?, Det (Bal, Min) (Note: If he gets the nod Tuesday, slot him in at No. 5), Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes), Sea (at KC, TB)
Other NL Double Dippers: Manny Parra(notes), Mil (at LAD, at Hou), Mike Hampton(notes), Hou (SF, Mil), Charlie Morton(notes), Pit (Was, StL), Jason Hammel(notes), Col (at Phi, ChC), Garrett Mock(notes), Was (at Pit, Ari), Yusmeiro Petit(notes), Ari (at Pit, at Was), J.D. Martin(notes), Was (Fla, Ari)
FEAST OR FAMINE?
Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Rick Porcello is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through July 31:
Image Courtesy of AP