Sunday, July 22, 2007

Top Performers - July 21st Edition

Here are some of the top performers from the games played on July 21st (Saturday):

1. Willie Harris (OF) ATL, 6-6, 6 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB
He's been in a platoon situation with Matt Diaz (who has also played extremely well this season, hitting .354 w/ 5 HR & 3 SB), so he's really not worthy of a fantasy roster except in very deep leagues or if you're looking to pick up a few steals. On the season, he's hitting .339 w/ 16 stolen bases in 21 chances.

2. Tim Lincecum (P) SF, W, 8 IP, 4 H, 8 K
I've talked about him before, but he continues to prove he belongs in the majors & on every fantasy league roster around. I expect him to keep pitching well, and although there will still be some occasional inconsistency, it looks like he's maturing fast. San Francisco is going to keep a close eye on his innings as the year progresses, so be aware of the fact that they might shut him down a little early (especially if they're out of the race for a playoff spot, which appears very likely). Even I am surprised that Super Freak Tim could easily be the ace of the Giants rotation as early as next season (since Zito has been average at best, while Cain has fought inconsistency & periodic control problems this season).

3. Ryan Howard (1B, DH) PHI, 3-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
Howard has really come on strong after a slow April & May. He hit .222 w/ 9 HR & 30 RBI in April & May combined, as compared to .310 w/ 18 HR & 49 RBI in June & July (so far). He's back to the player we all expected when we spent a first round pick on him this season.

4. Alex Rodriguez (3B) NYY, 3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Big surprise; he's the man & he'll keep it up. The big question is how much will Scott Boras negotiate for Arod next season?

5. Jeff Weaver (SP) SEA, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 K
His full season stats still look a little scary (OK, a lot), but he's really been solid the last two months. If you exclude his July 15th start against Detroit when he allowed 7 ER, he hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in his past 8 starts...and his full season ERA is still 6.19 - so I don't need to do any statistical analysis for you to see how bad he must have been before he turned it around recently. He has a 2.66 ERA over the past two months, although I still don't think he's a great add to your fantasy rotation. He has only 2 wins during this time (not his fault), is allowing about a hit per inning (a solid 1.15 WHIP), averaging 4.97 K / 9 innings, 1.95 BB / 9 innings, for a 2.55 K / BB ratio (not special).

Did you know - The best SP K / BB ratio of all time was Bret Saberhagen's 1994 season (the strike shortened one), when he had an 11.00 K / BB ratio (143 K to only 13 BB). Ben Sheets came close to that last season (which was shortened by injury) when he had a ratio of 10.55. This season, Sheets is down to a more real world 3.60, which is still above average although not superhuman.

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