Saturday, July 28, 2007

Top Performers - July 27th Edition

Here are some of the top performers from games played on Friday, July 27th:

1. Placido Polanco (2B) DET, 5-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R
His full season average is now up to .340. He's always been a very good hitter (his career average is .298), but he has turned it up a notch this year. Expect him to continue to help fantasy teams in Avg, although besides being 10th in the AL in runs, he won't add too much else to your team (he has 5 HR, 3 SB, and 45 RBI (which is solid) on the year).

2. Jhonny Peralta (SS) CLE, 2-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2R
Jhonny has turned it around in '07, after a relatively disappointing sophomore season with the Indians. After his first full season in 2005, where he hit .292, with 24 HR & 78 RBI, fantasy managers expected him to continue this level of production. Unfortunately, he only hit only .257, with 13 HR & 57 RBI in 2006 (making him a great sleeper in this year's drafts). This year, he's improved to .278, 16 HR, 55 RBI, and 3 SB. What I find especially interesting is his walk / plate appearance ratio has increased vs. last year, as he's now walking once every 8.9 plate appearances vs. once every 10.1 last year. This shows me that he may be maturing as a hitter, and he's being more selective at the plate, even though he's still hitting for power. He should keep up his consistent pace, and finish the year with 20 - 25 HR & about 75-85 RBI. Very solid production from a middle infielder - and it doesn't hurt to play for one of the most potent offensive teams in the game today (my Cleveland Indians).

3. Hanley Ramirez (SS) FLA, 3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R
Wow, I guess that injured shoulder isn't that injured after all. I expected him to take it easy after the injury scare earlier in the week, but the HR tells me he's ready to be re-inserted in all lineups from here on out. I'm sure there are some frustrated owners out there (like me), who didn't immediately put him back in their lineups & missed out on last night's performance. He'll consider surgery on the shoulder (his non-throwing) after the season.

4. Brian Bannister (SP) KC, 7 IP, 4 H, 6K
Another solid start from Bannister. I still wouldn't recommend him in all leagues, but his stats sure do impress. On the year, he's 7-6, with a 3.42 ERA & 1.17 WHIP. Not bad at all...He won't get too many wins playing for the Royals, and he only strikes out 4.74 / 9, but you could do worse. I've mentioned before (in my Back from the DL Smoltz post), but I'm big on consistency from starting pitchers, and Bannister has gone 6 or more innings in all but 3 of his 17 starts on the year (only once since May 26th). He's also allowed more than 4 ER once this year. These two items are good indicators of a guy that won't hurt you as the season wears on.

5. Corey Hart (OF) Mil, 3-6, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
The singing heartthrob had a great game, which many fantasy owners were clamoring for. He's cooled off significantly from his unreal June, to the tune of hitting only .193 in July, with 4 HR, 10 RBI & 0 SB. That's a huge drop off from his .336, 9 HR, 21 RBI, and 10 SB June. By looking at his K & BB ratio, you can tell he's been pressing at the plate - in June, he 14 BB to 21 K's, but this month, he's got 3 BB to 17 K's. I think the real Corey Hart is somewhere between the two months. He'll still be a consistent 20-20 threat for many years, but don't expect months like June to happen every month...I'd still suggest keeping him in your lineup, but if his August starts slow as well, it might be time to give him a rest every now and then, based on the pitching match up.

Also, now is not the time to trade him away, since his value has dropped substantially this month (probably below his true market value), but if you can pry him away from a frustrated owner, now might be the time to pick up a future star at a discounted price. Five category contributors aren't very easy to come by, and this guy is still young and plays in a good offense (oh yeah, and he's talented) - good factors for future success.

Did you know - Corey Hart's (the Brewer) favorite movie is The Count of Monte Cristo

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