Get off the shitter and get on the LaPorta Potty. Photo Credit: Keith Allison
I find it hard to believe that Matt LaPorta is owned in only 17% of Yahoo leagues. Yes he’s young, inexperienced and he strikes out a lot (22.9 K%), but his power potential is the real deal. His ISO has improved from .141 in 2010 to .201 in 2011, suggesting that his power stroke is emerging. He was also a highly touted prospect (seventh overall selection in 2007) who hit 22 HR in 2008 (A and AA ball) in only 108 games. 2011 is his transition year (I’ll go on record and say that 2012 is when he becomes a star), but that doesn’t mean he won’t put up respectable numbers for your fantasy squad. He’s a legitimate 25 home run threat, and one that can be had free of charge. Make the move.
More after the break.
With Buster Posey likely out for the season many owners are frantically searching the waiver wire for a permanent replacement. There are some interesting names available in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues, but there isn't one that jumps out at me more than Jonathan Lucroy. Through 34 games, this unheralded backstop is raking. He's accumulated a line of .333/15/5/24/0, good enough for the fifth best Catcher at Yahoo. He is currently only owned in 48% of leagues, but with the injury to Posey that number is likely to rise. It is important to keep in mind his supporting stats show an imminent decline. His .386 BABIP is in no way sustainable, that’s a given. He also is striking out a 21.4 % clip whilst his BB% is at an extremely low rate of 5.5%. It’s safe to assume that his .333 batting average will come back down to earth by seasons end. Nevertheless, Lucroy should be universally owned. You have to look at the catcher position for what it is, a dead zone of offensive production. Lucroy is playing in a stacked lineup and thus will continue producing runs and RBI. His adequate pop is another added bonus. For those who desperately need a catcher, pounce on Lucroy quickly. He’s very likely to finish within the top ten at the position.
Asdrubal Cabrera continues to prove his skeptics (cough MDS cough) wrong. Through 49 games, Cabrera has exploded onto the scene, delivering a line of .303/34/10/35/7. He’s quickly making all fantasy owners forget that Hanley Ramirez ever existed. Although it would be unwise to assume the power will continue (career high 15.6 HR/FB% in 11’, previous high 6.8 %), Asdrubal isn’t going to plummet in the other categories. He’s still going to hit for average, produce runs, and steal close to 20 bases. He’s a genuine five category threat. I told you to draft him this year, and thus he has lived up to my expectations. Expect him to continue thriving and finish 2011 in style. A .300 AVG, 20 HR, 20 SB season is what you should expect. Hold onto him in all formats.
As for that Hanley Ramirez fellow, although under performing, plenty of hope of a resurgence looms. His power has been practically nonexistent (four HR) and he’s hitting for an abysmal .211 AVG. These aren’t the numbers you’d expect from the supposed number one ranked player in the game. Nevertheless, now is the best time to buy low on the perennial superstar. His low power numbers can be explained by his uncharacteristically low .100 ISO and 9.1 HR/FB %. Furthermore, his BABIP currently sits at .238 while his LD% sits at 14.4. Both are career lows. Hanley clearly is having a troublesome start to the season; however, his ratios support a comeback. Keep in mind, with the exception of his rookie season, Hanley has never finished a season hitting less than .300 and 20 HR. It’s just not how he rolls. Also, the speed component to his game is clearly unscathed (11 SB in 2011). I fully expect a big rebound from Hanley, one you should all get to experience. Scout your league for any owner fed up of waiting for an offensive explosion. You might be pleasantly surprised of how little you’ll have to give up for a legitimate five tool stud.
As my people like to say, c’est fini. Enjoy your Sunday night activities, and relax as the big man intended us too. Remember to keep it real gamers, and join us next week for some more crazy Canuck analysis.