Fantasy MLB: Quick Hits
By Michael Jokinen 6/12/13
(Pessimistic Pittsburgh Pirates fans might see shades of Bryan Bullington and Kris Benson, but you should see fantasy potential in 2011’s #1 overall draft pick)
I’ll make it short and sweet, here are a couple of thoughts for this week. One sneaky-good Yankees starter, one splashy prospect, and one beleaguered ex-closer. Here’s the scoop …
SP – David Phelps, Yankees: A year ago, if I were to tell you a young Yankees starter would break out, you’d nod your head and assume it was Phil Hughes or Michael Pineda. Guess again, it’s David Phelps! Career 3.56 ERA, 1.22 WHIP & 8.8 K/9 in 162.0 IP. His strong start to the 2013 season is backed by a 3.37 FIP and 3.75 SIERA. Pick him up in all league formats, and consider him a solid SP5-6 with upside.
SP – Gerrit Cole, Pirates: The #1 overall pick of the 2011 amateur baseball draft debuted with a splash on Tuesday night, logging a win in 6.1 IP of two-run ball. As TV cameras captured Cole’s every move, MLB Tonight host Matt Vasgersian kept exclaiming, “Folks, that’s what they’re supposed to look like!” And indeed, Cole is an imposing presence. Standing at 6’3” and 220 lb, the 22 year-old Cole effortlessly pumps fastballs at 95-97 mph and can dial it up towards triple-digits when needed. His strikeout rate is actually a tad underwhelming given his impressive velocity and perceived “true ace” upside. Still, he’s a top-flight prospect who should post respectable ratios. He’s a must-add in shallow keeper leagues, but I’d be wary to put all my eggs in his basket. If he’s not on your squad I wouldn’t be in a hurry to trade for him. Regardless, he’s still an intriguing option in standard leagues, and he’s owned in just 49% of Yahoo leagues, so snag him in those formats.
RP – Brandon League, Dodgers: Charged with protecting a two-run lead on Monday night, Brandon League failed to do exactly that. He blew his fourth save (second most in the Majors) on the season and boosted his ERA (0.2 IP, 4 ER) to a rotund 6.00 flat. His WHIP is 1.46. His K/9 is 4.88, unheard of for any closer. Is that nauseating enough? Because his whopping $22.5m/3yr contract is the worst part, the most bitter pill to swallow for Dodger fans, reaffirming Ned Colletti as one of the worst GMs in baseball. The cherry on top was manager Don Mattingly announcing that Kenley Jansen would, at long last, mercifully take over as closer. Jansen in, League out. And so Brandon League is droppable in all formats. Don’t wait around to see if he gets another crack at the ninth inning, consider him toxic.