Baseball’s Top Performers Of April 2012
Two weeks into the baseball season and already tons to discuss. I always state that at this early juncture the sample size is too small to make meaningful conclusions, i.e look at Josh Willingham’s .419/.514/.871 stat line.
Having said that, my friends usually don’t miss an opportunity to harp on me and state that they are still putting up these numbers, no matter if they’ve only had 30 at-bats. So going in this direction, I will discuss some of the big standouts from the first two weeks of the baseball season, even if the sample size is too small.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Looks like Kemp is wasting no time attempting to fulfill his prediction of a 50/50 season. He is the driving force behind the Dodgers 9-1 record, mashing six balls out of the park. On the steals front he only has one but that is largely due to the fact that 9 of his 19 hits have been for extra bases. He is hitting .487 with an OPS of 1.549 on the young season; even if he hits half as well for the remainder of the season, the Dodgers could turn some heads in the NL West.
Kemp is drilling the ball, there is no doubt about it, but he has done it against some of the easiest competition possible, the Padres, Pirates and Padres again. It’ll be interesting to see how Kemp does in the near future, but for now he is a top fantasy player and as close to untouchable as you can get. Kemp is a player that is supposed to do well, now lets look at players who are outperforming their career averages and may have gained some trade value.
3 More April All-Stars AFTER the jump!
Chris Young, Arizona Diamondbacks
Young is a career .241 hitter and never batted higher than .257, but this year has started out on a .364 clip. Obviously expect regression, which is why now is a good time to put him on the trading block. For fantasy managers who are resistant to the idea, it is possible this year he could be righting the ship. He is 28 years old, coming into his prime and to start the season has walked 6 times compared to 5 strikeouts. Which is definitely a good sign for a player who strikes out 150 times a season.
Omar Infante, Miami Marlins
Infante seems destined to pick up the slack of slumping teaming Giancarlo (formerly known as Mike) Stanton. Infante has hit four homers to date… His home run totals for the past five years (starting in 07’) are: 2, 3, 2, 8, 7. I doubt he will keep up what he is on pace to do but that is me being a fan of small sample size again. He could hit 72 homers, which is what he is on pace to do.
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
Encarnacion has exceled this year hitting in the middle of the Jays lineup. EE a notoriously streaky hitter has put a good start to what hopes to be a promising season. His slash looks good: .289/.325/.632 and it is not too inflated, except that slugging. Critics love to rag on EE’s underutilization of power, which most believe to be mid-to-high 20’s. Last year he had only 17 homers, but Jays fans will be hoping for near 30 this year, and with his start one can hope.
All fantasy managers will have different valuations for these players, but if you think that they are overvalued by your league, then why not attempt to get something more sustainable in return. If you think they are going to stay on the same course as they’ve started out, then you are in for a very nice year.