T.I.P.S. tabs Tulo to rebound in 2009
Phew! The first week of the season is finally over and those of us in head-to-head leagues have a record under our belt. You drafted your team, you fell in love and, with the first week finished, the honeymoon period of fantasy baseball has abruptly come to an end. Now it's time to buckle up and march down the aisle with your teams. There will be some bumps along the way, but I'm here to help you make sure your drive to a championship is as smooth as possible. Let's try to avoid the potholes together and put this thing on cruise control. As we all know, fantasy baseball is a cross-country trip, and there will be many stops along the way. Consider me your GPS ... except without the sexy British woman accent. On to this week's T.I.P.S.
(All stats and records are through Monday.)
Davis was called up last season and undoubtedly helped many fantasy teams with his 17 homers, 51 runs and 55 RBIs in 80 games. No longer a secret, Davis' ADP of 71 made him a top 10 one-bagger on draft day. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Davis was expected to belt 40 homers and knock in 100 runs. After the first week of the season, Davis owners are wondering whether Davis truly has the patience to perform at the big league level. His 10 Ks in 22 at-bats, give him a brutal K/BB ratio of 45 percent. Even worse, the Rangers prolific offense forces Davis into the seven-hole, where his RBI opportunities won't be as prevalent. He's obviously not going to bat .045 the whole season, but his .285 average in limited action last season is likely inflated. The power will be there, but you can expect a serious amount of golden sombreros from everybody's favorite sleeper.
After a phenomenal freshman season, Tulowitzki sucker-punched his fantasy faithful by playing only 101 games last year due to a torn quad. Consequently he lacked the power that he had seen the year before. One flaw in an otherwise dominant rookie season: Tulowitzki struck out 130 times with a BB/K rate of 0.44. Although last season was marred by injury and disappointment, Tulo did hit .327 in the second half. He also improved his BB/K to 0.68, lowering his K% from 21.3 to 14.9. Owners were skeptical of Tulowitzki this off-season, leaving him to be quite the bargain on draft day. Through the first week, he's showing an increased patience at the plate, with six walks to only three K's, Tulo is adjusting to the game by waiting for a pitch to his liking. The result is less K's and more power as the former Rookie of the Year runner-up had three bombs in the first week. You are looking at a top five fantasy shortstop once all is said and done.
Harang was one of last season's biggest busts (
Broxton is finally getting the chance to close for the Dodgers and hasn't failed in his first three save attempts. Coming into the season, the concern was that Broxton's ERA had risen each of his three seasons. Broxton did make strides last year, holding opponents to a career-best .217 batting average and 0.26 HR/9 rate. One downfall was Broxton's BB/9 rate which increased to 3.52 in 2008. So far, in four innings pitched, Broxton hasn't walked a batter while striking out five. One stat that is worth watching is his fly ball rate, which is currently at 42.9 percent. With a career FB% of 34.8, Broxton isn't getting the ground balls he is accustomed to. He's still only 24 years-old, so Broxton should grow into the role and become one of the game's best closers, even as early as this season.
It only took six games for
Those hoping for a quick return from Escobar can stop drinking the Kool-Aid as the oft-injured starter felt discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder and will take a step back in his attempted comeback. He claims it's not a big deal, but I find it hard to believe that he will be pitching for the Angels anytime soon. His breakout year came in 2007 when he went 18-7 and struck out 160 batters. He obviously won't approach those numbers so I advocate letting someone else garner false hope.
Hernandez claimed that his injured ankle played a part in his five-run, five-IP outing last Saturday against Oakland. King Felix initially twisted his ankle in his first start of the season against the Twins on April 6. It doesn't look like a DL stint is necessary, but Hernandez was visibly uncomfortable on the mound against the A's. Ankle issues can become a nagging injury, so it may be a few weeks before Hernandez pitches the way many expected him to this season.
Martinez was expected to jockey between first base and catcher during the season, while
When the Cubs signed Miles in the off-season, he was the favorite to be the starting second baseman. That was until
Inge sure has opened up some eyes with his four dingers during opening week, but please don't get caught up in the hype. Inge's only value comes in his catcher-eligibility, but his past numbers support this first week as being a fluke, nothing else. Inge's OBP has fallen for four consecutive seasons, while his K% has been consistently creeping upward. Inge found a way to put the bat on the ball the first week, striking out only 8.7 percent of his at-bats. This will undoubtedly change as he approaches his career norm of 24.6 percent. The numbers don't support Inge sustaining this performance, regardless of how attractive it is.
The excitement and passion from the first week of the season is finally over, and now it's time to harness some of those emotions. Not all your players are going to start strong. It's a bit premature to name