Buy low and sell clues populate this week's The Week That Was.Carl Crawford
: Carl Crawford
is finally, well . . . Carl Crawford
. Last night, the once and soon to be again superstar jacked a two run shot to help the Sox beat the Tigers. April was so bad, that it is hard to see how good May has been. Indeed, Crawford is 11 for his last 19 with 3 HR and 8 RBI. As my labr and tout partner (and FSTA hall of fame inductee) Rick Wolf wrote me earlier this week "Heeeee's Back!. Don't forget that Crawford has hit .300 or better in 5 of the last 6 years and has averaged 44 SB over the last three years. That is the kind of production you are going to get from here on. I doubt there is anyone dumb enough to sell low but if there is, fleece them and don't tell them about this column!Melky Cabrera
: Melky Cabrera
showed the flair for the dramatic he acquired in New York, hitting a 14th inning blast Friday night. I know I have written about this before but Melky is for real. He is only 26, but yet has 5 full seasons under his belt. As I have said many times before, players that make the show at 20 or 21 are likely to become stars. They struggle at that tender age and then reach their peak while fantasy owners are reading irrelevant historical information. Fantasy lesson -- bargain time! Melky has paid off for the faithful big time this year and is on pace to hit 22 HR, 106 RBI and 16 SB. Sweet!Neftali Feliz
: Neftali Feliz
blew a save last night -- his third save in his last five chances. Should you worry? Probably not. Should you go out and roster Darren Oliver
to back up Feliz just in case, probably yes. I don't see Feliz losing his job, but there is at least a little reason for worry because the Rangers pursued that silly frolic and detour of stretching him out as a starter in the spring. Brandon Crawford
: In the nice story but don't get suckered category is another Crawford -- Brandon Crawford
. Brandon not only went yard, he hit a granny in his first game last night. If it is not already clear, do not get too excited. He is only a career .270 hitter in the minors and was a 24 year old playing with 18 and 19 year olds in high A ball before his call up. Move along.Javier Vazquez
: Javier Vazquez
had his second solid game in a row last night giving up two runs and three hits in six innings. If there ever was a guy to dump now, Javy is it. The quality start run will surely come to an end. He has proven he cannot pitch on the big stage, having failed miserably on two tries in NY. His velocity is way down and he just doesn't look like the pitcher he was in Atlanta or Chicago. 30K/27BB and a 6+ ERA may be even worse than Javy is, but he will not help your fantasy team do anything other than get an early draft pick next year.Brandon Belt
: According to reports, the Giants are planning to use recently recalled Brandon Belt
as a bench player. Really? The plan is to run with a cold Aubrey Huff
and Pat the "I was unemployed last year at this time Bat" Burrell? This writer cannot imagine Belt will stay on the bench. If you have an opportunity to make a small investment, do it while you can. He will be a star, it is just a question of when. Eric Young
, Jr.: In what seems like an annual rite of roto passage, the Rockies called up speedster Eric Young
Jr. The bad news is that EY has posted a weak .245 average in the bigs. The good news is the he can absolutely fly and was raking at AAA with a .363 avg and 17 SB. If you are like Goose and Mav and have a "need for speed", EY is worth a shot. One day, he will stick and be a roto stud (think Michael Bourn
e plus). The only question is whether it will be now. The Rox are frustrated with Dexter Fowler
and jettisoned Jose Lopez
, so this looks like as good of a time as any.Sean Rodriguez
: In the "its about time" category, according to reports, Joe Maddon will insert Sean Rodriguez
at SS on almost a daily basis for the near future. While he seems to have been around for a while, SRod is just 26 and has that power/speed combo real and fantasy managers love. For example, in partial seasons in the minors in 2008-09, SRod smacked 50 HR in 613 AB. Serious pop. Buy.Scott Sizemore
: In what this writer considers a surprise move, the Tigers gave up on Scott Sizemore
, trading him to the A's for David Purcey
. This is a deal the Tigers should not have made. Yes, Sizemore has been awful in the bigs, but he is a real prospect who has had minor league success. Trading him for a middle reliever just doesn't make sense. Sizemore will report to the A's AAA team, but with Kouzmanoff, Laroche and Ellis all cold, Sizemore will arrive in the bay area soon. If you have a bench spot in a deep Al-only league, it makes sense to store Sizemore.Nyjer Morgan
: Nyjer Morgan
came off the shelf and should see a good bit of PT for the brew crew. Carlos Gomez
has likely used the last of his 9 baseball lives. Look for Morgan to play CF, lead off, steal a ton of bases, score a lot of runs (being driven in by Braun, Fielder and Hart) and to add serious value. Just don't count on a high average if he does get that kind of PT.
And last but not least, Schultz Says: "In his time with the Tigers and Rays, Matt Joyce
has always shown flashes of brilliance, making up for a questionable batting eye with above-average displays of power. Starting the season as a platoon option against right handers, Joyce has emerged as one of the most feared hitters in baseball, leading the majors with a .377 batting average and pairing it with 8 HR and 27 RBIs. Given that Joyce's career batting average coming into the season was .242, the question now becomes whether these two months are to be believed. While conventional wisdom would say no, sometimes you have to look beyond statistical analysis. It might be wishful thinking to think that Joyce will flirt with a chase for .400 but he's swinging the bat with confidence and making the most of his opportunity as an every-day player. Ignore the fact that he'll sit against a lefty or two and trust in the lightly publicized outfielder.
Another late bloomer starting to blossom in Detroit is Jhonny Peralta
. After wearing out his welcome in Cleveland by not being Omar Vizquel
and running over Asdrubal Cabrera
, Peralta was dumped on the Tigers as part of the Tribe's 2010 fire sale. (Which, as a consequence, has resulted in the Indians having the best record in the American League, a fact that Glenn has still not admitted being wrong about despite ample evidence of his incorrect prognosticatory abilities). Always a streaky hitter, Peralta is in the midst of a serious scorcher boosting his average up to .306 while notching near-identical power numbers to Joyce. Double digit home runs from a middle infielder is always a bonus, especially when it comes with above-average average. Peralta's always had the potential to be a near-premier talent, his unpredictability makes him unreliable. Thus, it's simple, play him while he's hot and bench him he's not. And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
After a slow, injury-plagued start, Rajai Davis
has been on a small tear in May, stealing 11 bases in May, a feat only bettered by Jacoby Ellsbury
. Davis was an extremely productive outfielder in the second half of 2009, mainly because he discovered a penchant for getting on base, sort of a big prerequisite to stealing bases. The Blue Jays lineup has been surprisingly potent and Davis appears to be as healthy as ever. He could be a source of cheap speed. Unfortunately, his current owner very likely to be salivating over his month of May and will be overvaluing him in any trade discussions. If you really want him, you may have to wait this one out."
Response: Credit where credit is due. The Tribe have played extremely well so far. However, one cannot help but see them as the 2011 version of the Padres. A lot of excitement, but still nothing more than golf in October.