June 11, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher for 6/11/12
Reds shortstop Zack Cozart (Yahoo! 27%, ESPN 27%, CBS 66%) remains underowned. He won't knock your socks off with his production, but he's a capable middle infield option. Cozart has put a dreadful May behind him and is hitting .294/.368/.441 in 34 June at-bats. He has as many walks this month (four) as he had in 106 at-bats in May. He has also cut back on his strikeouts, nearly cutting his K rate in half from May, reducing it from 25.5 percent to 13.2 percent in June. If he is able to find a happy medium between both strikeout rates, he should be capable of hitting .260-.265 with mid-to-high teens home run pop.
Reports of Salvador Perez's (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 1.5%, CBS 18%) rehab have been positive. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Thursday and has played in three games. Perez caught all nine innings in Friday's game and followed that up with a designated hitter assignment on Saturday. In three games with the Storm Chasers, he is hitting .500/.500/.571 through 14 at-bats. Once he is deemed healthy enough to handle everyday catching duties, he should see a call-up to the parent club shortly thereafter.
Regardless of host fantasy site, Plouffe offers positional flexibility. Of course, positional flexibility matters only if that player is hitting the ball well, but Plouffe is doing just that. He has used an extreme fly ball approach in June (59 percent fly ball rate) to smack four home runs in 29 plate appearances. In all, he is hitting a scorching .370/.414./.926 this month. Even when he was struggling in May, his power was on display with four home runs in 71 plate appearances. He'll cool down eventually, but it is looking increasingly like his power explosion last season (23 home runs in 540 plate appearances split between Triple-A and the majors) is for real. Invest in the pop, but recognize that his propensity for taking to the air is probably going to lead to a low average, and his tiny BABIP isn't all poor luck.