July 3, 2012
First, Third, and DH for 7/3/12
We’re almost to the traditional midway point of the season, and Value Picks has already alerted you to early-season bargains like Adam LaRoche, Chris Davis, Will Middlebrooks, Matt Carpenter, and Todd Frazier. As the teams meet their own midway points and decide on their near- and long-term futures, we could see more high-profile call-ups like the departing Anthony Rizzo or trades like the one that brought Jim Thome back to the American League. Stay tuned to Value Picks for all the latest developments to keep your fantasy team ahead of the pack!
The return of Luke Scott (both to the Rays and to the VP list) makes Hideki Matsui (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 2%) expendable. Godzilla will get a start now and again and a handful of pinch-hit appearances, but it will take another injury to make him produce valuable fantasy numbers again.
He’s done more than just slip a bit from that peak; he’s plummeted to the point where he reportedly passed through outright waivers after his demotion. Between 2010 and 2011 he hit a combined .243/.291/.432 with a 21.7 percent K% and a 6.1 percent BB%; his 46 total home runs over those two years represent the lone bright spot in his performance. Despite the .185/.271/.311 line he sported prior to his demotion this season, Lind was already showing signs of improvement: his K% had fallen to 18.2 percent and his BB% had risen to 10.6 percent. The problem was in his ability to make solid contact and hit the ball for power; his 17 percent line drive rate this season is his lowest mark ever, and his .159 ISO is his lowest since 2008.
In Triple-A, Lind hit .392/.448/.664, maintaining walk and strikeout rates virtually identical to this season’s major league levels while boosting his ISO to a career-best .272 (excluding three Single-A rehab games last season). That’s not surprising in the offensively inflated environment of Las Vegas, but he proved that the power stuck by belting two 400-plus foot home runs on Friday night, one over the center field fence and the other to the opposite field. Both are good signs that he’s not trying to pull the ball too hard, which has been a problem these past two seasons. Lind’s inconsistency and weak start has suppressed his ownership rates so far, but those numbers are sure to rise quickly, so you should pick him up in all leagues to see if this change will stick.