July 23, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher for 7/23/12
With no rumors of a promotion and a slide in production in his last 10 games, Grant Green (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 3%) is no longer a worthwhile stash option. Should the bat heat back up, he could find himself back on AL-only league radars.
His stay was short as the NL-only VP pick; Logan Forsythe (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 1%, CBS 3%) was nothing more than a plug-and-play option while he was hitting for average. As I alluded to last week, his speed and power don't stand out in fantasy games, so he needs to hit for average to even be a fringe option in NL-only leagues. In the seven days prior to Sunday, Forsythe hit a paltry .214 with, unsurprisingly, no power or speed. He didn't help his cause Sunday, going 0-for-2, and while he has had some poor luck on his batted balls, it's safe to cut bait without fear of ruing the decision later.
There is an argument to be made that Gordon Beckham (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 17%, CBS 52%) should fall in with the departures, but I'm willing to extend him another week of leash. He has gone a wretched 3-for-22 since last week's article and has seen his groundball rate rise. He has, however, made a ton of contact, striking out just three times since the All-Star break, two of which came in the first game back. If he's able to continue to make contact at a high rate and find that line drive swing he had as recently as last week, I like his odds of going on tear. It may not happen, as Beckham has repeatedly disappointed owners willing to give him another chance, but second base and the middle infield are bad enough that extending Beckham another week's leash could pay off.
He's not putting up big numbers, but Stephen Drew (Yahoo! 21% ESPN 16%, CBS 37%) seems to be healthy and is receiving relatively steady playing time. He has a silly 40 percent line drive rate since rejoining the Diamondbacks, but you'd never know that from his .273 BABIP and .214 batting average. In addition to the poor average, he has yet to hit a single round-tripper. Patience is in order, though, as Drew's bat is too good to cut in anything but shallow mixed leagues. He'll get it going; have faith.
The non-waiver trade deadline is nearing, and the Padres are in the position of likely seller. Having locked up Carlos Quentin to a multi-year extension, the likeliest bat to be traded becomes Chase Headley. A move of Headley would open the door to Jedd Gyorko (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS ). Gyorko remains scalding hot, hitting .361/.442/.667 with three home runs in his last 10 games. Regardless of whether or not Headley is dealt, it would seem Gyorko's time is near, as he has nothing left to prove with the bat in the minors.
While he won't offer any power this year, he could be a stolen base asset. Segura, who most deem to be the top prospect in the Angels organization, is hitting .294/.346/.404 on the season with 33 stolen bases and a passable stolen base success rate of 72 percent. His batting average has gone up every month, starting at a .256 in April, followed by .294 in May, .301 in June, and .333 in July. His strikeout rate of 15 percent on the year means he's making contact at an acceptable rate. He has just 433 plate appearances above High-A, however, so some struggles are to be expected. That said, his ability to steal bases and potentially hit for a rosterable batting average make him a fine gamble. The Angels rank 11th in runs scored, so there is a chance Segura could tally a useful number of runs scored, even slotting at the bottom of the lineup.
Now that I've harped on the bad, I'll point out the good. Rutledge has flashed power and speed in the minors, hitting 13 home runs and stealing 14 bases this year in the minors. Kevin Goldstein gave him a three-star prospect designation and ranked him as the ninth-best prospect in the Rockies’ organization coming into the year. Goldstein noted that Rutledge has average speed that plays up because of his instincts but pointed out that he doesn't project to hit for much power. Still, playing his home games at Coors Field should help Rutledge maximize whatever power upside he has. A handful of home runs the rest of the year doesn't seem like a crazy projection. If he's able to swipe a few more bags than that, suddenly Rutledge becomes a useful NL-only option. At this point, he's a player worth rolling the dice on.