Happy Labor Day! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume on Tuesday, September 2.
August 13, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher for 8/13/12
Since last week's article, Chris Iannetta (Yahoo! 5%, ESPN 1%, CBS 15%) has started four of six games and popped a home run. The average leaves something to be desired, as I’ve said it will, but the power plays as a catcher in AL-only leagues or as a second catcher in mixed leagues.
He hasn't lit the world on fire, but the bar is oh so low for middle infielders, and Zack Cozart (Yahoo! 23%, ESPN 28%, CBS 58%) does just enough to stick around. Of course, continuing to hit atop the Reds’ lineup doesn't hurt his cause. His home ballpark provides a homer-friendly environment, and he managed to hit two long-balls in the last week away from home. Cozart won't hit for average, and his sky high pop-out rate (28 percent) in the last 30 days is a bit alarming, but for now, he's a rosterable middle infielder.
Nothing has changed in the last seven days for Ruben Tejada (Yahoo! 18%, ESPN 29%, CBS 33%). If you don't need batting average assistance, Tejada doesn't offer much of anything. He scored one run and drove one in last week with zero home runs and zero stolen bases, but he's still hitting for average. He hits line drives and makes contact at a solid rate, so continue to bank on the average and a few runs batting atop the Mets’ order.
His season slash line is ugly at .198/.283/.347, and a deadline deal to the Rangers hasn't resulted in an uptick in his play yet, but Geovany Soto (Yahoo! 25%, ESPN 11%, CBS 24%) is likely in store for as much playing time as he can handle behind the plate in the coming weeks. The Rangers placed Mike Napoli on the disabled list, and while Napoli has played some first base and designated hitter, he has also often donned the tools of ignorance. Soto has some contact issues, but not alarmingly so; his contact rate is roughly 3.5 percent below league average. He has made hard contact with a line drive rate of 23 percent on the season, and even factoring in that he's a below-average runner, his .216 BABIP is too low. Expect his batting average to rise. He has above-average power and is tied to the highest-scoring team in the majors. Don't be dissuaded by his season stats if you're in need of a body in two-catcher mixed leagues or AL-only leagues and he's kicking around the wire.