August 27, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher for 8/27/12
Like his batting average, Ruben Tejada's (Yahoo! 16%, ESPN 21%, CBS 33%) spot in the lineup has dropped recently. On August 9, his average sat at .323. Today, it rests just below .300. That slide is bad news for a player who is completely reliant on hitting for average to have fantasy relevance. As I alluded to above, he was also moved down to sixth in the Mets order for Sunday's game. He still makes frequent contact and has a line drive rate in the upper-20 percent area, so he should hit for more average than he has been of late, but he's a fringy enough option to cut bait with and turn elsewhere for middle infield help, even in large mixed leagues.
He didn't hit a home run this past week, but Chris Iannetta (Yahoo! 5%, ESPN 1%, CBS 16%) did help fantasy owners by going 9-for-21 at the dish since last Sunday. Don't expect him to continue to hit for average, and don't expect him to go homer-less much longer.
Even with a healthy lineup, Jeff Keppinger (Yahoo! 8%, ESPN 20%, CBS 19%) is getting regular playing time and making the most of it. He hit his sixth dinger of the year last Monday and recorded a couple of hits in Wednesday's and Thursday’s games. Kepp doesn't seem to be slowing down, so continue to enjoy his stellar play.
It wasn't a banner week for Wilin Rosario (Yahoo! 30%, ESPN 17%, CBS 63%), but he did hit his 20th home run of the year on Wednesday and remains a viable starting catcher in single-catcher mixed leagues.
He failed to record a hit in his first 12 at-bats after being activated from the disabled list, but Yasmani Grandal (Yahoo! 8%, ESPN 1%, CBS 33%) got a hit in his 13th at-bat and has one in each of the last three games. He's healthy, receiving regular playing time, and is an above average hitter for the catching position. Grandal isn't going to continue to post a HR/FB rate of roughly 18 percent, but he can still rake and his improving walk rate falls in line with his minor league track record. The Padres' lineup is no great shakes, but hitting behind Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin should provide Grandal some ducks on the pond to drive in. Fantasy owners can comfortably deploy Grandal as a second catcher in two-catcher mixed leagues and as a starting catcher in NL-only leagues.
There is only one reasonable explanation for John Jaso (Yahoo! 13%, ESPN 6%, CBS 32%) having a down week; I jinxed him. After weeks of ignoring his outstanding play, I highlighted him last week, and he goes 3-for-16 with just two runs and two RBI in the last seven days. In all seriousness, Jaso is fine. He was bound to cool down, but that doesn't mean it's time to ditch him. His line drive rate is excellent, he's walking a bunch, and he doesn't strike out much, which should help him continue to hit for a high average. Temper power expectations, though; he won't be able to maintain his current home run pace with a fly ball rate below 30 percent.
Owners in search of some speed should turn to Everth Cabrera (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 6%, CBS 16%) in leagues that he is available. Cabrera swiped three bags last week, bringing his season total to 24, and he has been caught stealing only once. He strikes out quite often (26 percent) for a slap singles hitter, and because of that, he can't be counted on for a helpful batting average. That said, his above-average walk rate has helped him post an on-base percentage slightly better than league average, which is all he needs to wreak havoc on the base paths. He is a one trick pony but one that is quite good at what he does.