September 10, 2012
Second, Short, and Catcher for 9/10/12
His surface stats look better since joining the Rangers, but Geovany Soto (Yahoo! 26%, ESPN 12%, CBS 26%) is still putting together a forgettable season. His strikeout rate is up and his walk rate is down since leaving the Windy City. The primary reason for his surface stats improving with the Rangers is BABIP correction. As a Cub, he had an unsustainably low .215 BABIP; that mark is up almost 80 points with the Rangers. Soto's fantasy value has been inflated of late by a steady dose of playing time. Mike Napoli is expected to rejoin the team after a short rehab assignment, however, and he should be donning the tools of ignorance shortly after his return. It's unlikely Napoli will serve as a full-time catcher—he didn't when he was completely healthy—but any playing time he gets behind the dish will directly impact Soto. Look elsewhere for catching help.
John Jaso (Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 2%, CBS28%) is frigid. Sunday's double was Jaso's first extra base hit since doubling on August 21. He hasn't hit a home run since August 17. It appears his surprising out-of-nowhere pop has gone back into hiding, and his track record suggests it will remain there.
Even with regular playing time in David Ortiz's absence, Ryan Lavarnway (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 10%) hasn’t been able to get into a groove. His big league slash this year is a paltry .169/.239/.269, and he has hit just one home run in 92 plate appearances. Check back next year, as Lavarnway's minor league track record of offensive success is strong and is supported by positive reports, such as this one from Kevin Goldstein.
Beyond batting average, Jeff Keppinger (Yahoo! 9%, ESPN 15%, CBS 20%) has contributed little to fantasy rosters recently. In the Rays’ last 10 games Keppinger has scored one run, hit zero home runs, tallied two RBI, and stolen zero bases. That's not helping fantasy rosters, but he wouldn't be sticking around this article if he was truly doing nothing at all. He hit a scintillating .369 in 84 at-bats in August, though he has cooled in September, hitting .286 in 28 at-bats. It's tough to significantly impact batting average this late in the season in roto leagues, but if the standings are incredibly tight in that category, Keppinger remains ownable.