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Prospectus Hit List for September 21



by Clark Goble and Daniel Rathman

Hit List for September 20 Hit List for September 22
Hit List updates are published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting April 2, 2014. Data presented here is based on games through the day prior to publication.
Teams are ordered based on Adjusted Hit List Factor, a computer generated number, and the author isn't responsible for the order of the teams.

Jonathan Papelbon blows his first save since May, but the Rays remain two games back as they drop one to the Yanks.

Rk TmWLW1W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

84

70

81.6

81.0

80.7

.531

.551

0.5%

1.8%

2.3%

1.0%

-3.8%

If Vernon Wells is contributing to the Angels' cause like he did on Tuesday, maybe they've still got a little life. They sit three and a half behind the Red Sox in the wild card and five back of the Rangers.
2

89

66

83.0

79.1

79.0

.532

.513

99.5%

0.0%

99.5%

0.1%

-0.4%

Dan Hudson didn't have his stuff working on Tuesday, and he has just eight strikeouts over 14 combined innings against the Dodgers and Pirates in his last two starts. He's now thrown 215 innings, and the D'backs have to be at least a bit concerned that Hudson will wear down heading into the postseason.
3

88

67

83.5

83.7

82.7

.545

.525

0.0%

81.0%

81.0%

1.1%

-14.5%

With a 5.2 WAR, Michael Bourn is tied for eighth among NL position players, besting even Jose Reyes. Bourn's 1.5 WAR defense has certainly helped that number.
4

64

90

61.8

59.9

60.9

.400

.420

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Starter Rick VandenHurk struggled through 3.1 innings, so Buck Showalter turned to Jo-Jo Reyes, and the Red Sox scored 18 runs again. Wait, what's that? The Orioles bullpen held Boston scoreless on three hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts over six innings? Yep.
5

88

67

92.1

95.5

94.9

.598

.617

0.1%

82.9%

83.0%

-2.9%

-15.1%

Jonathan Papelbon hadn't blown a save since May 9th until he served up a three-run double to Robert Andino. Daniel Bard was saddled with his ninth loss of the season and now has more of them than every Red Sox pitcher other than John Lackey.
6

75

79

72.6

77.5

77.1

.491

.511

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Gordon Beckham's AVG, OBP, and SLG have declined in each of his three seasons in the majors. He picked up three doubles on Tuesday, totaling three hits for the first time since June 30.
7

68

87

66.4

67.2

66.4

.432

.413

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Starlin Castro has reached base in 33 straight games, the longest streak for a Cubs shortstop since Woody English in 1929.
8

75

80

79.1

79.2

78.5

.503

.483

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Drew Stubbs joined Mark Reynolds in the 200 strikeout club on Tuesday. Well, it wasn't really a club until Stubbs joined, but it is now. And Stubbs said after the game that he's not proud to be a member.
9

76

77

71.3

71.0

71.4

.473

.493

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Zach McAllister's last start before Tuesday night was a disaster. He gave up 10 runs (eight earned) to the Mariners. He bounced back to give up two runs in just over five innings against the White Sox.
10

70

84

73.4

75.6

75.5

.478

.458

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Since the All-Star Break, Dexter Fowler is triple-slashing .289/.386/.508 in 242 at-bats. Is this the breakout we've all been waiting for?
11

89

65

82.4

86.6

85.1

.557

.577

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Jim Leyland is trying to find his bullpen for the Division Series. Down big against the Royals, he sent out four pitchers—Duane Below, David Pauley, Daniel Schlereth, and Luis Marte—for one inning.
12

70

85

69.8

76.8

76.1

.472

.452

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Marlins have mustered one run or less in seven of their losses against the Braves this season. They're really not giving the 30,000 orange seats much to cheer about.
13

53

101

60.0

60.5

60.7

.380

.362

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

A dreadful season took another worrisome turn last night when Bud Norris left early with shoulder discomfort. For the sake of Astros fans, let's hope their best starting pitcher is merely fatigued.
14

68

87

73.7

74.0

74.7

.468

.488

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, both 21-year-old rookies, hit opposite-way homers in the Royals' win on Tuesday. The process is finally becoming clear—these guys can rake.
15

77

76

79.2

80.6

80.0

.518

.498

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Kershaw drew even with Ian Kennedy by picking up his 20th win, but it was Kenley Jansen who bailed him out of a precarious situation by K'ing Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Beltran in the eighth. In 9.1 innings this month, Jansen has issued one walk and fanned a ridiculous 23.
16

91

64

85.8

88.9

88.0

.570

.551

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.1%

0.2%

The Brewers' magic number is three for their first division title in 29 years. It's possible they could clinch the division while idle on Thursday before a six-game homestand. That would be a buzzkill.
17

59

94

57.8

51.5

52.1

.360

.379

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Facing a one-run deficit, the Twins loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning but couldn't plate a run. It was their 10th straight loss. How can things get worse?
18

93

60

97.4

91.8

91.5

.611

.630

99.9%

0.1%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Ivan Nova has allowed one earned run in his last 15 innings of work. With 7.2 shutout frames against the Rays on Tuesday, he may have sewn up the Yankees' No. 2 starter gig in the playoffs.
19

73

81

74.4

75.4

75.8

.485

.465

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

With a .331 BA, Jose Reyes sits one point behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the NL batting title. It appears that he will start the final nine games, so he'll get plenty of at-bats to chase down Braun.
20

69

85

72.4

71.8

73.2

.465

.485

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Ex-top prospect Michael Taylor has enjoyed a nice cup of coffee in the big leagues during the past couple of weeks, and he cranked his first career home run on Tuesday.
21

98

56

97.9

95.8

94.8

.627

.609

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Phillies can't hit lately, and they can't hit left-handed pitching in general, with a .698 OPS against southpaws this season. If Hunter Pence isn't 100 percent come the playoffs, this could become a real problem.
22

69

86

66.8

61.2

60.0

.415

.395

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Clint Hurdle's team went 14-for-40 with eight extra-base hits on Tuesday. Even pitcher Charlie Morton got in on the action, chipping in two hits—including a double—to go with his six scoreless innings on the bump.
23

67

88

74.7

68.6

68.3

.449

.430

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Mat Latos has struck out at least eight batters in each of his last four starts, and Tuesday's 8.2 inning, one run effort at Coors Field may have been the most impressive of the bunch. He's re-asserting himself as San Diego's ace after an up-and-down season.
24

65

89

65.4

67.3

68.2

.432

.451

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Michael Pineda will take the ball for the final time on Wednesday. His ERA has jumped a full point since July, but he did get 20 batters to swing and miss in his last start—his best number of the season.
25

83

71

77.9

80.2

79.5

.520

.500

0.5%

0.7%

1.2%

-2.7%

0.8%

If I told you the Giants scored one run against Clayton Kershaw, you might have guessed it came on an error, a couple of lucky bloop singles, or by divine intervention. But a home run by Chris Stewart? Seriously?
26

85

69

83.2

82.6

81.7

.540

.520

0.1%

18.3%

18.3%

1.4%

13.8%

Albert Pujols went four-for-five on Tuesday to boost his average to a season-high .304. That mark would still finish as the lowest in his 11-year career.
27

85

68

85.6

85.6

86.5

.560

.580

0.0%

15.2%

15.2%

1.5%

13.3%

The bad news is that the Rays lost. The good news is that no one got hurt, they didn't waste any key relievers, and the Red Sox lost too. No harm done.
28

89

65

92.4

96.6

97.0

.609

.628

99.5%

0.1%

99.6%

0.3%

5.6%

A lefty starter firing 96 miles-per-hour darts? Yes, please. Derek Holland has allowed just six earned runs in his last 34.1 innings, whiffing 34 batters in the process.
29

78

76

76.0

73.9

76.2

.494

.514

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Since joining the Blue Jays, Colby Rasmus has walked three times and struck out 30. He sports a stunning .221 OBP. Maybe Tony La Russa knew something.
30

74

79

72.8

72.7

73.0

.478

.458

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Last night's doubleheader sweep at Citizens Bank Park will serve as a positive memory from another disappointing season. Starters Ross Detwiler and Tom Milone did not allow a run in their 13.1 combined innings.

Clark Goble is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Clark's other articles. You can contact Clark by clicking here
Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here


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