With two hits in four at-bats, Doug Fister has the highest wOBA on the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera checks in second at a cool .466 mark. Third place on the list is occupied not by Prince Fielder, but rather by Tuaisosopo at .435 (Fielder has a .390 wOBA and ranks fourth). Sure, Tuiasososopo has done it in just 75 plate appearances but with production like that, one has to wonder if he will start to eat into Andy Dirks’ playing time in left. Dirks edges Tuiasosopo in defense, but the Tigers aren’t known as a team that will keep a producing bat off the field for the sake of defense. Tuiasosopo doesn’t have an impressive minor-league résumé, with an average under .250 the past two seasons in Triple-A. But he has shown decent power, reaching 14 and 12 homers in those two years. His playing time is still too limited for mixed leagues, but I’d kick the tires on Tuiasosopo in AL-only leagues hoping the ride continues.
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The majority of Michael’s VP list turns over this week, but he’s got plenty of replacements lined up, including three who picked up their first home run of the year last week.
Statistically speaking, a single home run (like a single hit) is fairly meaningless. It’s the ultimate small sample, showing how one batter did against one pitcher (and one pitch) under one specific set of conditions. But psychologically speaking, when it’s the first home run of the season, it can mean so much more. The hitter feels confident in his swing or relieved at having gotten his first longball of the season out of the way, and it could mean a turnaround is coming. Look at Albert Pujols: in 27 plate appearances since his first jack of the season, he’s picked up 5 RBI—as many as he picked up in the 114 plate appearances before he finally went yard.
Looking for a replacement for your injured third baseman? Michael looks at plenty of hot-corner options this week, especially in Playing Pepper.
As Jason Collette and Paul Sporer covered in BP’s Towers of Power Fantasy Hour podcast this week, four front-line third-base qualifiers—Evan Longoria, Mat Gamel, Kevin Youkilis, and Pablo Sandoval—hit the DL this past week, leaving fantasy owners scrambling at an already-thin position. While many of the replacement players are marginal, sometimes a warm body is all you need to keep your fantasy squad afloat until more help arrives via an early-season callup. I’ll examine a few of those hot corner replacement options in this week’s column.
Michael looks at the fate of several first-round draft picks at the corner infield spots in Colorado, Minnesota, and San Diego, and peeks at some Spring Training stats in Playing Pepper.
If you need further confirmation of how difficult baseball is, compare its amateur draft to those of football or basketball, where first-round picks generally go onto success and top-pick busts like Sam Bowie or Ricky Williams make headlines. Baseball’s draft history, on the other hand, is littered with first-round failures and late-round successes. Some first-round picks eventually help their clubs but not always at the position where they were drafted. This week’s Value Picks looks at several Spring Training storylines surrounding former first-round draft picks and whether there’s any fantasy value to be found there.
One slugger arrives as another departs Michael's Value Picks list, where third basemen, late-season call-ups, and keeper options abound
Owners go two different directions in the final weeks of the season (actually, three, if you count those who are now obsessed with fantasy football, but they’re unlikely to be BP readers). One, they can throw in the towel and look to the future in keeper leagues; two, they can press on and try to finish in the money. You’ll find players for both directions in this week’s Value Picks list.