You may have heard about this baseball player Bryce Harper. There was a mention or two about him on TV yesterday.
The hype is practically out of control. It’s not of the Stephen Strasburg variety — tune in tonight for SS’s debut! I know I am — but it’s still immense. Did you know he can hit a baseball 1,000 feet? Approximately. I may be off a bit. Anyhow, the slugger belted 29 homers, drove in 89 runs and hit .442 for the College of Southern Nevada this season.
Those numbers are pretty fantastic and the Nationals will move the slugging catcher to the outfield to fast-track him.
What else went on in fantasy baseball yesterday? Let me tell you:
Ryan Ludwick — Belted a pair of homers. He’s been quiet on the update front here, but is hitting .294 with 9 homers, 35 runs and 31 RBI this season. That puts him on pace for 21 homers, 98 runs and 79 RBI.
Daniel Bard — Anyone who reads our holds updates knows Bard as one of the top setup men in the game. He’s going to be the closer for three games this week as Jonathan Papelbon misses some games for personal reasons.
Mike Carp — Started for Casey Kotchman at first base on Monday and went 1-for-4 out of the fifth spot in the order. His minor league stats are unimpressive, but Carp was 8-for-20 with a double and a homer in June before his callup. He has 10 homers and 31 RBI in the minors this season. Carp is not a must-add, but the Mariners must have a plan if they hit him fifth in his season debut.
Chone Figgins — Moved from second to ninth in the batting order. He responded by going 3-for-4 — his first three-hit game since April 13. Maybe they should make Figgins angry more often.
Mike Leake — It goes against the Dusty Baker philosophy, but Leake is likely to have his innings limited or be skipped in the rotation occasionally for the rest of the season. He already has 73 innings pitched, putting him on pace for 211. Leake, one of the great breakout stories of 2010, has a 2.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and is 5-0. Redraft owners may want to think about dealing Leake at the high point of his value in 2010.
Alfredo Simon — Will be the closer when he returns from the DL — he is eligible to come back Wednesday. Simon has been effective this season and is available in 82% of Yahoo leagues. Further proof why you should never, ever, ever pay for saves.
Carlos Silva — Continues to insult common sense by being great. He fell behind 3-0 to a batter on Sunday for only the second time all season. Let’s all pick our jaws up off the floor. This is the same guy who gave up three homers to the Diamondbacks on May 1, but has a 2.93 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and eight wins. He’s the first Cubs pitcher to go 8-0 since 1967.
Freddy Sanchez — Looking for an AVG pick-me-up? Look no further than Sanchez, who is 20-for-40 on an 11 game hit streak and is available in 84% of Yahoo leagues. It won’t last forever, so enjoy the goodness now.
Chris Smith — The Brewers added their AAA closer to an already messy bullpen. John Axford, who got his fourth save on Sunday, is the dude right now. But Axford, Trevor Hoffman and Carlos Villanueva each have saves and Chris Narveson and LaTroy Hawkins each have blown saves. Let’s not make a determination on Smith yet. At this point, Axford and Villanueva — in that order — are the only players I would own from that ‘pen.
Brad Lincoln — Will make his major league debut for the Pirates Wednesday. Something tells me it won’t be as celebrated as Strasburg’s today. Lincoln has thrown 332 minor league innings and has a 3.82 ERA and 20-21 record to show for it. He’s been better this season, but he is only a must-add from day 1 in the deepest of NL-only dynasty leagues.
Aroldis Chapman — Forced to pick between Strasburg and Chapman in the preseason, I thought the Reds prospect would advance quicker. Luckily, the choice was only for bragging rights between myself and myself. Chapman got bombed for seven runs and walked six batters in two innings for triple-A Louisville on Monday.
Ivan Rodriguez — Expected to start today in his return from the disabled list. If he skips a beat, don’t even bother. If he’s back to the 2010 comeback tour I-Rod, he’s probably better than your current catcher.
Victor Martinez —Is 25-for-50 since May 19. Martinez owners should strike the previous player note from their mental record and continue on.
Blake Hawksworth — Defying his comic book superhero sounding name, Hawksworth was less than pedestrian in his first major league start on Monday. He gave up seven hits, six earned runs and walked three in four innings.
Jameson Taillon — The starting pitcher selected by the Pirates second overall will reportedly be difficult to sign. He’s looking for $7-8 million. He thinks he’s Stephen Strasburg.
Manny Machado — With the No. 3 pick in the draft, the Orioles selected SS Machado. Harper, Taillon and Machado were the most talked about players before the draft and will likely all be high on their respective clubs’ top prospect lists next season.