Week 1 discovery: Stealthy assassins

Having “Lost My Words” (copyright Jay-Mo, 2009) for what seems like weeks, today seemed like as good a time as any to try to get some back.

Contrary to my complete lack of lineup diligence, there’s baseball being played and fantasy baseball games being decided every day.

It’s early in the season and, as Jzak pointed out in his last post, there are plenty of hot players available on waivers. Make sure to check the list from time to time.

The following five hitters and five pitchers are relatively unattractive to owners in online leagues for some reason, but their performances last week were of the stealthy ninja variety. I’ll let you know if they’re going to stay hot or burn out.

Hitters:

Jason Bartlett, SS, Rays – .500 average, 4 steals, 2 homers, 1.33 OPS.

  • Advice: I’m all for Bartlett doing well, but he’s playing way over his head right now. He has more homers than he had in 454 ABs last year, and has 15 career homers in 1,575 career ABs. He’ll even back out to a .280 average and get a few more than 20 steals.

Jason Kubel, OF, Twins – Helped by hitting for the cycle, Kubel is hitting .435 with a 1.305 OPS. And he has five extra base hits, including two homers, to go with 10 RBIs. He’s rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues.

  • Advice: As his at-bats have increased in each of the last three years, so have his numbers. And he’s being more productive againstĀ  lefties. Prediction: 80 runs, 25 homers, 80 RBIs and a .280 average. He had five triples last year and 53 doubles in the last two years.

John Buck, C, Royals – Dude never gets full-time ABs, but he goes on stretches where he pounds the ball. In 15 at-bats last week, he had seven hits (.467 average) three of them were homers, two were doubles. He drove in nine runners and scored 5 runs.

  • Advice: If you can handle the platooning situation — monitor it daily and have another guy to switch in — he’s worth a pickup and available in 85% of leagues in Yahoo country.

Brian Barden, 3B, Cardinals – St. Louis’ third-string shortstop has seen time at 3B and SS and has made good on his plate appearances: 8-for-16, 18 total bases, 3 solo homers and a 1.681 OPS.

  • Advice: He doesn’t have much of a Major League sample, but his minor league career stats are unimpressive: .294 average, OPS under .800, 66 homers and 37 steals in 2,971 ABs. He probably won’t have more than three more homers the rest of the year.

Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/SS, Indians – 11-for-22, with six runs, six RBIs, one homer and two doubles.

  • Advice: To think he’ll keep that .500 pace or his 1.287 OPS is insane, but he hit .300 the second half of last season and could get 15 homers/10 steals in a full season. And in that Cleveland lineup, he could score a bunch and drive in some more. The prospect’s dual eligibility makes me wonder why he’s only rostered on 8% of Yahoo leagues. He’s available in 97% of ESPN leagues.

Pitchers

Brian Bruney, RP, Yankees – 8 Ks and 2 wins in just 3.2 innings last week.

  • Advice: He’s not going to snipe 2 wins every week, but 8Ks in 3.2 innings is encouraging. If he gets more opportunity, he could help your lineup, but wait until he gets that opportunity.

Randy Wolf, SP, Dodgers – 14 Ks, 2.77 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in two starts (13 innings). I contemplated drafting Wolf in a couple leagues, but did not. He is only owned in 16% of Yahoo leagues and 7% on ESPN.

  • Advice: If you’re still holding onto hope that Manny Parra, or any number of guys like him, are going to pan out, drop them and add Wolf. If he keeps up the K per inning and keeps his other numbers down, he’ll win a lot of games in that lineup.

Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Astros – Wandy gets no love. He’s the least stealthy player on this list, but is still owned in less than half of all Yahoo and ESPN leagues. 14 Ks, 2.08 ERA, .092 WHIP in 13 innings last week.

  • Advice: See Wolf, Randy

Jason Frasor, RP, Blue Jays – Like Bruney, Frasor pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief and sniped a pair of wins. But he did allow a hit and only struck out two.

  • Advice: Without the impressive K numbers like Bruney’s, only worry about Frasor if he moves into line for the closer job.

Doug Davis, SP, Diamondbacks – There he is again, the tempting Doug Davis. He puts up performances like this a couple times a season: 11 Ks, 16 innings in two starts, won a game. But he also gave up 15 hits and two walks.

  • Advice: Davis’ ERA (1.12) and WHIP (1.06) are tempting, but he’s destined for an 8 runs in 1.2 innings-type outing to offset those two good starts. Walk away.

What do you think? Is Bardem for real? Davis going to be consistent this year? Let us know in the comments, or start a discussion on our message boards.

1 Response to “Week 1 discovery: Stealthy assassins”


  1. Welcome back Adrian Beltre at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] if it’s only for a couple weeks, picking up a Jason Kubel or a Casey Blake when they are hot can help a struggling team compete and increase a winning [...]