On a ball from CC Sabathia, Chris Davis fouls the pitch off his right foot which then careens off of his knee , goes up to his chest, through his uniform, and lands snuggly on his chest disappearing from view. This is one foul ball that you probably will never see happen quite like this ever again…
With the major league baseball season about a quarter over as we head towards the Memorial Day Weekend, we came up with some interesting facts and stats that you may (or may not) be aware of. They are random and shouldn’t have too much bearing on your rosters as they’re just here to hopefully make you say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” We featured this last season and it was a huge success so back by popular demand, here are some of this season’s most interesting facts & stats…
DID YOU KNOW as of Saturday, May 25th, 2013…
1. That 34 year old Vernon Wells and 35 year old Carlos Beltran have more home runs (20) so far this season than Jay Bruce, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard…combined (each has 6)?
2. That in their last four games, the Baltimore Orioles have hit 13 home runs?
3. That Yankees DH Travis Hafner, who doesn’t play everyday, has the third most RBIs on the team?
4. That David Price. Matt Cain, Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson and Josh Beckett ALL have ERAs above 5.00?
5. That SP Jason Marquis leads the National League with 28 walks but is just 2 wins shy of Jordan Zimmerman and Matt Moore who lead the major leagues in wins with 8?
6. That Jimmy Rollins, Denard Span, and Drew Stubbs combined, have less stolen bases than Everth Cabrera (18)?
7. That Kevin Kouzmanoff is the only player to hit a grand slam home run on the very first pitch he ever saw as a major leaguer? It was done against Edison Volquez in the 1st inning vs the Texas Rangers on September 2, 2006.
8. That SP Brandon McCarthy has given up just one run over his last three games (24 innings)?
9. That Baltimore’s Chris Davis leads the major leagues in homes runs with 16 and that Manny Machado, also of the Orioles, leads the majors with 21 doubles?
10. That on May 22, Mike Trout hit for the cycle, a feat accomplished by under 300 players in the history of MLB? He was the youngest to do so in the A.L. at 21 years, 9 months, and 16 days. Mel Ott who achieved the cycle in 1929 at age 20 — is the youngest overall.
As we enter week 5 in fantasy baseball, we turn the calendar on April and go in to month two of the long baseball season. We’ve watched some amazing things happen so far like Matt Kemp hitting 12 HR, collecting 25 RBI, and batting .417, while the $250 million man, Albert Pujols, has driven in 4 runs, has no HR and is batting 200 points less than Kemp at .217. Some of the pitchers that were drafted early like Cliff Lee, Daniel Hudson, Rick Dempster, Drew Storen, Brian Wilson, and Andrew Bailey have all found a place on the DL.
And so here are some key waiver wire pick ups that you should be considering and who are not widely owned in most leagues:
Gerardo Parra-OF-Diamondbacks- Parra makes for a nice little pickup in all leagues basically for one category; stolen bases. While OF Chris Young is healing from what has been diagnosed as a slight ligament tear in his right shoulder, the speedster will continue his lead-off duties and probably see 3-4 more weeks on the field. In the last two weeks, he has stolen 7 bases, knocked in 10 runs, has 2 HR, and has scored 13 runs. Not bad for a replacement player. So if you have a ‘need for speed’ (and a little more), Parra is available in 75% of leagues.
Chris Davis-1B/3B-Orioles- This 26 year old has been red hot of late after a torrid weekend series versus the Athletics. He’s batting .310, which is bound to come down somewhat, but his power is his strong suit as he has hit 4 HR and driven in 12 in just 67 AB. I was surprised that Texas gave up on him so quickly because less than 2 years before he was traded to Baltimore, in 2009, he belted 21 HR in just 391 AB which equates to 1 HR every 18.6 AB. His dual position eligibility is also a plus. Davis is currently owned in just 35% of Yahoo! leagues and makes a nice add in 12+ leagues.
Bryan LaHair-1B/OF-Cubs- Another player on fire is LaHair. Monday he doubled and hit a 2-run home run against the Phillies, which now gives him 5 moon-shots for the season to go along with 14 RBI. More impressive for the 29 year old who has spent most of his career in the minors, is his stellar .390 BA which, coupled with his obvious power, makes him a must add in most leagues. If you’re a gambler, you can think about trading LaHair while he’s got these amazing numbers. Or, if you don’t have him, you can pick him up on waivers which is becoming even harder to do as his stock rises. On Monday he was owned in 51% of leagues. Today it’s up to 62%. Don’t procrastinate-see if he’s still available.
Jason Hammel-SP/RP-Orioles- Hammel, who has spent the last three seasons in the thin air of Colorado, has watched his wins and K’s go up while his ERA 1.97, and WHIP 1.03 has dropped significantly since being traded to Baltimore this past winter. He’s 3-1 in the month of April and has fanned 30 in just 32 innings pitched. On Monday versus the Yankees he allowed 2 runs over six innings and struck out five but took the loss. The red hot Red Sox are up next for Hammel so it won’t be an easy task for the 29 year old. He is another player you might consider selling high but would suggest waiting another start or two. His 10 strikeout performance against the White Sox is what impressed me the most and is worth a grab in most leagues. He is available in 50% of leagues.
Pedro Strop-RP-Orioles- Our third Oriole of the week, is a 26 year old fire-baller who can bring it. With closer Jim Johnson securely in place with his 7 saves, 0.00 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, Strop is a nice alternative if you’re lacking in the RP slot and could use an occasional save and/or win. He finished April with a 3-1 record and has added 2 saves to his resume. He also has struck out 14 in 13 innings and has a 2.08 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP which makes him more than serviceable. In Yahoo! leagues, he is currently ranked 70 among all pitchers. He is widely available in 85% of leagues and is definitely worth a flier.