Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

by Tyler Gettmann

First of all, I have to give myself a pat on the back. If you are a consistent reader of my Risers and Fallers article, I featured Lonnie Chisenhall in my Week 8 Risers and Fallers article. Since then, he has hit .438 with 5 HRs, 10 Rs and 22 RBIs. Not to mention having a 5-5 night on June 9th with 3 HRs and 9 RBIs. I only speak of him because I have definitely spoken of my faulty trends and mistakes that have been happening in my past articles. It was time to give myself some loving. OK enough of patting myself on the back. All my love and hate goes to the hitters this week.

Risers
Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo (ChC – 1B) – I specifically remember when the Boston Red Sox drafted Rizzo in 2007. In hopes that he would later be the first baseman of the future, he was traded to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. He then bumped to the Chicago Cubs and has now settled in as a quality first baseman in the league. If there were a present day Grease production, Rizzo would now be the star. The impressive thing for Rizzo this year is his ability to get on base. He has an outstanding OBP of .406; which is far above his .339 OBP for his career. He is 2nd in the NL in BB with 42. That’s “peachy keen, jellybean”. Since the end of May, Rizzo has been sizzling. In the past week, he has 11 hits, 8 Rs, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, which all adds up to a .407 AVG. Although the Chicago Cubs, as a whole, are not that exciting to watch sometimes, Rizzo has given Cubs fans a bright spot this year. He leads all Cubs in runs (42), homers (14) and RBIs (36). The way Anthony Rizzo is playing these days, he might as well slick back his hair and say “Eat your heart out”. This is definitely the biggest thrill of his life as well as fantasy owners who waited to get a first baseman in their draft.

Miguel Montero (ARI – C) – According to ESPN, the ownership of Montero has gone up 17% in the past week. Montero must be doing something right. The knack on this guy has always been his inability to get the ball in play and fanning at the ball way too much. His K rate this year is 14.7% compared to 23.2% in 2013. I had high hopes for this guy coming in the season and look at him now. Montero will never really hit for a high average. Usually .270 is going to be his max, but power and his ability to bring in runners is what makes him such a viable option to have on your team. This past week he has 3 HRs, 9 RBIs and was even hitting at a .435 clip. Montero has taken a different approach to the plate this year. In 2013, he was standing more upright and most of his swing was just with his hands. This open stance often made him dive into the ball. After a horrible 2013, he is in more of an athletic position and less open. It is always nice to see a player in the big leagues change mechanics because he was not producing. I do have to give props to Montero for this approach. As I am now accustomed to saying, you cannot get away with some things in your thirties (Montero is 30) as you could in your twenties.

Todd Frazier (CIN – 3B) – Frazier was asked to take on a more expanded role with Joey Votto went to the DL. He would have to dabble in a little first base action as well as his normal third base position. I went to a small division three college in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and would often have to reference the Little League World Series in order for people to understand where it was. Todd Frazier first made his mark on me in this small town of Central Pennsylvania. Click here to see what I am talking about. This “Beast from the East” hasn’t changed much at all. In years past, Frazier was used more as a super utility type of player, but now is a staple in the Reds’ everyday lineup. In the past week, Frazier has kept his average at .270, while hitting 3 HRs, gathering 3 RBIs and 5 Rs. I really enjoy watching Frazier play because of his hard work ethic. Like I said, some things never change.

Fallers
David Wright 2David Wright (NYM – 3B) – In my keeper league, I chose to keep Wright. I was really hoping that I made the “Wright” choice, but as of right now it does not look like a good one. I do have a few concerns about him. My first one is his overall BA is .275. David Wright is used to hitting consistently in the 300s and hasn’t touched lower than .280 since 2011, when his season was shortened. Another thing is that his K rate has gone from 16.1% (2013) to 21.6% (2014). Lastly, as we are only roughly a month away from the mid summer classic, he only has 4 HRs. Power has been a staple of Wrights game and looks like his kryptonite has been found. Have we seen the decline of Wright right before our very eyes? Well the decline certainly has happened in the past seven days. One hit, 2 Rs and an average of .050 are what he collected for fantasy owners this week. Obviously, Wright is not a player that you are going to want to get rid of. I am just blowin g caution to the wind.

Shin-Soo Choo (TEX – OF) – I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I…can’t make it up the hill. Choo (Choo) hasn’t fallen way back from his normal uphill type statistics. Last Sunday, Choo was not in the series finale versus the Nationals. This may be a trend that occurs more often. Jordan Zimmermann was pitching for the Nationals that day, so it was not like he was sitting because it was a lefty on the mound. In the past week, he has one hit, 0 HRs, 1 RBI and is batting .042. Choo has seen his average drop in the past ten days from .289 to .256. He is a career .286 hitter. His last homer was hit on May 22nd. I am not impressed. The Little Engine that Could needs a boost these days to get over the hump that he is in.

I was talking to a buddy of mine the other day who is in one of my leagues. We both decided that is time to examine your team to see what type of areas you’re lacking. As we are halfway through most types of fantasy leagues, it may be time to pull the trigger on some important trade deals that could potentially land you into the playoffs. It may be more important to those that are the last few in or the last few out right now. The bubble could only get bigger from here on out.

May the risers be in your favor and the fallers on your opponents’ team!

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy baseball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook and Google+ for all updates from FantasySixPack.

 

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