Zack Greinke: After spending a good part of 2007 as a reliever, Greinke has pitched exclusively as a starter this year with good results, 8-7 with a 3.98 ERA. He is still just 24 years of age and with his impressive skill set; 8.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and a 43% GB%, there is plenty of upside.
Jose Contreras: Contreras is set to make a rehab start in Triple-A on Sunday and could be off the DL in a week. This year he has been serviceable as a starting pitcher, 7-6 with a 4.60 ERA. As the 36 year old has aged, he has changed his style from a power to finesse pitcher. In every season that he has spent in the major leagues his K/9 has decreased, 2003/2004/2005/2006/2007/2008 K/9’s of 9.1/7.9/6.7/6.2/5.3/5.1, but he has dramatically improved his control, 3.8/4.4/3.3/2.5/3.0/2.6, and has become a ground ball pitcher, 52% GB% this year. He can survive with these skills, but his upside is very limited and if a few things go wrong, things could get ugly very quickly, 5.57 ERA in 2007.
Curtis Granderson: Whether or not the hand injury that kept him out in the early part of the season is to blame, the 27 year-old Granderson has not seen his power grow, 2007 doubles/triples/home runs of 38/23/23 in 612 AB vs. 2008 doubles/triples/home runs of 17/6/11 in 336 AB, at an age where his power should be peaking. On the positive side, Granderson has made nice strides in his approach at the plate, 2007/2008 BB%’s of 8%/9% and Ct%’s of 77%/82%. His fantasy value would soar if he could recapture the success that he had on the basepaths last year, 26 for 27 in steals vs. 7 for 11 this year.
Willie Bloomquist: With just one extra-base hit in 168 PA, Bloomquist wins the award for the most powerless hitter in baseball. He still has fantasy value because the Mariners are giving him a decent amount of playing time and he can steal bases, 14 for 16 in steals.
Tony Pena: With no power, plate patience (2.6% BB%), or contact skills (77% Ct%), Pena is the last guy in the major leagues who can survive with bad luck, .158 BHIP% and a .150 batting average. Part of his “bad luck” could be that when he does make contact, he doesn’t hit the ball very hard. Even with a low BHIP%, there is no upside to owning Pena.
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