Derrek Lee- ATL- Stats- Lee has improved his average significantly since coming over from the Cubs, hitting .283 for Atlanta after posting a .251 mark in Chicago. Although Lee’s Batting EYE has gone up from .51 to .62 the most significant factor in his batting average jump is a .354 BABIP. His 2 homers in 106 ABs as a Brave after hitting 16 homers in 418 ABs with the Cubs isn’t a good sign heading into 2011. Subtract the good luck and Lee has diminished in both average and power.
Nyjer Morgan- WAS- Rise Value- Morgan was back from suspension and leading off for the Nationals. Although he didn’t attempt any steals yesterday, being back in the leadoff spot should provide him some opportunities in the last week of the season. If you are desperate for steals, Morgan could provide some.
Chris Carpenter- STL- Cold- Carpenter is looking tired. He is now up to 4 straight starts without a quality one. In each of those starts he has failed to record more than a 1.00 GB/FB ratio. His walks have gone up to the point of issuing 4 free passes in 4 IP yesterday. Carpenter has been hit hard, giving up 27 hits in 21.1 IP. He had a remarkable run this season, but it seems like he is running out of gas. Carpenter will turn 36 early next season so some decline isn’t unexpected. What is encouraging is that he increased his K/9 ratio to 6.97 this year even as his BB/9 ratio rose to 2.43. If he can maintain a solid K ratio, that will mitigate some slippage in other areas. Carpenter will have value, but probably not s much as this season.
Aroldis Chapman- CIN- Cold- Chapman may have thrown the fastest recorded pitch in major league history, but he is far from invincible. He lost the second game of his young major league career, retiring only 2 of the 4 batters he faced yesterday before the winning run scored against him. Chapman threw 8 balls in his 17 pitches, showing that control is still an issue. His 4.35 BB/9 ratio in his 12 major league appearances is not that much lower than the 4.94 mark he posted at AAA this season. There certainly is plenty of potential in a player that can bring that much heat, but there is also likely to be a learning curve ahead in 2011. Chapman is probably going to be overpriced due to his overwhelming power.
Jeff Keppinger- HOU- Stats- With a BHIPx of .257, Keppinger is finally experiencing something approaching average luck. He has tended to extremes in his career, from a .277 BHIPx in 2007 when he hit .332 to a .221 BHIPx last year to go along with a .256 average. With luck less of a factor wither way this season, his .293 average might be his new normal.