Dan Uggla - We're one day closer to seeing Dan Uggla run through a huge banner with the number 57 on it. Uggla singled in his first AB and added his 27th HR of the season on Saturday to up his hitting streak to 33 games. Perhaps people should have seen Uggla's hitting streak coming considering he owned a BABIP in the .170s for much of the season. With a mark that low, Uggla was due a steep bounce back and he's gotten it (although this hit streak has gotten pretty absurd). Uggla now owns a .232/.300/.453 slash line and his BABIP was up to .240 prior to yesterday's game. Uggla's also got the ISO up near .220 and he's looking like a sure bet for another 30 HRs, although his RBI totals may be a bit behind recent years. There's a good chance Uggla ends the season with numbers in line with his solid 2009 totals. While Adam Dunn hasn't been able to turn the corner on his atrocious season, Uggla's righted the ship and moved back up the 2B rankings.
Jayson Werth - It's August 14 and Jayson Werth enters today's game with a .382 SLG%. If that's not the definition of a bust, I don't know what is. (Oh wait, yes I do, it's called Adam Dunn and Alex Rios). While nobody expected Werth to come over to the Nationals and post another .352 BABIP, it also seemed unlikely his BABIP would plummet so drastically (72-point drop to .279). That change in luck has really hindered Werth who is still hitting just .225 for the season. His power has dropped from .238 in 2009 and .236 in 2010 to a measly .158 this season. Werth's LD% is the same as last year but he is hitting 7% more grounders which may partly explain the drop in power. If you're a Werth owner, you can at least feel good about his base stealing as he's already exceeded last season's total (13) by swiping 14 bags in 2011.
Dontrelle Willis - Dontrelle Willis is fantasy relevant? Well, let's not get too crazy, but the former Marlin and Tiger has pitched pretty well since moving into the Reds' rotation. Control has been the issue recently for Willis, who owned a 7.68 walk rate in 65 innings last season. However, Willis has finally harnessed his wildness by allowing fewer than 3 walks per game in 2011. In 6 starts this season, Willis has given up no more than 3 ER and even had a 10-strikeout performance versus the Rockies last week. He's posting a solid 27:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has allowed just 3 HRs in 37 innings. I'm most impressed by Willis' GB rate - an outstanding 53% which partly explains his 3.66 FIP. Willis gets the Padres today which makes him an intriguing spot start for those needing a Sunday starter.
Ryan Vogelsong - Ryan Vogelsong's had a lovely season thus far and enters today's start against the Marlins with a 2.48 ERA and 9-2 record. However, with an xFIP of 3.79 and FIP of 3.55, it's clear Vogelsong will be hard-pressed to sustain his current success. He's enjoying a high strand rate (82%) and his BABIP is just .287 (compared to a .301 career mark). The good news is that Vogelsong continues to post a solid 1.34 GB/FB rate and 31% chase rate. Aside from the likely regression, I'm also concerned about Vogelsong's stamina. He's already pitched 120 innings and has never topped 133 in any season. It might not be anything that affects him down the stretch but it is something to keep in mind and monitor.
Ryan Roberts - Anytime there's a player who has multiple position eligibility in the infield and outfield, and can hit with some power and steal some bases, he's going to be a very valuable commodity in any league format. That's exactly the way I'd describe Ryan Roberts, who went 2-for-4 with a HR and a double on Saturday versus the Mets. Roberts, who has 2B, 3B and OF eligibility in most leagues, is now hitting .263/.355/.459 with 14 steals, 16 HRs and 50 RBI. He entered Saturday's contest with a .187 ISO and was showing good patience by walking in 12.5% of his ABS. Turning 30 in September, Roberts is a late bloomer but his numbers seem sustainable since they are right in line with his minor leagues stats. I'm most encouraged by Roberts' 21% line drive rate and his excellent 12.4% HR/FB rate. His numbers play as a respectable starter at either 2B or 3B in 12 team leagues.
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