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NL Player Notes - April 13th, 2012

Paul Sauberer

Ryan Ludwick- CIN- Stats- Ludwick has a Batting EYE of 1.00, which would indicate a marked increase in selectivity. However, it looks like that might be a statisrtical bubble when his plate discipline numbers are examined. His Swing% has actually increased from 51.0% last season to 51.9% this season and his Swing% on pitches outside the zone has gone up from 33.3% to 48.7%. What has happened is pitchers aren't throwing the ball for strikes against him. Only 25.0% of pitches Ludwick has seen have been in the strike zone. He has picked up walks almost by accident. The odds are that pitchers aren't going to be that wild for much longer and his strikeouts will rise, deflating his Batting EYE.

Nyjer Morgan- MIL- Hot- Morgan doubled his 2012 hit total for 2012 by going 2-for-4 yesterday. This leaves his average at .190. He has yet to draw a walk so his OBP is also at .190. Morgan's seelctivity is certainly suspect at this point. He only drew 3 walks with 67 Cactus League at bats. Last season's .362 BABIP played a big part in his .304 average. His BB% was a career low 4.4%. Without immense luck, Morgan won't approach that again, especially if he doesn't draw walks more frequently.

Madison Bumgarner- SF- Hot- Bumgarner didn't have his first quality start of 2011 until his 5th outing. He got his first one of 2012 out of the way in his second start of the season yesterday. One thing to watch this year is his usage. Bumgarner threw 117 pitches yesterday. He only went to 110 or over 8 times last year and followed up with quality starts 5 times. If manager Bruce Bochy starts using Bumgarner like he does Tim Lincecum in terms of pitch counts, there could be danger of injury. Bumgarner is only 22 and the odds of there being two young rubber armed pitchers on the same staff are pretty long.

Cameron Maybin- SD- Hot- Maybin hit a triple last night. That combined with his 2 steals so far this year indicate that his speed from last season (40 SBs) was not a fluke. He will need to lower his 31.3% K% to get his average higher, as well as wait for some regression to the mean. His .294 BABIP is far below his .332 major league average, more in line with what one would expect from a speedster. Maybin is a buy low candidate if you can get him now.

Andrew McCutchen- PIT- Hot- McCutchen's .409 average is driven by a very lucky .474 BABIP. Make that extremely lucky. He has yet to homer, but it's still very early and McCutchen does have 2 steals already. His .67 Batting EYE is in line with his career numbers. When regression to the mean kicks in he will still have fantasy value. Take the current streak as a bonus.

Follow me on Twitter all season - @fantisticspaul

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