Cole Hamels (SP-PHI)- Hamels threw a complete game shutout on Tuesday night against the Braves. He allowed five hits without a walk and six strikeouts to improve his ERA to 3.14 and record to 12-6. With a 3.51 FIP and 3.29 xFIP, Hamels 2012 campaign is starting to look more and more like his 2010 season in which he finished with a 3.06 ERA/3.67FIP/3.28xFIP that season. Unable to repeat a 52.3 percent ground ball rate, a 1.83 BB/9, a career low 9.9 percent HR/FB ratio and .255 BABIP, Hamels season is not as impressive, but still remains as one of the most dependable starters in the league. He came into the start with a 12.7 swinging strike rate, his highest rate since 2007, and a career best 34.1 percent strand rate. Those numbers should allow him to maintain this strong strikeout rate of 8.90 K/9 for the rest of the season.
Jim Henderson (RP-MIL)- Henderson earned his first career save in just his sixth career appearance on Tuesday night against the Reds. He threw a perfect ninth inning while recording one strikeout to lower his ERA to 1.50. Henderson could be in line for more save opportunities considering the struggles of both John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez. The 29 year-old rookie is armed with a fastball that has averaged 95.1 mph this season along with a good hard slider. He has generated a 14.1 percent swinging strike rate this season, and looks as if he could hold down the job for the rest of the season if given the opportunity, as he has been able to throw strikes at a consistent rate so far. However, a walk rate of 4.13 BB/9 in triple-A this season and 38.7 percent zone rate might indicate otherwise. Owners looking for some saves on the waiver wire should take note.
Buster Posey (C-SF)- Posey went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, a home run and three RBI to help the Giants take a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals last night. The home run was his 18th of the season, and he now has a .328/.394/.542 slash line for the year. With the home run, Posey was able to tie his career high in home runs during a season. There is no question that he has put together the most valuable season among major league catcher's this season because of his combination of power, strong RBI totals (73), walk rate (10 percent) and power (.214 ISO). Posey does not lead in most of these categories, except for RBI, but he is near the top in every single on of them and his wOBA of .397 is second among qualified catchers (Carlos Ruiz leads). He has been able to produce a .353 BABIP in part because of his career best 22.9 percent line drive rate, and his 20.9 percent HR/FB ratio is a career best. His 28.6 percent fly ball rate could be improved, but considering his 3.5 percent infield fly ball rate is one of the lowest in the league, the fly ball rate does not look as bad in comparison.
Ross Detwiler (SP-WAS)- Detwilier did not earn a decision in last night's extra innings affair against the Astros, but did deliver a quality start in which he allowed two runs on three hits, a home run and two walks while striking out two over seven innings of work. His record remains at 6-4, but he was able to lower his ERA to 2.99 for the season. While his 3.78 FIP and 4.16 xFIP foreshadow some regression over the course of the next month and a half, his strong line drive rate of 14.3 percent indicate he might be able to maintain his .264 BABIP. In addition, his 8.3 percent HR/FB ratio is in line with his career rate of 8.1 percent. His career best 53.1 percent ground ball rate has also allowed him to maintain this strong BABIP, while he has been able to produce the lowest walk rate of his career (2.59 BB/9). His strikeout rate of 5.82 K/9 is still below average, but it also represents a career best. Considering he is owned in only 35 percent of Yahoo league and 42 percent of ESPN, he is worth a look in most formats.
Eric Young Jr (OF/2B-COL)- Young went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in the Rockies win over the Dodgers last night. The performance allowed him to improve his slash line to .295/.364/.380 in 147 plate appearances this season to go along with his one home run and 11 stolen bases. Young is expected to see a considerable amount of time in right field with the injury to Michael Cuddyer, and he could help some owners looking for runs scored and stolen bases. A .359 BABIP has compelled Young to this career season, but a career best 22.4 percent line drive rate and 30.6 percent fly ball rate along with a career low 46.9 percent ground ball rate indicate he has made better overall contact this season. Furthermore, he has been able to walk at a 9.1 percent clip for his major league career. He might not hit a home run for the rest of the season, but he should be able to grab another 10 stolen bases with regular playing time.
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