Brad Peacock (SP) HOU - Peacock was excellent again on Wednesday, going 6 innings and allowing just two walks and a 2-run homer to the White Sox, striking out 6. He's now 12-2 on the year, fanning 11.4 men per nine with a new arm angle, a true putaway slider, and a slowly improving GB rate. The control is still iffy and he's pitched more than 6 innings twice in 20 starts, but that's a bit picky.....he absolutely looks the part of an SP3 at the very least, and he's maintained it even as his velocity has declined throughout the season. That does worry me a touch from a potential injury standpoint, just enough so that I'd drop him down 5-10 spots (he's currently SP #20) in my rankings for 2018, but I think this improvement is the real thing.
Yoan Moncada (2B) CWS - Moncada homered again Wednesday, giving him 4 for the month to go along with a 333/397/526 line. The contact rate has nosed above 70% for the year, the hard contact rate is approaching 40%, and really, the kid is just 22. By the time this kid gets to maturity, every aspect of his game could be above average, and in some cases significantly so. He is the real deal, and should be valued highly both for the last few weeks, but more importantly for 2018, where he could easily make a run at top-10 for the position in his first full season.
Miguel Cabrera (1B) DET - It hasn't been a fun year for Miggy, who is ranked #31 at 1B in this, his age 34 season. He's battled a groin strain, hip soreness, and lower back soreness this year, the latter two maladies having been nearly season-long issues, and it's worth asking if there's anything left in the tank? This has been 3 straight seasons where Cabrera has been hobbled for significant portions of time, and it's unlikely that he'll get any healthier. I do, however, think that he can be more productive, as the batted ball mix, the hard contact rate, and the exit velocity have maintained themselves rather well. I wouldn't shy away from him come spring, with something closer to his 2014 totals (.313/25/109) seeming like a reasonable possibility. The avg HR distance and swing speed have come down a touch this year, which is likely going to be the trend, but since the swing speed (and the exit velocity, and the hard contact rate) have remained elite, I still believe this year to be an outlier on what should be a fairly gentle decline path for the future hall-of-famer.
CJ Cron (1B) LAA - Cron has been pretty solid in the second half, hitting 290/351/574 with 14 homers in just 52 games. Cron is 55th in MLB in exit velo, has a hard contact rate of 37.5%, hits a ton of flyballs (44%), and posts a fairly reasonable contact rate given that he swings a ton. Unfortunately, he has a manager and an organization that are tied to the massively underperforming sunk cost that is Albert Pujols, so he barely played for most of the season. When that situation changes, which it has for the past 6-8 weeks, Cron is a valuable CI in just about all formats. Still just 27, he may very well put up that 30-HR season that we are all expecting in 2018, but I'd be very careful about overvaluing him if the same pieces are in place for the Angels.
Josh Tomlin (SP) CLE - Tomlin has allowed 3 runs or fewer in 8 straight starts now, although he hasn't completed the 6th since coming back from the DL at the beginning of the month. He is definitely prone to stretches like this, where he bumps the GB rate up close to 45%, avoids barrels a bit more, and generally pitches to a 3.25-3.75 ERA. When he's going like this, he warrants a spot in everyone's rotation. The problem is, his stuff isn't great enough to get away with anything when the control ins't spot on, which was the case in the first half of the year. In my opinion, Tomlin is an excellent guy to use in a 7-9 SP rotation, where you're riding the matchups with the bottom 2-3 slots. He's rather underrated with the excellent control and surprising chase rate, and the fact that the Indians rarely lose helps as well. I expect that he can continue this level of performance for a few more years before he simply loses too much velocity, a la Jered Weaver.
This is just a small sample our our daily analysis, join our member area for over 80 player updates daily. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3