Garret Atkins had quite an afternoon against the Brewers, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, 6 RBI, and a run scored. This extends his hit streak to 9. During that span, he has 5 multi-hit games including 2 HR, 19 RBI, and 7 runs. Its been a disappointing year for Atkins and fantasy owners. His 2006 campaign produced a 0.82 FPI, a HR/AB of 20.8, and an OPS of .963. This season, those numbers have dropped to 0.64 FPI, HR/AB of 24.7, and an OPS of .283. If Atkins' recent surge continues (and I think it will throughout the month of August) he could get his fantasy stats back to a decent level considering his preseason purchase price.
Bill Hall continues to struggle. Another hitless night drops his average to .263 and his FPI is just 0.54 for 2007. Hall has 9 HR this season after hitting 35 in 2006. Of course that's a huge drop-off, but he hasn't hit the long-ball since June 23rd. Of course, he was injured for much of July, but the last HR still was 23 games ago for Hall. I liked Hall for his multiple position eligibility and his power potential, but without the long-ball, Hall becomes a very mediocre fantasy option. Some upside for the last couple of months, but a risky option at this point.
The Padres needed to open a roster spot for Chris Young and decided to designate 44-year old David Wells for assignment. The thought is he'll test out the market to see if other teams are interested in the left-handed veteran. But if he remains unclaimed, he'll likely hang up the cleats for good and retire. Wells has really struggled in lately, giving up 26 ER in 16.2 IP over the last four games. He's 5-8 for the season with a 5.54 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Don't forget, those numbers are in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Wells has had a great career and has caused fantasy owners both pleasure and pain with perfect games and unpredictable suspensions and blow-ups. If he retires, he will be missed on many levels.
Adam LaRoche had a nice game on Wednesday, going 4-for-5 with a run, a double, and a ribbie. He's trying to salvage what's been a disappointing 2007 for him and fantasy owners. After hitting just .239 in the first half of the season, LaRoche hit .321 in July and is hitting .346 in August. That's a difference in FPI of 0.53 for the 1st half and 0.62 for the 2nd half. His power is down this year at just 1 HR for every 25.8 AB compared to last year's breakout of 32 HR at a rate of 15.4. His hot-hitting hasn't led to more homeruns, but if stays hot, a few long balls at a faster rate than 25.8 could be around the corner.
Brad Hawpe has quietly equaled his 2006 breakout season with another solid fantasy year. With a dinger in Wednesday's game against the Brew Crew, Hawpe now has 20 HR and is averaging a homer for every 17.5 AB, about 4 AB better than 2006's rate of 22.7. His 0.73 FPI of last year is consistently similar to this year's 0.74 with a slightly improved batting eye of 0.69, up from 0.60 last season. At this pace, Hawpe will likely surpass much of last season's totals.