Aaron Hill: It has been an excellent growth season for Hill's power, 17 home runs and 46 doubles vs. 6 home runs and 28 doubles in 2006, fully supported by a rising FB%, 39% vs. 35% in 2006. He has taken a step back in his contact skills, 2006/2007 Ct%'s of 88%/83%, but with the power growth, it should not have much of an effect on his batting average going forward, 2006/2007 batting averages of .291/.290. Hill will be just 26 years of age at the beginning of 2008, so expect even more power to come over the next couple of seasons.
Jhonny Peralta: The first-half power surge, 13 home runs in 292 AB, was reminiscent of his big 2005 season, 24 home runs and 35 doubles in 504 AB, but his second-half fade, 8 home runs in 275 AB, is reminding us of his disappointing 2006 season, 13 home runs and 28 doubles in 569 AB. With a high GB%, 2005/2006/2007 GB%'s of 45%/47%/46%, the real Peralta probably lies closer to the one of 2006 and the second-half of this year.
Jon Leicester: Leicester gets his 5th start of the season tonight against the Yankees. Since moving into the rotation he is 2-2 with a 5.16 ERA. For the season a 3.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and a 47% FB% should tell you all you need to know; stay as far away as possible. The combination of his high FB% and facing the tough Yankee lineup could result in a few balls being launched over the fence.
Kevin Slowey: Slowey gets his final start of the year in Boston tonight. After a not so impressive first tour with the Twins this year; 5.83 ERA, 4.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and an unbelievable 13 home runs allowed in just 37 innings, Slowey has been dominating since being recalled in early September; 2.63 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and a 0.8 BB/9. The strong finish makes him one to watch in 2008, but the combination of his high 51% FB%, the Green Monster in Fenway, and a tough Boston lineup means you should not count on him for this start.
Miguel Batista: It has been a mixed bag this season for Batista; the 15 wins are good, the 6.2 K/9 and 44% GB% are acceptable, but the 4.56 ERA and 4.0 BB/9 are not so impressive. Battista has always had problems with control, 3.9 career BB/9, and his declining GB%, 44% vs. 52% last years, means Batista is walking a very thin line. If he cannot induce more ground balls next season, any erosion in his K/9 will spell trouble for Batista, who will be 37 years old at the beginning of next year.
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