Julio Lugo: Lugo is off to a better start this year, .271 average in 59 AB, than the first half of last season, 4/34/.190. Unlike last year, he is not stealing bases, just 1 for 3. Unless his back is bothering him, he had it examined during spring training, he should be off and running soon.
Ryan Garko: After showing some nice power growth in the second half of last year, 12 HR and 16 doubles in 241 AB, The 27 year-old Garko is not following up in the early stages of this season, just 2 home runs in 54 AB. However the rest of his skills look good, 16% BB% and an 89% Ct%. He is in no danger of losing playing time, so give him some time to find his power stroke.
Gary Matthews: The biggest bonus of Matthews moving from Texas to LA was that he ran more and was effective, 18 for 22 in 2007 vs. 10 for 17 in 2006. Predictably his power took a dip, 18 home runs and 26 doubles vs. 19 home runs and 44 doubles in 2006. Over the last few seasons, his batting average has been determined by wild swings in his BHIP%, .277 in 2006 (when he hit .313) vs. .226 in 2007 (when he hit .252). With Matthews you get league average power, some steals, and possible upside from his batting average of last season.
Curtis Granderson: Granderson will begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as today. In his second full season, he improved his power, 19 home runs and 31 doubles in 2006 vs. 23 home runs and 38 doubles in 2007, while also making gains in his ability to make contact, 2006/2007 Ct%’s of 71%/77%. Assuming the broken finger does not bother him when he returns, last year’s growth bodes well for both his power and batting average.
Placido Polanco: Polanco is really struggling out of the gate this year, 0/3/.154 in 52 AB. A .140 BHIP% is certainly not helping his cause. With his history of abnormally high Ct% rates, 2005/2006/2007 Ct%’s of 95%/94%/95%, his batting average should rebound, making this a perfect time to buy low.
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