Alex Rios- TOR- Cold- Rios, after an 0-for-3 game yesterday, still has some solid leadoff hitter numbers (.306 average, .386 OBP). Lurking below the surface, though, is a BHIPx of .339 (through Sunday) propping that number up. Rios has gone 0-for-7 since that Sunday and that has cut 24 points off his average. His Batting EYE has also lost 20 points, to .50, in those two games. Once the statistical gyrations are done, he looks like he is on track to be close to his preseason projections of a .288 average, although he will have to pick up the power rate (currently 2 homers in 98 ABs) to approach the 24 projected long balls.
Yuniesky Betancourt- SEA- Hot- Betancourt has hits in 7 of his last 8 games, going 11-for-28 in that span, walking twice. His reputation has been built on his defensive work and his batting averages of nearly .290 each of the last 2 years have been looked at with skepticism. It’s getting to be time to give Betancourt credit for his bat work. His .301 average so far this season has been achieved despite a lower BHIPx (.235) than in either 2006 or 2007. Betancourt does rarely draw a walk (only 3 so far) but he also strikes out almost as infrequently (7 Ks) so it’s hard to draw many conclusions from his Batting EYE. Still, when a player is “overachieving” for the third straight season, you have to consider the possibility that previous expectations underestimated his ability.
Carlos Gomez- MIN- Hot- It’s like Fantistics’ Michael Leone was psychic yesterday. He mentions how Gomez’s steals drought was related to his poor on base percentage and how when Gomez does get on base he gets the steals. Yesterday, Gomez goes 3-for-4 and swipes his 11th base of the season. However, it was a steal that shouldn’t have happened, given the game situation and did not please manager Ron Gardenhire. Gomez has gotten some help from an above average .270 BHIPx, and his Batting EYE slipped a little more yesterday when he struck out without drawing a walk. Those are not good indicators for future success.
Eric Hinske- TB- Hot- Yesterday’s 1-for-2 with 3 walks effort boosted his average to .292 and OBP to .407. Hinske has posted these solid numbers despite a BHIPx of .191. The reason why bad luck has not dragged him down as his .154 mark last year torpedoed his 2007 average is probably shown by an improved Batting EYE. It is now at 1.17 as opposed to the .52 mark of last year. Hinske has dramatically cut down his strikeout ratio as well as boosting his walk ratio.
Joey Gathright- KC- Hot- In his last 2 games, Gathright has gone 4-for-10 with a triple, RBI,a nd 2 runs scored. Of course, those appearances were 6 days apart, so Gathright’s overall help for a fantasy team was limited. Realistically, the only thing you hope for from Gathright is value for the steals column. Last night he got his first stolen base in two weeks, giving him 8 for the season, tying him for 3rd in the AL. Even with sporadic play, Gathright can give you a bump in your steals, if you can afford to tolerate little help elsewhere.