Matt Kemp went 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored in the win over the Pirates. Kemp was benched earlier in the week because Mattingly wasn't happy with his defense in centerfield. It was not until Carl Crawford went down with an injury, that Kemp got to play. Kemp has struggled this season. He insists that he is healthy, but he does not look like the same player that he once was. He is hitting .248 with 5 HR and 15 RBI. Kemp has managed to steal 5 bases. All of Kemp's numbers look identical to his career numbers expect for an increase in his GB% from 40% to 47%. Other sluggers like Billy Butler and Prince Fielder are experiencing the same problem. There are no true signs that point to why this happens, but it is alarming and does not bid well for future success. Kemp's immense talent will buy him some more time, but he needs to start producing now or he will start losing playing time.
Charlie Blackmon went 2-4 with a HR and 4 RBI against the Indians on Saturday. Blackmon has been one of the surprises so far in 2014. He has shown the ability to hit for average and power. He is hitting .317 with 10 HR and 37 RBI. Blackmon has crushed at home and been below average on the road. He has hit .389 with 7 HR and 23 RBI at home and only .248 with 3 HR and 14 RBI on the road. Blackmon has shown at times the tendency to go outside of the zone, evident by his 34% O-Swing. This could potentially lead to future problems, if pitchers start to realize that he will chase outside of the zone.
Seth Smith went 1-3 with a run and a walk. Smith has been crushing righties like Chicago's Rienzo all season. He has a .431 wOBA and .263 ISO in 157 plate appearances against righthanders. All six of his homeruns have come against RHP as well. Smith also has been much better at home than on the road. He has hit .378 at PETCO Park as opposed to .203 on the road, if you play in daily leagues it would be wise to maximize his potential by using him when he plays a RHP or at home. If you own him in a weekly league, make sure the Padres are facing a majority of RHP before inserting him in the lineup.
Oscar Taveras has been called up to the show in lieu of Matt Adams injury. Taveras went 1-3 with his first big league hit coming via a bomb to rightfield. Taveras was hitting .325 with 7 HR, 40 RBI, and 30 R's in AAA. Top prospects like Taveras don't get called up to sit on the bench, so he should see regular playing time for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals shuffle their lineup when Adams comes back. In the meantime enjoy watching one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball, the guy can flat out rake.
Daniel Murphy went 1-3 with a run and a walk against the Phillies on Saturday. Murphy enjoyed a breakout 2013 season that saw him hit .286 with 13 HR, 78 RBI, and to top it off he stole 23 bases. I'm sure that there were doubters on Murphy's jump in power, but it was backed up by his solid contact rate (89%) plus an above average batted ball speed of 105. Actually, his 6% HR/FB rate was low based upon his batted ball speed. So far in 2014, Murphy has been as advertised, he's hitting .301 with 3 HR, 21 RBI, and 9 SB. Murphy's lack of power so far can be contributed to a decrease in FB% from 36% a year ago to 27% this year. If Murphy can hit a few more flyballs, we will start to see his power numbers come back. If his power does not increase, he is still very valuable based upon his average, runs, and stolen base potential.
This is just a small sample our our daily analysis, join our member area for more premium content: http://www.fantistics.com/join/join.php3
If you want more fantasy advice checkout @fantistics and @philip_double on Twitter.