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The O-Zone: Belliard and Wright
Posted by Joe Oberkrieser at 5/2/2007 2:37:00 PM
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Ron Belliard has hit pretty well since taking over at second base for the Nationals -- .298/.336/.375. Those arenít Ryne Sandberg numbers, but theyíre useful if youíre in a deep league -- and theyíre much better than Cristian Guzman could ever do.

Nevertheless, when Guzman returns from the DL on Monday, Belliard will be parked on the bench. Thanks for your help, Ron!

Obviously, a benched Belliard holds little fantasy value. But I still wouldnít cut him from my fantasy team, and I would actually try to buy low (assuming youíre in a deep league and players like Belliard are valuable). Why? Because Belliard should be playing again before long.

Guzman canít stay healthy, and his offensive ineptitude has been pretty well-chronicled. It wouldnít surprise me to see him hit the DL again, nor would it be shocking to see the offense-bereft Nationals make Guzman ride the pine due to his woeful hitting.

Either way, Belliard will get plenty of at-bats again. Donít give up on him.


David Wright finally hit his first home run last night. Hip, hip hooray!

Iíve been doing a little research on this guy. Two interesting findings:

1. Wrightís lack of home run output is somewhat supported by a drop in fly-ball rate. In 2005 and 2006, Wright had a 1.07 and 0.86 G/F, respectively. This year heís been much more of a ground-ball hitter: 1.39. That isnít enough of a fly-ball decline to make a hitter with 30-dinger potential hit just one home run in a month, but it certainly doesnít help.

2. Wright is both walking and striking out more. Last year, the Mets third baseman struck out once every 5.15 at-bats. This year heís whiffing once every 4.1 at-bats.

As for the walks, Wright has climbed from .100 BB/PA last year to .137 this year.

The walks are certainly encouraging, but the strikeouts and ground-ball rate indicate that something may be wrong with Wrightís swing. Heís missing more, and when he does make contact, he simply isnít putting the same charge into the ball he used to.

I think the most important number here, though, is 24. Thatís Wrightís age. Though heís immensely talented, we have to remember how young he is. Heís going to slump. Heís going to need to make adjustments. Heís going to show some skills fluctuation, especially over small sample sizes.

Donít worry. And if your buddy is in a panic, try to buy low.


I like d.wright, ichiro and a.jones right now for buy low candidates.....I believe ichiro and jones are in contract years too....
Posted by Zenguerrilla at 5/2/2007 8:40:00 PM

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