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The O-Zone: B.J., Kei and Chipper
Posted by Joe Oberkrieser at 5/11/2007 10:29:00 AM
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Todayís theme is no theme. A few random observations Ö

* B.J. Upton has looked like a fantasy superduperstar in the early going. Heís hitting .358 with seven home runs and five steals -- great numbers for just about anyone, never mind a 22-year-old second baseman.

However, like many a young Devil Ray, Upton has plate-discipline issues. His 38/9 K/BB just isnít going to cut it.

Iíd expect a correction here shortly. That doesnít mean Upton is going to become useless, but a slump -- perhaps an extended one -- is likely. That average is sure to tumble, and his power output could decline as well.

* What a brutal big-league stint for Kei Igawa, huh? A 7.63 ERA and eight home runs in 30 2/3 innings were not what the Yankees expected when they shelled out $26 million just to talk to the guy.

Although he pitched horribly and is on a remedial trip to the minors, I think Iíd try to buy low and stash Igawa on my reserve list for a while. Igawa still has a chance to be a good pitcher. He was terrific in Japan, and if he can solve his problems during his minor-league voyage, he could end up being a decent fantasy pitcher in the second half.

You canít give up on anyone after 30 2/3 innings. Give Igawa a chance.

* Speaking of chances, youíre taking a big one if you donít deal Chipper Jones now. Larry has started the season hotter than a habanero: .291 average, 10 home runs, 1.026 OPS. Problem is, he canít stay healthy. Heís suffered a litany of injuries in recent years, and already this season heís battled/battling a strained oblique, strained quad and sore feet.

Chipper is a ticking time bomb. Deal him now and get a lot for him before he hits the DL.


-Upton is a monster and will hit .300 or at least get close to it this year. I don't care about his strikeout rate. Grady Sizemore is striking out at a similar rate and no one thinks he won' hit .300. BJ will post Soriano numbers with a higher average. He'll be a late first, early second round pick.

-JJ Hardy went yard yet again last night. It's mid May and I'd have to say he is no fluke. A 30-100 season appears likely. That average should hover at .300 all year.

-I was really impressed with Lincecum last night. Instead of trying to blow away hitters with his fastball, he mixed in a lot of off speed pitches and that hook that scouts were drooling over, all this in Coors Field! Ask Matt Holliday if this kid isn't the real deal. I was also impressed with the kids composure and confidence. He knows how to pitch and will only get better as he learns how to pitch at this level. He'll have his growing pains but can be as good as Cain, Hamels, and Weaver were last year, if not markedly better. Furthermore, a season like Liriano's 2006 isn't hard to imagine.

-What about Randy Wolf last night? Does this guy think he has Jason Schmidt's contract?! He has posted good numbers in all but two starts and in that stadium, why can't he keep it up?

Posted by aholtzma at 5/12/2007 7:49:00 AM

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