With playoff races in the National League tight to the end, most of the big time players are putting up big time stats in hopes to carry their team to the post season, and some unknowns stepped up big as well, and we even got to enjoy a late season no hitter! Let’s get it!
Last Week’s NL Studs and Some Potential Waiver Wire Pickups:
- Bryce Harper, OF, WAS (84% owned) – 12-28, 7R, 2 2B, 3B, 2HR, 6BI, 3SB – Weekly stat lines like this are what the world expected from Harper week in and week out this season and for his career. Of course in reality this wasn’t going to happen all season long in his rookie season, but it’s only a matter of time until this becomes a weekly line for him.
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARZ (81% owned) – 9-22, 5R, 2 2B, HR, 6RBI, 2SB – Another solid week from the D-Backs first baseman, even though it ended up with him missing games due to a back injury. After a down August he has really put together a solid final month. Power numbers have dipped a little with only the 1HR in September but 20R and 15RBI to go along with 5SB is delightful for fantasy owners. Next season might just bring something like .290-90R-25R-100RBI-20SB for this stud in the making…I am keeping without worry.
- David Wright, 3B, NYM (98% owned) – 9-26, 7R, 2B, 3HR, 9RBI – If the Mets were even close to the playoffs, or close to being any good they could potentially have an MVP candidate in Wright and a Cy Young leader as well…too bad they stink.
- Will Rosario, C, COL (54% owned) – 11-22, 4R, 2 2B, 2HR, 3RBI – What a quietly solid season this young catcher has put up in COL in his first full season behind the plate. Now, his home-away split is ridiculous (half the production on the road basically), but in the end his overall stat line makes him the 4the ranked catcher in Yahoo! for the season. I expect big things from this backstop next year!
- Pete Kozma, 2B/SS, STL (2% owned) – 9-21, 6R, 2 2B, 2HR, 8RBI – a September call up to provide depth in a weak STL middle infield has proven to be a great move! With Furcal hurting Kozma has stepped up and filled the void very well.
- Aaron Hill 2B, ARZ (85% owned) – 11-26, 9R, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 6RBI – OK, so I take everything back that I said about Hill in June, dude is a 2B stud once again.
- DJ LeMahieu, 2B/3B, COL (1% owned) – 12-24, 4R, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 5RBI – This light hitting infielder for the Rox was the infielder who put up the big week in the COL spin-the-wheel-for-infield-performance this time around...
- Homer Bailer, SP, CIN (45% owned) – 15.2IP, 1-1 (no hitter), 5H, 5ER, 16K:3BB – The 7th no-no of the 2012 season was tossed by Bailey Friday night. Bailey has always been one of the youngsters with high potential but never seemed to put it together for one reason or another…question now is will he use this to vault into the solid starter projected next season or will he be another Anibal Sanchez…I have my doubts.
- AJ Burnett, SP, PIT (79% owned) – 16IP, 1-1, 11H, 2ER, 16K:2BB – Great season for Burnett in PIT, especially after being traded to PIT after being butt-cheeks bad in NYY, and then having his face broken in spring training. As long as he stays out of NY, BOS, or any other major market it seems as though he will be fine, so another season or two in PIT will be just what the doctor ordered for Burnett.
- RA Dickey, SP, NYM (94% owned) – 15.2IP, 2-0, 14H, 5ER, 17K:4BB – Just like Wright, if the Mets weren’t awful Dickey might be more in the running for the NL Cy Young (in my opinion anyway)…but, sadly for him his team stinks, and this Gio guy keeps one upping him…
- Gio Gonzalez, SP, WAS (94% owned) – 13IP, 2-0, 9H, 3ER, 11K:4BB – Anything Robert Allen can do, Gio can do better! 21 wins on the season (team record and might get a shot at #22), 200+ strikeouts, sub 3.00 ERA, only given up 9 long balls all season and has still not pitched 200 innings yet. Really the NL Cy Young should be a two man race with Gio out in front, guys like Cueto, Cain, Kershaw and Loshe all are neck and neck but are a tier down this season. Of course next season Gio will have to compete with his team mate for NL Cy Young honors if the Nats let Strasburg pitch a full year.
NL Hitting leaders of the past week:
- AVG: DJ LeMahieu, 2B/3B, COL - .500
- R: Aaron Hill 2B, ARZ - 9
- H: DJ LeMahieu, 2B/3B, COL - 12
- HR – David Wright, 3B, NYM – 3 (and 4 others)
- RBI – David Wright, 3B, NYM - 9
- SB – Bryce Harper, OF, WAS -3 (and 2 others)
- OPS – DJ LeMahieu, 2B/3B, COL – 1.312
Rants and Ramblings:
September studs and duds have been numerous this year, with some quite shocking and some not so much, so I just picked a few.
- Marco Scutaro – 22 runs scored and 22 RBI has been huge for the Giants in clinching the NL West with Scutaro quietly putting up his standard season of decent production and multi position eligibility – always a great guy to have on your bench post ASG.
- Chase Headley – The top player in the NL since August, Headley has quickly pushed himself to the top of the 3B heap in the NL with a .311-21-8-30 line in September so far.
- Ryan Braun – PED user has come up huge for the Brew Crew in a futile push for the post season with a .360-17-5-20-9 line in the last 30 days…MVP type numbers but no way they give it to him again right? RIGHT?!
- Bryce Harper – The last 30 days have Harper leading the NL in OPS and SLG…get used to it, he is only going to get better.
- Rickie Weeks – a good final month for the Brewers second bagger helping Braun et al push for that final wild card spot. But, overall another disappointing season from Weeks… I think we have seen his best in 2010, and really it wasn’t anything to rave about in the end.
- Kris Melden – By far the biggest surprise in the NL and maybe MLB in the second half and the second ranked pitcher in Yahoo! over the last 30 days. Managers will grossly overpay for him next season in drafts.
- Jonathan Papelbon – with 8 Saves and 21 to 4 K:BB ratio he helped put the Phillies back into the playoff races, even if it was just for a week or two.
- Craig Kimbrel – The best closer in baseball helped prevent the Braves form repeating last year’s stretch run collapse with 9 saves and a ridiculous 25K:2BB in September.
- Lance Lynn – after being written off by most people (including me) in August Lynn seemed to find his strength and focus in September, both coming out of the pen and starting for the Cards who desperately needed the help in the rotation with a 4-2 record, 2.52 ERA and 27K:7BB line.
- Gio Gonzalez – I don’t need to say anything more here…
- Cliff Lee – With the Phillies in the playoff race for a short time after a horrible year, Lee put up an absolutely ri-friggin’-donkulous 44K:3BB ratio over the past 30 days going 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA. Next year will be back to standard Lee production.
- Adrian Gonzalez was supposed to be the part of the final package the Dodgers bought to make the playoffs…not so much by the looks of it. A-Gonz put up good numbers but not what was expected.
- Hanley Ramirez pretty much disappeared in September… same as the Dodgers Playoff chances.
- Adam Wainwright was arguably the best pitcher in the NL for July and August but stumbled a bit in September likely due to a bit of fatigue. That being said he is 14-13 the year after Tommy John, with a 3.94ERA and 185K:57BB… next year will be something special from Waino.
The NL playoff races have been great this past week with teams all vying for a final wild card spot for a chance at a one game play-in for the NLDS. Now, at first I was very sceptical of this 5th playoff (2nd wild card) spot, and I cannot really argue with the baseball purists out there that complain how MLB has watered down the game because the playoffs should be for the best teams only.
That being said, this extra team has made the race for the playoffs great to watch as a fan, great for business in the MLB world and has helped boost fantasy playoff time as well. With the extra wildcard spot out there an extra 2 or 3 teams in each league stay in the race until the last week or so meaning that the fantasy studs playing on these teams continue to perform at the highest level for their teams in hopes to make the post season.
In the end, no matter who says what about watered down playoffs, I don’t really care because no matter what, when you have a playoff race between three teams for one spot (STL, LAD, MIL) the tension is high, the stars shine and the competition is great night after night…what more could you ask for?
Catch me on Twitter @CanuckHoppy