Player Focus 7.2.08

I’m at work, so the charts won’t be available. But here is a look at a few players:

The D-Cab Stops Here
Get out and walk! Baltimore Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera teased, as he often does, that he was finally putting it all together and cashing in on the gobs of talent he so obviously possesses. Then the calendar turned to June. It was a month during which Cabrera went from 3.60 ERA/1.28 WHIP to 4.53 ERA/1.41 WHIP. How did he do it? The same way he always does: a complete and utter lack of control. A 4.6 BB/9 rate is going to make life tough on anybody as evidenced by a truly horrible 7.06 ERA from Cabrera. He started five games in June and went 0-3 walking three or more in all but one start. During that start, he yielded eight hits in six innings so he was still tattooed for six earned runs. If you bought him in May, shame on me—I should’ve been here to warn you that it was a mirage. If you still own him, shame on you—he’s just not very good.

Longoria As Good As Advertised
Fantasy baseball league owners are always looking for the next big thing: the Ryan Braun of 2007 or Francisco Liriano of 2006 lightning in a bottle surge that propels a team up the standings ladder. There are dozens of “can’t miss” prospects that miss… and miss badly. Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria was a can’t miss prospect that found himself first or second on just about all of the top prospect lists heading into the season and he has handsomely rewarded the pundits and forecasters. In a world of can’t misses that continually disappoint, Longoria’s rookie campaign has been a refreshing smash hit.

His line of .268/.343/.521 with 15 home runs, 47 runs batted in, 42 runs scored and five stolen bases would be a nice end of season performance, but he’s got three more months left to produce!!! I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Jacoby Ellsbury, Geovany Soto and Joey Votto for their delivering on expectations as well. They all showed a taste of what to expect with their cups of coffee last year which alleviated at least some of the risk.

More on Chasing Wins…
One more point I left out of the piece on chasing wins that I absolutely meant to include on Monday: Tim Lincecum is something of a poster boy for the volatility & unpredictability of wins. Just about every magazine, website and projection sheet around was high on Lincecum’s skills but all cautioned that he’d be short on wins because of his participation on the San Francisco Giants, perceived to be one of the league’s worst heading into the season.

Well folks, he’s 9-1. He had seven wins all of last season, so I understand where the pundits were coming from, but it’s a fallacious argument from the start. If you drafted a slightly lesser pitcher on a better team because you were afraid of not garnering enough wins with Lincecum, then you did yourself a disservice. Always acquire the top skills first and foremost. Teammate Jonathan Sanchez has eight wins as well.

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