Well, we are two weeks down and in the midst of the third week of the 2013 season and with Jackie Robinson Day marred this week Monday, April 15, 2013 will be forever remembered as the year the Boston Marathon was attacked. Thoughts, prayers and well wishes are extended to any and all effected by the tragedy.
I will try to take some people’s minds of of the tragedy with the following list — 10 early-season trends that I don’t believe in. I DO believe that Boston and its people will push on, but the following players and trends won’t continue. NEVER FORGET!!
Note: All stats taken through Monday, April 15.
10. Mike Morse and Dexter Fowler have the same number of HR (6)
Fowler’s on a tear, plain and simple. He currently has six homers, the same number of round-trippers that Seattle slugger Michael Morse has. Morse has missed some time with a bad hand, but his move to the Pacific Northwest didn’t taper his power. When he’s healthy again, Morse should easily surpass Fowler in power numbers — Fowler has also fanned 13 times.
9. Coco Crisp leads the A’s in homers (4)
Coco “Don’t call me cereal” Crisp currently leads the Athletics with 4 HR, one more than Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes. Call me crazy, but he won’t be leading the team in homers for much longer. Cespedes is currently on the DL and Brandon Moss is on the paternity list. Both guys are sluggers who will surpass The Man Called Crisp in homers once they return to the lineup.
8. Four unheralded and undrafted guys have a better OPS than Allen Craig
Gerardo Parra (.863), Donovan Solano (.593), Will Venable (.901) and Justin Maxwell (.826) all have a better OPS than Allen Craig (.539). It just goes to show you that we can’t predict success all the time. While Craig most likely will recover from his early-season woes, the other players might just go further towards making names for themselves. Solano, Venable and Maxwell all play for teams with little expected of them, so their numbers are icing on the cake if you drafted/picked them up. Like Juicy Fruit Gum, however, enjoy it for the short, sweet time it lasts.
7. Cleveland, Colorado and Kansas City have better team ERAs than Washington and Philadelphia.
As last year ended, Cleveland and Colorado finished with the two worst team ERA at 4.78 and 5.22 respectively. Kansas City wasn’t much better — they finished 23rd (4.30). Washington and Philly, however, have been two of the better pitching teams in the last couple year, finishing second and 11th respectively. This year, Washington and Philly rank 23rd and 29th while Kansas City, Colorado and Cleveland rank sixth, 16th and 23rd. With guys like Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, it won’t be long before these trends are reversed and mice stop chasing cats.
6. Paul Maholm, Barry Zito and Jake Westbrook all have better ERAs than Matt Cain, Gio Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw
Paul Maholm, Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Gio Gonzalez, Jake Westbrook, Clayton Kershaw. Three of these names are not like the other, three of these names just don’t belong. Kershaw, Gonzalez and Cain were among the first 10 pitchers drafted in most leagues. Maholm, Westbrook and Zito most likely were not. Maholm, Zito and Westbrook all have ERAs of 0. Bupkiss. Nada. That obviously won’t continue. How much longer will they be better than Cain (5.94), Kershaw (1.16) and Gonzalez (4.50)? Not that long.
5. John Buck will continue his torrid April pace
Buck is currently hitting .317 with 6 HR and 19 RBI. His OPS is 1.099. Here’s why the Buck will eventually stop and be added to some pitcher’s wall — his career OPS is .713 and his career average is .236. He’s not an everyday player and not many catchers are. I’m not saying to ignore his early start, but he will not be this popular come the summer, especially if they call up touted prospect Travis d’Arnaud.
4. Jed Lowrie is more productive than Miguel Cabrera
This is one that will probably come true sooner rather than later. Cabrera is still having a good season (16 H, 12 R, 1 HR, 13 RBI, .320 BA) but Lowrie is actually having a better season. He’s got 3 HR, 12 RBI, 20 H, 13 R, and a .385 BA. He’s still fantasy-relevant, especially in Oakland’s lineup, but he’s not going to be ahead of Miggy for much longer.
3. Mike Trout has scored only 8 runs and is hitting under .300
I wasn’t as high on the Trout bandwagon before this fantasy season started, but I couldn’t deny the talent. Pitchers had an entire half of 2012 and off-season to watch film of Das Wunderkind. But they couldn’t figure the kid out. This year, he’s only scored 8 runs, stolen one base and is hitting .286. His speed won’t decline in one season, and the Angels offense hasn’t been as good as advertised. They still might fall short of the postseason, but with Trout, Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, it’s only a matter of time before the Angels start meeting the hype offensively.
2. Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton, and Matt Kemp will be useless for fantasy teams
As of writing this, the batting average of the above trio is .154. This is from guys who were most likely taken in the first two rounds (Kemp, Heyward) or in the first 75 picks. They also have a combined 2 HR and 6 RBIs. The Braves have been the hottest team in the NL, so it’s only a matter of time for the hitting to meet the pitching. The Dodgers have had other players be productive (Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford) so Kemp will come around eventually.
1. Justin Masterson will be the better Justin
Masterson is 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 20 K and 8 BB. Hitters have a .141 average against him. He’s already better and much more tolerable than Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake. Justin Verlander, on the other hand, is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 17 K and 7 BB. Masterson is not a better pitcher than Verlander, but he happens to be at the moment.