Who knows if and when Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for PED use, but we do know he is on fire right now.
Analysis: Rodriguez has homered in back to back games and now has 4 home runs in 20 games played. He’s also put together a four game hitting streak and has his batting average up to .284 with a sustainable BABIP. Among third baseman with at least 50 at bats Alex has a top ten OBP, wOBA and OPS. Alex also has 2 stolen bases to his credit. Over the last two weeks Alex has been a top ten fantasy third baseman and as long as he isn’t suspended he will produce enough to merit a pick up.
I can understand why many fantasy owners are hesitant to acquire A-Rod. But… he’s getting on base, getting tons of at bats and his power seems to be resurfacing. Shockingly, Rodriguez is available in 30-40% of fantasy leagues. Third base isn’t necessarily thin this year but David Wright is banged up and Ryan Zimmerman and Kung Fu Panda are underperforming.
It doesn’t hurt to consider the thirty-eight year old and unlike A-Rod there isn’t anything to lose.
There isn’t much left on the waiver wire at this point in the season but there are a few power bats to help get you home.
Analysis: Oakland’s Chris Carter is a first baseman to watch. Carter has hit 14 home runs in just 51 games played this year. He’s went yard four times with nine runs batted in over his last eight games played. Carter is available in well over eighty percent of leagues and is one of the most underrated bats on the wire at the moment.
Another option out there is Jesus Montero. Montero suffers greatly from playing at Safeco Field but he is the real deal. He’s only hitting .259 at the moment but keep in mind his BABIP is an unusually low .290. Montero has 15 homers this year with 53 RBI. He’s available in forty percent of leagues because much of his hype has died down.
A few must owns who are available in a small, small percentage of leagues include: Alex Rodriguez, Garrett Jones(23 HR) and Pedro Alvarez(27 HR).
Alex Rodriguez is heading to the disabled list to have surgery on a meniscus tear in his right knee. Rodriguez is expected to be on the shelf for four to six weeks so it is crucial to find a serviceable replacement at third base.
Analysis: Minnesota third baseman Danny Valencia has been playing very well as of late and has some pop to offer. Valencia has ten bombs on the year with 46 RBI. Valencia also has four multi hit games over the last two weeks to bring his batting average back to a respectable .236. He’s actually a pretty good contact hitter but his .256 BABIP is the sole reason he’s not hitting in the .280s. San Diego third baseman Chase Headley is not widely available but he does supply a bit of speed to his .299 batting average. Headley has eight swipes on the year and totaled seventeen stolen bases last year. His power is lacking but he is still a solid option. The only other option at third base is the Florida outfielder Emilio Bonifacio who has third base eligibility. Bonifacio plays all over the place with the Marlins so he may have a place on your team regardless. Bonifacio has eleven steals in the last two weeks alone as well as a slew of multi hit games. He doesn’t bring the power and he will cool off but he is still an option at third in place of A-Rod.
In a very candid, upbeat interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesca earlier this week, Alex Rodriguez made it clear that he is now fully recovered from his 2009 hip surgery.
Analysis: Make no mistake; This isn’t the same A-Rod who used to choke under pressure, and then give scripted answers to the throng of media waiting for him after each big game. This isn’t the same A-Rod whose guarded, uptight persona caused noticeable tension in the clubhouse. This is the A-Rod who drove in 18 runs in the 2009 postseason en route to his first ring. This is the A-Rod who opened this spring’s introductory press conference by joking about “Popcorn-gate”, his televised moment of PDA with Cameron Diaz during the Super Bowl. This is the A-Rod who feels at home in his own skin, a feeling that has eluded him since arriving in New York seven years ago. Coming into camp visibly trimmer, the future Hall of Famer appears ready to roll, and sounds determined to improve on his 2010 output. Granted, he did hit 30 bombs and drive in 125 runs, a great season for 98% of his peers. However, Rodriguez is not like the rest of the league. Matter of fact, he’s far from it. Arguably the most talented player of this generation, his surgery definitely slowed him down whether he will admit it or not. Never one to make excuses, Rodriguez did admit that he has done significantly more rehab than training over the last 2 or 3 years at the instruction of his surgeon, Dr. Marc Philippon. Those restrictions were lifted by his doctor this past November and A-Rod is back to training at his old pace, a scary thought for American League pitchers. Although he won’t admit that his rehab has directly affected his production, reading between the lines says otherwise.
Projection: A-Rod owners should be giddy about his current state of mind and physical condition as he comes into this season with no limitations, hungry for another championship. Surrounded once again by a ridiculous lineup, it is not inconceivable that he return to his MVP form of 2007 where he led the league in runs, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases. Rodriguez doesn’t get the respect that he used to on Draft Day, and this could be a boon for those who believe in his potential resurgence. It’s time to treat Rodriguez like a first round pick once again, whether the other owners in your league believe that or not.