Last Call On Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus has a four game hitting streak going and is finally starting to turn his season around.

Analysis: Since Rasmus’ batting average dipped down to .203, he has amassed ten hits with seven being extra base hits in his last seven games. Rasmus has also homered in each of his last two games. Considering Colby is owned in just forty percent of fantasy leagues, it just may be the last call for the red hot outfielder.

There is a lot to like about Rasmus at the moment. He’s hitting second now in the Toronto lineup with Yunel Escobar moving up to leadoff. There really is nothing like hitting in front of Jose Bautista if you are in a slump, see what Escobar has done over the past two weeks. Rasmus may never live up to the hype that he received in St. Louis, but he is a solid ballplayer with some pop. Expect 20 homers, 10 steals and 60 plus runs by season’s end. His batting average going forward should be at or near his career average of .247. Rasmus really just needed some time to hit his way out of his slump, he clearly isn’t a .203 hitter with a sub .300 OBP.

Buying Low- Yunel Escobar

With just a .254 batting average this season, Yunel Escobar is being dropped at an increased rate from fantasy squads across the country.

Analysis: Yunel Escobar is a player that you have to be patient with. He falls into long slumps but when he is on… he catches fire. At the moment he is hitting in front of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion who are both in the top ten in homers this year. The youngster Brett Lawrie will be back from suspension Monday to add yet another dangerous bat in the Toronto lineup to drive in Escobar. Teams have to pitch to Yunel and when he turns it around he will be one productive shortstop.

Thus far this year Escobar is hitting .26 points below his career BABIP of .312. When the balls start dropping his average will bounce back around to his career average of .287. Even though Escobar’s power numbers should be peaking he is finding other ways to be productive. Escobar’s twenty-three runs are sixth best among all big league shortstops. Yunel is widely available and his stock is falling right as his production will start to rise again.

Show Yunel Some Love

Yunel Escobar is outperforming Hanley Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Alex Gonzalez thus far this year but he’s not getting much love… until now.

Analysis: Yunel Escobar is seventh in batting average, fourth in runs and sixth in homers among all big league shortstops this season. Escobar has bounced back well after an awful 2010 season that saw him hit just four homers and bat .256 in 135 games. This year Escobar is on pace for double digit homers, a batting average in the .285-295 range and an impressive eighty-five plus runs. He’s rated as the sixteenth best shortstop accordingly to most “player raters” yet he is available in forty percent of fantasy leagues. His walk rate of 11% is at a career high level, in fact he’s second among shortstops in the walk department with nineteen. The only negative aspect of his game this year is his stolen bases. He’s only received the green light twice, stealing just one bag on the year. He still should end up with five or six steals by year’s end but it is a slight concern. Escobar is just twenty-eight years old and his power should be surfacing momentarily. Smart owners will want to pluck him up off the wire if only for depth. A shortstop that should hit .290 with double digit homers, nearly ninety runs and a handful of steals is considered a valuable asset on any fantasy team, so show Yunel some love.

Furcal To DL With Broken Thumb

The Dodgers have placed shortstop Rafael Furcal on the 15 day disabled list with a broken left thumb. He may be on the 15 day disabled list now but I would expect him to be out two months with this kind of injury. The injury shouldn’t shock anyone, Furcal has only played in more than 100 games just one of his last three seasons.

Analysis: There’s a big injury risk when you draft Furcal and it didn’t take him long to get banged up this year. He’s still a solid top twelve option at shortstop when healthy but there are plenty of options on the wire. Asdrubal Cabrera is still not yet owned in all fantasy leagues and he is red hot. He isn’t a twenty home run hitter although he is mashing like one. Cabrera is perfect to pick up off the wire and package in a trade. The real choice is Yunel Escobar if he is still available. With Escobar you’re talking about a career .291 hitter in a great lineup and a player that hasn’t reached his full potential yet. Yunel Escobar should end up being a better fantasy shortstop than Furcal this year. The buy low option is Atlanta’s Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez has just one homer and two runs batted in this year but he’s hit over twenty homers twice in his career so you have to love that potential from the veteran shortstop.