A big day from C.J. Cron
Last night Cron blasted his seventh and eighth home runs of the year. With just 128 plate appearances under his belt thus far, Cron has hit well when given the chance. His .301/.328/.577 line is great even when attached to his 20% strikeout rate. Don’t expect much in the way of on-base percentage from Cron, as his highest walk rate in the upper minors was 5.7% in Triple-A this year, but don’t underestimate his power. The 24-year-old can put a charge into the ball and is up to a combined 14 home runs this year in not even 250 PA’s spread across Triple-A and the majors. If you’re searching for cheap power and have enough discipline to diligently check the lineup every day, Cron offers good value. He is available in 60% of CBS formats, 80% of Yahoo! leagues and 90% of ESPN leagues.
Thoughts on Michael Bourn
In the wake of back-to-back three hit games, Bourn has dragged his line up to a .277/.325/.381 mark. Although he has just six steals (against three times CS), his speed seems to be intact given his seven triples. On the other hand the advanced metrics such as Bourn’s -1.1 base runner runs above average (BsR) doesn’t bode well for his steals going forward. His -0.9 ultimate base running score (UBR) obviously isn’t very strong either, though SB and CS are not factored in to UBR. Both Steamer and ZiPS like Bourn to nap 13-15 more bags over the course of the rest of the season and while that isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, it isn’t nothing either. When so much of his value is tied directly to his steals, it’s hard to love Bourn in standard 12-team mixed leagues. He’s certainly useful, but he isn’t the difference maker he once was. His highest ownership rate among the three major sites is 59% with ESPN; both Yahoo! and CBS lag behind at 42% and 50% respectively.
Dylan Bundy’s progress
As noted by the brilliant and handsome Nicholas Minnix earlier this week, Bundy has been on track throughout his rehabbing process. Last night proved no different as Bundy fired five shutout innings, fanning seven Low-A hitters and allowing just three hits and a pair of walks. No official word yet, but days ago executive vice president Dan Duquette said Bundy could be moved up to Double-A following last night’s start. I expect him to continue to move up the minor league ranks and eventually work his way back to the major league rotation. Other than the obvious condition of his elbow, whether or not the Baltimore Orioles are still in the playoff hunt will almost certainly influence any decision to push Bundy. The O’s are currently just 1.5 games out of first place, though their rotation hasn’t helped much. The O’s 4.0 WAR from their starting rotation ranks 26th in baseball and they could clearly use another front line starter: Bundy could be that guy. For now I’d stash him in deep leagues and hope he can make a handful of big league starts this year.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Sonny Gray — $8,400
Not just a homer pick (okay, maybe a bit) as I love the righty Gray against the Miami Marlins and their “meh” offense against right-handed pitchers.
Starting pitcher: Ervin Santana — $7,700
Another right hander in Santana should fare even better against the Philadelphia Phillies and their 28th ranked 80 wRC+ against righties.
Other hitter: Andrew McCutchen — $5,500
Speaking of splurging a bit on outfielders, Cutch has a hefty price tag but he’ll be up against a southpaw in Niese today. McCutchen is hitting a blistering 209 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season and owns a 176 wRC+ against them for his career.
Remaining budget: $19,800
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