Tagged: Chase Utley

Not another Aaron Hill article…

Aaron Hill swinging for the fence

Photo from thestar.com. Aaron Hill swinging for the fence.

Well yes, this is in fact another article about the struggling Toronto Blue Jays’ second basemen, but Aaron Hill‘s disparaging numbers and near-drop status in fantasy leagues will not be the main focus of this post.

In fact, rather, quite the opposite.

With the recent injuries to many of fantasy baseball’s high-profile first and second round draft choices, Aaron Hill has the opportunity (in my Yahoo 14-team H2H league and for my team in particular) to prove he is still fantasy relevant and a viable option at second base as many professional analysts have suggested.

“I like me some Aaron Hill, who is currently among the top 10 dropped second basemen in ESPN standard leagues. He shouldn’t be. The obvious thing is the crazy-low .191 BABIP. A career .278 hitter (with a career .298 BABIP), his average will come up; he’s already hitting .250 in June, so it’s a start. On pace for 26 home runs, the power has actually been there. Low RBI totals so far, but again, if the average heats up, so will that number. He’s hitting .240 with runners in scoring position versus .191 with nobody on. Hill screams “buy low,” said Matthew Berry in a ESPN fantasy article of 10 players not to give up on.

Yes, I too could not escape the barrage of injuries to these players unscaved, as my number one draft pick, Chase Utley, was sidelined and will be out of action until after the upcoming All-Star break. Luckily for me, I burnt my valuable waiver wire position a few weeks prior to acquire the Jays’ second basemen as soon as he was dropped by an owner with a little less patience. I had to make the move, and I did based on a few contributing factors…

  1. Hill’s numbers from the 2009 season: The 2009 American League Silver Slugger award winner posted a .286 AVG while slugging 36 home runs with 108 RBIs.
  2. Name recognition: Unfortunately, this could be a double-edged sword in the fantasy world, as many owners tend to stick with the big name guys rather than those who are performing. In this case, as we all know, the second base position is quite thin in any league. To scoop a guy like Hill, despite the numbers was still pretty exciting.
  3. Potential power: As stated above the kid showed last year that he could have some power at the second base position. The fact that despite his average is considerably below the Mendoza line (.187), he was still hitting for some power (11 HRs) on a team revered as one of the big-power clubs (The Jays lead baseball with 115 collective home runs).
  4. In a 14 team league any sexy drops need some consideration: Hill’s slumping counterpart, Adam Lind, was picked up in similar fashion before he cleared the waivers in our league, and I’m sure if players of similar stature and recognition were dropped, they would automatically get a look or two…or three.
  5. Professional Analyst recommendation: If what his numbers and analysts’ opinions indicate, when an eventual turn around comes, he would have some considerable trade value for a power hitting second baseman. This in conjunction with his name recognition could set me up nicely for a beneficial trade and late push towards the end of the season.

I had the spot and nothing to lose. I mean wouldn’t you?

Initially it seemed to pay off. The two subsequent days following his official arrival to my line-up, he jacked two home runs in the utility slot and assured my reasoning for the pick up. Well that bright spot was one of the few highlights of his time spent on my team, six-to-midnight. But, now I’m hoping Aaron Hill can put together a couple of weeks of decent numbers as I anxiously await the return of my first round pick.

So please Mr. Hill, can you finally turn your mediocre season around and be a solid replacement as I surge to make that Second Half Push?

Here are some recent pick-ups I made to give my team that Second Half Push:

Although the injury bug seems to be contagious around the league, I happened to fall on some good fortune with the return of Jimmy Rollins and Huston Street coming off the DL in the same week. It helps that Rollins resumed his lead-off spot upon this return, as he was hitting in the sixth hole when he came off his earlier DL stint. Street seems to be rolling and found his way back into the Rockies’ closer role. This was eminent as his former replacements, Manuel Corpas and Franklin Morales, have been struggling of late. As those two came off the DL, I was quick to find their disabled replacements in Edinson Volquez and J.A. Happ. Pitchers like these are quite sexy in a 14 team league where pitching is quite thin. At one point I was streaming pitchers that have no place on a roster even in deeper leagues. No offense Jeremy Guthrie and Scott Olsen. I also made a desperate move to fill the only true hole in my batting order, third base. I picked up Pirates’ rookie, Pedro Alvarez, but that proved fruitless.

Catching the injury bug, SORRY Blake!

I should be so lucky that I have a player like Aaron Hill to replace Chase Utley. Check out some of these injuries Second Half Push writer, Blake Chadwick, sustained in the last two weeks.

  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Victor Martinez
  • Manny Ramirez
  • David Freese
  • Joel Zumaya

Definitely not what a first place team in a deep league needs as we head to the second half of the season.


Mets and Marlins Fans Agree, No Love for the Brotherly City

By Ivan Berliant

The Philadelphia Phillies are six for their last 19 games, they’ve only scored 40 runs throughout that span and Chase Utley is in a slump (5-37/2 RBIs/0 HRs in his last 10 games) some would argue is the worst of his career.

Mets’ and Marlins’ fans couldn’t be happier.

No one expected at this point of the season that all five of the N.L. East teams would still be in the hunt for first place, with only six games separating the first-place Atlanta Braves (33-25) from the last-place Washington Nationals (27-31).

For those of you in South Florida who actually went to Roy Halladay’s perfect game (and did not buy a ticket afterwards), you might have seen the lone highlight of the Phillies’ horrible stretch, and one could argue that the lack of production from one of the league’s most threatening lineups might even overshadow Major League Baseball’s twentieth perfect game.

While the rest of the N.L. East and its fans rejoice for the serendipitous circumstances presented to us, I’d like to believe our distaste for the Phillies and their fans still lingers.

So I’d like to present my top three reasons of why “Philly sucks,” and maybe after I’ll have you chanting “Suck it Philly.”

1) The Fans– I’m sure Marlins’ fans would say that the only fans worse than Mets’ fans are the Philly faithful, and I would agree. The one difference between our obnoxious natures is that you won’t find Mets’ fans forcibly throwing up on a police officer and his daughter.

2) The Lineup– Let’s face it, the Philadelphia lineup strikes fear into the hearts of pitchers in the National League, and for a few weeks a year usually the American League as well. You can’t help but to hate that your main rival has the competitive advantage from a personnel standpoint, I guess that’s why this present slump has been such a pleasant surprise.

3) Fantasy Busts– This year’s draft was particularly rough on me, not only did I draft a Philly player, but I drafted three! Thinking Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez would take me to the promise land in my 14-team H2H Yahoo League. With the exception of Utley (prior to the slump), the other two have been very disappointing. You would think that Utley and Rollins will still have pretty good years, but Ibanez seems to of lost that sweet stroke he had at the beginning of last year. So not only are the Phillies usually killing me during the regular season, this year their killing my fantasy expectations.