MLB Real Talk (5/6/11)

More like Zimmer-womann
Photo Credit: Miss Chatter

Jordan Zimmermann was a pretty popular sleeper pick this year and while he hasn’t been terrible to date (4.29 ERA and 1.26 WHIP), he just isn’t showing any of the strikeout upside that made him an intriguing fantasy rookie in 2009 (when he had a 9.07 K/9 in 91.1 IP). As if the 4.54 K/9 isn’t bad enough, he’s getting swings and misses on only 4.8 percent of his pitches (that’s Javier Vazquez territory). Homeboy is actually throwing as hard as he did in his rookie year (93.2 mph), but he’s flashing less movement on his pitches and hitters are tagging him for a 90.2 Contact% (which is WORSE than Javier Vazquez’s mark). I don’t know about you, but when a player on my team has numbers that resemble anything close to what Javier Vazquez is doing, I’m scared. And yes, I own Zimmermann in two leagues, the Starbonell Station jump-off and Million Dollar Sleeper’s Blog Wars. I’ll probably be stuck with him because I doubt anyone in the leagues I’m in will be dumb enough to fall for the ole’ wack player sales pitch. However, I could see people taking a chance on him in some sort of a package trade in most leagues. Treat this as a complete and utter endorsement of Zimmermann as a “sell-mediocre” player.

Jose Tabata is dealing with a tight hamstring and for all the fanfare he’s received, he’s batting .180 in his last 68 PAs. He’s been a pretty frustrating player to own lately, but he should still prove to fetch you a fine profit for your draft/auction day investment. He won’t hit for much power (don’t be fooled by the three HRs), but his newfound plate patience is very encouraging for his 2011 prospects. Not only is his BB% up to 11.3 (6.3 last year), but he’s showing a very good eye as only 19.3 percent of his swings have been at pitches outside the strike zone. With his improved plate patience, ability to make contact and speed on the base paths, he looks like he’ll finish the season as a solid OF3.

Speaking of Pirates who are sucking right now, Pedro Alvarez, where you at kid? I wasn’t high on the young Bucco coming into the season due to the strikeout and BA concerns, but who knew he’d be this bad. His K% is the same as it was last year (a horrific 34.3 percent), yet this year’s he’s walking at a lower clip (7.4 BB%) and hitting the ball with less authority (10.9 LD%, .071 ISO, and 56.3 GB%). Honestly, he just doesn’t look like a major league player right now. The power is certainly there for him to be a great fantasy 3B, but he is clearly being overmatched by big league pitching. I just don’t see this turning out well for Alvarez owners in 2011 and while I wouldn’t cut him outright at the moment, my hopes for him are as low as a fat girl’s self esteem.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.