MLB Real Talk (6/7/11)

Fantasy owners want to get “Rizz-ed” on.

Photo Credit: Simon Brass

More rookie talk coming your way here on MLB Real Talk. Anthony Rizzo, Jemile Weeks, and Dee Gordon all go under Fidel Cash-flow’s platinum-plated microscope.

Let’s get it:

Anthony “A to the” Rizzo seems to be on the verge of a major league promotion, though it may not happen for another week or two. The point is, it’s happening soon. Homeboy is shitting on AAA pitching, sporting a .365/.444/.715 line with 16 HRs, 63 RBIs, 42 Rs, and even five steals. Sure it’s the PCL, but those numbers are outstanding regardless. Yet while there’s little doubt that Rizzo is one of the more big-league ready bats in the minors, it ain’t all peaches and cream for the young first baseman. For starters, while his BB% sits at an impressive 11.6 BB%, his strikeout rate (24.0 K%) could be better. He also seems to be dealing with a fair amount of luck as his .413 BABIP is happening in spite of a 17.0 LD%. When you add the Petco Park factor and the fact that the Padres will be able to offer little protection for Rizzo, it makes him look more Cappadonna than the “Rizzo-recter.” Don’t get it twisted, fantasy owners should definitely make a play for Rizzo due to his power upside, but expect him to be a respectable CI option rathan than a viable fantasy first baseman.

Jemile Weeks is making his major league debut today, thanks to the pesky Mark Ellis’ right hamstring strain (pussy). Since he’s the sibling of Rickie Weeks, it’ll probably take him like six years to finally be good. In all seriousness, Jemile’s having a damn good year at AAA. He’s hitting .321, walking at a great clip (13.4 BB%), limiting the strikeouts (17.4 K%), and making hard contact (23.0 LD%). The steals may be a bit disappointing (caught stealing seven times in 23 tries last two years), but fantasy owners should still at least keep an eye on him. If his plate patience and hot bat arrive at the majors intact, he should be a pretty useful fantasy player.

Dee Gordon has been getting a lot of attention in fantasy circles this week, but Kid Clutch remains unimpressed. We all love speedy players who get an starting opportunity (especially if they qualify at SS), but the smart money is on him having little fantasy impact. While he possessed a strong 15.0 K% in the minors, his plate patience is far from a strength thanks to his low walk rate (6.4 BB%). He’s also enjoyed a fair share of luck as his .364 BABIP comes with a 15.0 LD% and 64.0 GB%. You can’t sell me on the “Well he’s super-fast so he should get a lot of infield hits” argument. Yes he’ll beat out a good amount of throws to first thanks to his wheels, but you can’t expect a right-handed player to hit the ball into the ground nearly 65-percent of the time and have a good BA. I can’t hate on anyone for adding Gordon. Elite speed cannot be passed on so you have to add him just in case he gets lucky or suddenly morphs into a better player at the big league level. I also have to admit that it is nice that the Dodgers seem willing to give him a good run at an everyday gig. That said, the chances are pretty good that he’ll be an underwhelming one-category fantasy option.

Even though this has nothing to do with rookies, I have to take a moment to pat myself on the back for my Felipe Paulino endorsement before Monday’s start. He took a no-no into the sixth against the Blue Jays and made me look mad good (which honestly isn’t all that hard to do thanks to these perfectly angled cheek bones and Scott Steiner-like body). While I’m all about gloating about my magnanimity, I have to be a realist and say that he is not a must-add in all 12 team formats by any means. Deeper leagues where quality pitching is hard to come by should definitely take a chance on Paulino. The velocity and strikeout potential is there, and if his newfound command sticks (three BBs in 16 innnings with KC—though all three came in his last start), the upside is that of an SP3.


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.