Saturday, May 13, 2006


The keys to assembling a solid Salary Cap squad without dropping big coin on additional trades are two-fold; use the few trades you are given each week wisely, and speculate upon youngsters who'll both produce AND see a rapid increase in value. Players of note;

C Josh Willingham/Johnny Estrada: Estrada is looking a LOT like the kid who suited up for Atlanta and hit .314/9/76 with 36 2-baggers in 2004. Spraying the ball to all fields and on pace to reach a career high in HRs, the D-Back backstop is a great buy and play.
Josh Willingham, who has played just 2 games at Catcher, is the Marlins LF. Not a cheap acquisition to begin with, Willingham has nonetheless surprised and has to be considered an early Rook' of the Year fave'. Currently sitting atop a .292/7/27 line, more than half of Willy's 33 hits have been of the extra-base variety.

1B Prince Fielder: Cecil's baby boy should continue to see his value rocket upwards as his power numbers follow suit. Snapping his recent mini-slump (0-13) in impressive fashion with a 2 tater' game tonight, Fielder... a streaky hitter, is absolutely clubbing the ball at a .330-ish pace. If Prince could just cut down on his strikeouts (he ks roughly once/4 ABs) he'd be a dominating player. And, with another year or 2 of experience under his belt, Prince Fielder will become the complete player his father never was.

1B Adrian Gonzalez: The former Texas Ranger, who went to San Diego in the Adam Eaton deal, has been a bit of a disappointment so far this year, hitting just .230-ish, But after hitting his 2nd Homer of the year and notching 2 Ribbies and 2 Runs, tonight's game could be the spark that ignites a hot streak.

2B Dan Uggla: A really, really bad name for a productive young player. Uggla wasn't on anyone's radar when the season started. But now that the Marlin middle infielder is crushing the ball at a .357 clip in May, coupled with a .389 average with runners on the sacks, owners are taking notice. Jump on Dan's "Uggla-ass" while he's red hot.

3B Ryan Zimmerman/Kevin Youkilis/Edwin Encarnacion: Quite a troika, all 3 are starting to come on. Zimm's Major league debut was eagerly anticipated given the way he D-stroyed minor league pitching last season, but it's taking him a while to adjust to big league arms. Zimmerman is yet another member of this list who deposited a ball into the cheap seats tonight. Not the most disciplined player, the promising National is whiffing at an unacceptably high pace. If it weren't for the fact that he possesses ridiculous power and has recorded 1 XBH out of every 3 hits, Manager Frank Robinson might give thought to sending him back to Trip'-A for additional seasoning.
Meanwhile, Youkilis is hitting .319/3/19/19, has a .419 OBP, and qualifies at 1st and 3rd predicated upon your league.
"Doub-E", the Red hot-cornerman, is part of a scary-good lineup and should continue to see good pitches. Including today's 1 Homer game, of his 34 hits 18 have been for extra bases.

SS Hanley Ramirez: Producing and has seen his stock rise... too bad he couldn't have remained a Red Sock. As of today, Ramirez is 13-26 in his last 6 games and couldn't be seeing the ball any better.

OF Willy Taveras: A reach? Maybe. But, Taveras garners extra points for his base stealing ability; the 'Stro has stolen 1 base in each of the past 2 games and is hitting .293.


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