Each week, Collin uses his HVaC Scoring System to let you know who to start and drop this week in head-to-head fantasy baseball leagues. This week’s players to avoid:
One of the hottest players to add in ESPN fantasy baseball leagues has been the catcher with the longest last name in baseball: Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
“Salty” has been on a tear of late, hitting 8 for 23 over the last seven days and .299 overall with six home runs. Like many of the Marlins, he has been nearly impossible to get out at Marlins Park, posting a .348 average. All seem to be good things. But four of his six home runs have come on fastballs and he has seen that pitch nearly 65 percent of the time, up from 52 percent last year and 54 percent for his career.
As he comes back around the league again, it will be interesting to see how pitchers adjust and make changes to what they throw the switch-hitter. In 2013, he was seeing far more sliders than he is this year and more than 20 percent (33) of his strikeouts came on that pitch.
Miami’s catcher has always had power potential, and the HVaC likes his numbers to be right in line with the positional average of 14 the rest of the way. The concern is on RBI, where he falls outside the average, and in H/PA, where he is well outside. Coming in as the 16th overall catcher the rest of the way, the home runs will help if an owner needs them, but he should be seen as no more than an injury fill-in for deeper leagues.
Jonathan Villar, Astros (15.30)
Those jumping on Villar’s early power marks should note that he is still only expected to meet the 11 home runs the average starter should produce, while the focus at shortstop should be more on speed, runs and RBI. He provides speed, but the other two should keep him off your roster. Though Villar has gone seven for his last 21, he falls well outside the positional marks for runs and RBI the rest of the way, two categories where he is expected to be nearly a full run and RBI per week behind the positional average.
Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays (27.41)
Rasmus’s power is not in doubt, and he should produce better than most outfielders in home runs the rest of the way. The question is the rest of his portfolio. Rasmus has seen twice as many pitches down and out of the zone as he has anywhere else and he cannot lay off of them. Of his 40 strikeouts, 24 have been on pitches out of the zone entirely.
Rasmus is hot right now, but the .282 ISO is 60 points better than last season. A correction will be coming and keeps him at the No. 46 outfielder spot, which is barely a starter.
Chris Colabello, Twins (12.16)
I tweeted last week about how Colabello likely was coming back to earth, and we are starting to see that happen. Even now, his BABIP is still .354 and he is striking out nearly five times as often as he walks. The numbers for the young infielder do not bode well for long-term success this year. Drop him now.
Aaron Harang, Braves (75.75)
Harang is outperforming any marks he has had in previous years. In addition to a HR/FB rate that is currently half of his career number, and there is a significant chance that this is the best Harang will be all season. So far, his slider has been very good and has generated 46 percent of his 71 swings and misses, up eight points from last season. Though his 2.98 ERA is well in range with his 2.75 FIP, those numbers have traditionally been in the upper-3.00’s and low-4.00’s respectively.