June Observations

Special thanks to contributing writer James Boyce.

Waiver Wire

C – Mike Zunino, Sea; and Stephen Vogt, Oak – Zunino has knocked a few HRs of late. He’ll give you that and not much else. Vogt has joined the A’s roster as a flex player at C and OF (RF) for now, and potentially 1B. He’ll give you a little bit of this and that, but the C eligibility, the flex, and just being on the As this year is enough for me.

Lucas-Duda1B- Steve Pearce, Bal; and Lucas Duda, NYM – The journeyman Pearce 1B/OF (LF) has had a hot couple of months, knocking 7 HRs in just over 100 ABs. He’s getting plenty of playtime and lately is batting second in a loaded Oriole lineup. Duda 1B/OF (LF), has hit well this month, with some pop, and has always been a plus in leagues counting Walks and OBP. The fact that these guys are both 1B and LF eligible is totally coincidence however.

2B – Scooter Gennett, Mil – Scooter is hitting close to .400 in June. He’ll help you in average and runs and occasionally throw in a HR and SB. He’s still a platoon player, but that may change if he continues to hit like this.

SS – Brad Miller, Sea – A hot commodity at the start of the season, Miller fell off the face of the earth for two months. In June, he seems to be back from the dead. Hitting over .300 for the month, he’s finally got his overall average above .200. He’ll give you all 5 categories, not a lot in any of them, but enough to make his dual eligibility at SS and 2B worth a look.

Brock-pokemon-18232516-418-3583B – Brock Holt, Bos – Holt is batting leadoff for the Sox and has the added flex value at 1B and OF (LF, RF). The scrappy Holt is hitting for average, scoring runs, and making highlight plays in the field. The legend of Brock Holt is growing.

OF – JD Martinez, Det (LF, RF) – Apparently JD is getting tutored by Miguel Cabrera and is getting all A’s, clobbering HRs every other day.

OF – James Jones, Sea (CF) – If you need speed, Jones is your man. I can see a hot streak coming for him.

OF – Lorenzo Cain, KC (CF, RF) – Part of the powerless Royals offense, nonetheless Cain is hitting .300, scoring and driving in runs, and stealing the occasional base.

OF – Kole Calhoun (RF) – Another sleeper coming into the year, Calhoun struggled early and then got hurt. Well now he’s back and he’s been hitting well.

SP – Jeremy Guthrie, KC – Guthrie is having a great June, with 3 Ws, just under a 3.00 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and about a K an inning. In his spare time, he likes adding to his K rate with some famous jokers.

SP – Jarred Cosart, Hou – He won’t give you much in the way of Ks, but Cosart is also enjoying a solid month with under a 3.00 ERA and about a 1.20 WHIP.

charlieSP – Charlie Morton, Pit – Morton struggled earlier in the season, but he’s put up back to back solid quality start months and that’s what you should expect. Ever since the Polanco call up the Pirates have been playing better.

SP, RP – Carlos Carrasco, Cle – After a few disastrous early season starts, Carrasco seems to be enjoying being a reliever. He’s not going to get you any Saves or Holds at the moment, but he is putting up great peripherals and a K an inning in relief.

RP – Pat Neshek, StL – Neshek seems to be reborn on the Cardinals (doesn’t every pitcher?), throwing a sub 1.00 ERA and WHIP around with a K and inning.

On the Farm – Hitting holdovers from last month are Joc Pederson, LAD (OF) and Mookie Betts, Bos (SS), with Betts playing the outfield now at AAA and just called up by the Red Sox! He should get OF eligibility soon plus potential flex play possibility at other positions. Unfortunately on ESPN, it may take a while to get SS tag. Others to consider are Cubs prospects Kris Bryant (3B) and his infield partner Javier Baez (SS) and the Rangers Joey Gallo (3B). Pitching holdovers from last month are Alex Meyer, Min (SP) who has been struggling a bit of late. Other pitchers w a chance to be called up are Dylan Bundy, Bal (SP) and Jimmy Nelson, Mil (SP).

Teams Rankings (previous month)

1. Athletics (3) – streaking onward and upward. 135+ run differential. Next team(s) in the 50s.
2. Brewers (4) – rebounded from an off May.
3. Tigers (1) – struggled earlier in the month but hot of late.
4. Angels (6) – everyone seems to be back, healthy, and playing well.
5. Giants (2) – struggling a bit, outside of Tim Lincecum.
6. Dodgers (11) – Its nice having Kershaw back, just in case you forgot how good he was.
7. Blue Jays (7) – Encarnacion still hitting HRs.
8. Mariners (12) – 7.5 games out but right now the 2nd Wild Card spot. AL West is tough.
9. Braves (5) – where has all the magic (and pitching and hitting) gone?
10. Nationals (16) – rising and Harper set to return
11. Reds (21) – having a nice month to climb back in it.
12. Cardinals (9) – suffered a few pitching injuries and struggling a bit.
13. Orioles (14) – AL East is for the birds (Blue Jays & Orioles) Hasn’t happened in a long time
14. Kansas City (18) – ran off 10 in a row
15. Yankees (10) – above .500 and yet a -32 run differential. Thank god for Tanaka
16. Pirates (25) – horrible start to the year, slowly working way back. Above .500.
17. Indians (19) – still hoping to get it in gear
18. Marlins (15) – kept it close for a while. Brought up Heaney.
19. White Sox (17) – their “closers” have cost them a plus .500 record.
20. Red Sox (27) – win a bunch, lose a bunch. Bringing up the kids.
21. Rangers (20) – able to end a big losing streak by beating the next team.
22. Twins (13) – still hoping they can get it in gear.
23. Mets (23) – them too.
24. Phillies (22) – recent win streak was a mirage – sell!
25. Rockies (8) – ooph, falling fast. Worst overall record this month.
26. Astros (29) – no longer an automatic W. got some fun players on this team.
27. Cubs (28) – Anthony Rizzo has been smokin’.
28. Diamondbacks (30) – off the mat, barely. Still worst run differential at -69.
29. Rays (26) – still struggling. Does Maddon have any more miracles up his sleeve?
30. Padres (24) – having a historic worst month of offense. Batting .175 for the month. Could be a record.


Notable Hitters

anthony rondown

C-Jonathan Lucroy – best C in NL? Better than any Cardinal for sure.
1B – Anthony Rizzo – if Bryant and Baez are any good Cubs will have some young hitting team around the infield
2B – Jose Altuve – 36 SBs – 4 games in a row w multiple SBs
2B/3B-Anthony Rendon – could be best hitter on Nationals
3B-Todd Frazier – he and Billy a big part of Reds resurgence, and of course Cueto is still dominating
SS-Jordy Mercer – had high hopes for Jordy before the season – having a nice month
OF -Billy Hamilton – proving many doubters wrong
OF -Corey Dickerson – playing well in Cargo’s absence
OF -JD Martinez – good to be a Martinez on the Tigers

Notable Pitchers


Clayton Kershaw – “no hitter”
Josh Beckett – no hitter (late May)
Tim Lincecum – no hitter, no shaving
Jake Arrieta – where is this coming from? 38Ks/31IP, 1.14 ERA, 0.79 WHIP in June. The wonders of moving to the NL I guess.
Tanner Roark – best #5 starter in baseball
Garrett Richards – big reason Angels are doing well
Sean Doolittle – ever since I dropped him he’s been lights out, except against Rajai Davis
Tony Watson – now locked in as the Pirate 8th inning guy
Aroldis Chapman – making up for lost time

All Star Ballot


American League (past Months’ picks)

1B – Cabrera, DET (Mauer, Abreu) – MC has had a slow but steady rise
2B – Dozier, MIN (Dozier, Dozier) – still the one (and probably only) Twin to go
SS – Ramirez, CWS (Ramirez, Lowrie) – slumping of late
3B – Donaldson, OAK (Donaldson, Donaldson) – slumping of late
C – Norris, OAK (Suzuki, Wieters) – part time player the best C in the AL
DH – Encarnacion, TOR (E5, Cruz) – still torrid
OF – Bautista, TOR (Bautista, Bautista) –
OF – Trout, LAA (Trout, Trout) –
OF – Cespedes, OAK (Brantley, Coballelo) – the best team in baseball gets 3 votes – hitting better, and his D / throw tops the highlight reel

National League
1B – Morneau, COL (Morneau, Morneau) – went through a slump but on fire again – on pace to drive in over 100 runs – would be nice homecoming for Justin
2B – Rendon, WAS (Gordon, Gordon) – Gordon is having a nice year, but he’s slowed down a bit, and Rendon has been on fire
SS – Tulowitzki, COL (Tulo, Tulo) –
3B – Frazier, CIN (Arenado, Wright) – what has Frazier been drinking? Hitting for average, power, and stealing bases !
C – Lucroy, MIL (Molina, Molina) – quite a few NL catchers doing well – maybe if Mesoraco played another position
OF – Stanton, MIA (Stanton, Stanton) –
OF – Puig, LAD (Puig, Blackmon) – lets get Puig v Cespedes in HR derby
OF – Morse, SF (J.Upton, McCutchen) – has cooled off a bit but stll, 50 RBIs for the front running Giants


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