Jonathan Villar (SS-MIL) – Villar was 2-for-3 with a walk, HR #4, two runs, and two RBI Monday. He’s stil batting just .213/.283/.364 after this one, but he does have six multi-hit games in his last 11 games, raising his BA from 75 points in the process, so Villar appears back on track. He’s just 3-for-26 versus southpaws, which is a concern, as is his 31.7% K%, which is up from 25.6% last year when he struck out a whopping 174 times. Villar has been a huge disappointment on the basepaths as well, swiping just five bases after leading the league with 62 a year ago. He also had a .369 OBP a year ago, so if he can get that number up significantly, the steals will come, but I’m not expecting 50 the rest of the way regardless. Maybe 30-35 more?
Michael Saunders (OF-PHI) – Signed to a one-year deal coming off a career (half) year, Saunders is off to a bit of a slow start this year, but he did go 2-for-5 with his second homer of the season Monday against the Cubs. Saunders is still batting just .253/.287/.398 with no steals and the two home runs. His 21:3 K:BB equates to a 3.7% BB%, a mark that compares less than favorably to his 9.4% career rate. We have no choice but to assume that he’ll start walking more and hitting for more power, but Saunders also hasn’t been very good since the first half of 2016. Going forward, he’s a prime candidate to be flipped to a contender, as even though the Phillies sit at .500 and second place in the NL East, it seems unlikely their timetable to compete begins prior to 2018 or 2019.
Brett Anderson (SP-CHC) – Anderson may have pitched his way to the bullpen Monday, allowing seven runs on seven hits over just 1.1 innings against the Phillies. He was relieved by his potential replacement, Mike Montgomery, who entered Monday’s action with a 1.88 ERA, though his 12:9 K:BB in 14.1 innings leaves a lot to be desired. Dylan Cease is the team’s top pitching prospect, but he’s only in Low-A and Eddie Butler is on the minor league DL with a sprained ankle, though he could be an option soon. Three solid starts plus two clunkers leave Anderson with a 6.23 ERA, so he’s been good at times and will likely get another start, but Montgomery is probably going to get his chance here shortly. Anderson has a 15:12 K:BB In 21.2 innings, and that’s not giving us much optimism on his chances going forward. Montgomery tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball Monday, his longest outing of the year.
Michael Conforto (OF-NYM) – Conforto did it again Monday, leading off against the Braves and going 2-for-4 with a walk, home run, and three RBI. He’s now batting .333/.408/.700 with seven home runs in just 60 at-bats. He’s also stolen a base. Conforto is doing all his damage against RHP as he’s just 1-for-7 vs. LHP after being just 6-for-48 against them a year ago. It will be interesting to see what happens when Yoenis Cespedes returns from his latest hamstring injury on or around May 8. You figure Jay Bruce plays every day, and even Terry Collins has to see that Conforto should be out there most days as well. Curtis Granderson would seem to be the odd man out given he’s sporting a ridiculously-low .390 OPS (not OBP), but Collins hasn’t always made moves based on logic, and the Mets are pretty much a train wreck right now despite Monday’s win, so they probably screw this up somehow.
Billy Hamilton (OF-CIN) – Hamilton fared well Monday, lacing a single and a game winning double in five at-bats while swiping three bases to give him 13 steals on the year. To steal that many bases with a .222/.271/.263 slash line is a testament to his speed. Imagine if he led off and got on base even 32% of the time? 80 steals? More? Hamilton is in a good spot right now, leading off and followed by the patient Zack Cozart (.427 OBP) instead of the hacking Jose Peraza. Hamilton’s K% sits at a reasonable 19% with a relatively low .269 BABIP, so Hamilton’s stat line is going to improve. Hamilton made nice progress last year seemingly, finishing with a .321 OBP, so maybe this is just a slow start. It’s tough to start a guy with such a low BA on a daily basis, but Hamilton’s legs make taking him out a difficult proposition.
Written by David Regan @rotoregan: Fan of Dodgers, Rams, and Lakers.
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