Jimmy Paredes deserves your attention now. He has shown half of his value already by slugging .769 over his first 9 games. The other half is what he can accomplish on the base paths. This will be our little secret for the next few days, or at least until he starts hitting more singles. (8 of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases)
Bee Tee Double You, today’s headline is not a cynical commentary on the whole situation in Baltimore. If I wanted to do that I may have gone with “Paredes in Baltimore” or “Birds of Paredes”. I came up with it long before everything “went down”. On the contrary, the title is a double-positive on the Birds’ relative newcomer, Jimmy Paredes – a double welcome, if you will.
The first welcome is Buck Showalter’s. He has shown enough confidence in Paredes that he has been slotting him in the 2-spot, and as a DH in many recent games. This welcome comes in a powerhouse lineup that just scored 18 runs last Sunday. Incidentally, this was one of their last games due to the unrest in Baltimore.
In the Sunday game, Paredes, already on Caveball’s watch list from last week, went 3 for 5 and was a home run shy of the cycle with a run and 3 ribbies.
Their last game? Well, that was one for the record books, as well. We did our take on this piece of history in Wednesday’s post: Baltimore – Picking Up the Pieces.
The second “welcome to Paredes” is yours, if you’re the early “Bird” (sorry, could not resist that one) on the waiver wire. You probably have the opportunity to snatch him before it’s too late.
Let’s get to his numbers and check out who else is not getting enough love on the waiver wire:
Jose Iglesias 3B, SS (62% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Known more for his glove, Iglesias has really heated up at the plate. Is this upside beginning to show itself? Or is it just a hot streak from a great defensive player? It’s too early to make any conclusions here, but when he slows down he is sure to be dropped in many leagues. Keep him on your watch list, at the very least.
Josh Reddick OF (29% owned in Yahoo Leagues) This ownership seems pretty low. It is a good indicator of how strong the outfield position has become, but Reddick should be owned in deeper mixed leagues. If nothing else, he could be a good streamer in a week with an easy schedule. Reddick has come on like gangbusters with 21 hits (6 for extra bases) in his first 16 games.
Jimmy Paredes 3B (28% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Here’s what we said last week when he was just 2% owned: “Paredes has some pop (2 homers already) and very good legs (187 steals in 699 Minor League games, which works out to 40 SB for every 150 GP) It will be interesting to see what the 26 yr. old can do with regular at bats.” One thing we have yet to mention is how athletic Paredes looks – dare we say as natural as his teammate, Adam Jones?
Yangveris Solarte 2B, 3B (7% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Jedd Gyorko is struggling mightily (.135 avg) and, as a result, has opened the door for Solarte to claim the starting position at second base. Solarte also plays third where Will Middlebrooks, his other immediate competition, has been scuffling along (.222 avg.), as well. Middlebrooks has gone 5/30 (all singles) in his last 10 games.
Okay, so onto Solarte’s numbers: 18/56 with 2 HR and 12 RBI. Oops, gotta change this, as I watch him knock in two runs with a clutch 2-out single as I write this. Let’s start over… actually, I’m just going to wait for the game to end. He keeps adding to his stats as I write and I refuse to play his little game.
(45 minutes later…) Okay we’re done now. Solarte went 2 for 5 with 1 run and 4 RBI. I’m too tired to do the math, so I hope you can manage. Incidentally, he’s now tied with Matt Kemp as the team leader in RBI.
Watch List Candidates
Brock Holt 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, BSC, MBA, PHD (34% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Another good player stymied by the glut of talent in Boston. All this, despite the fact that he’s the most eligible player in the MLB. That’s right, he plays every single position, except catcher (as far as we know). Think it’s time for the Sox to trade for an arm they can call a number two pitcher? If and when they do this, then they can focus on getting an ace. Keep an eye on injuries or any transactions that may give him more playing time.
Chris Owings 2B, SS (12% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Owings hasn’t done a whole lot to start turnings heads yet, but the D-Backs have been slotting him in the 2-spot (between Pollock and Goldschmidt) in the last couple of games and he does have 4 steals to his credit in this young season. Owings missed 71 games in 2014, eventually going down for shoulder surgery late in the year. 2013 was a different story. Not only was he the PCL Rookie of the Year, he was the MVP, as well. Don’t forget about him.
Aaron Harang (49% owned in Yahoo Leagues) As boring a pick as Harang is, it’s time to acknowledge his decent start with the Phils. I mean come on, in 5 starts he’s got 32.1 IP/24 H/27 K. He’s pitching in the weakest-hitting division in the Majors. What’s not to love? Harang turns 37 a week from today, so consider this an early present to the veteran.
Travis Wood (23% owned in Yahoo Leagues) It’s do or die with Wood in Week 5 as he stares down the Cardinals, and the Brewers, on the road. It’s not exactly an easy assignment for the 28 yr. old, but there’s a lot of positives to take out of his April performance. First, the one negative: his only poor start this year was his first one. It came against the Rockies at Coors and this can often happen to the best of em. Since then, he has allowed just 12 hits and 4 BB in 19 innings, with 21 Ks. This has dropped the southpaw’s ERA to 3.04 with a .216 BAA and a very good 1.06 WHIP. With his two starts, Wood is our “Snag of the week” for Week 5.
Chris Heston (26% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Here’s what we surmised about Heston last week:
Speaking of Minor League conundrum initiators, his two-year disparity has to be displayed in a table. Here are Heston’s stats from his two years in Triple A Fresno (PCL):
Year IP H R ER K BAA WHIP
2013 108.2 129 75 70 97 .301 1.61
2014 173 152 76 65 125 .233 1.17
Okay, so just like Travis Wood (above), Heston became victimized by Coors Field since then. Fair enough. But tonight (Friday) he was back to being very good and it came against the Angels. Here was his line: 6.1 IP / 5H / 1R / 1ER / 1BB / 5K. What’s not to love?
Watch List Candidates
Nick Martinez (39% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Still not sold here, but he has been lights out, sans the whiffs. The Rangers are begging for an ace. Maybe he is “the one”.
Drew Pomeranz (27% owned in Yahoo Leagues) Coupla questionable starts puts Pomeranz on the back burner for now, but don’t let him off your radar.
Incidentally, it will be easy to keep your eyes on both of our watch list candidates, as they face each other in Texas, Saturday evening. It will be a tough test for each of them.