Fantasy Notes: Beltran’s MVP Chances
September 6, 2006 | | comment on this post
- Carlos Beltran may return for the second game of today’s double header, which gets underway in minutes. He’ll need a big September if has any chance to bagging the MVP Award the way Ryan Howard has taken control since the break. Beltran brings a better all-around game, taking into account his superb defense at a key position (CF) and his speed (16 steals). And the numbers are there: in 455 at-bats, he has 36 doubles, one triple, 39 homers, .286/.386/.626 with 75 walks. Only Grady Sizemore, with 80, has more extra-base hits than Beltran’s 76. What might hurt Beltran the most is the fact that his teammates, David Wright and Carlos Delgado, could easily fracture the Met vote. Regardless, this has been a tremendous rebound season for Beltran after last year’s nightmare.
- Jorge De La Rosa must have said some sort of incantation Tuesday that Luke Hudson forgot to utter on Monday. De La Rosa, after tossing shutout ball at the Yanks for 5 2/3 innings, turned things over to the pen. Yes, that’s the same bullpen that was entrusted with Hudson’s 5-1 lead on Monday only to yield 10 runs in the eighth inning. This time, however, it held, thanks to yeoman’s work from Todd Wellemeyer. It marked the first time the Royals, who continue to play giant killer, have shut out New York in over three years. De La Rosa, by the way, has only given up two earned runs in 10 2/3 innings over his last two starts, so if you’re desperate for AL pitching in a very deep league, he could be worth a sniff.
- Mike Mussina came off the DL Tuesday, but the rust was showing. Returning from a strained right groin, Moose was handed just his second career loss against KC in 10 career decisions. He should be much better his next time out, so don’t sweat it. Of greater concern is that Mussina, 13-6, is 0-3 in his last five starts dating back to July 30. He lasted five innings, surrendering eight hits, four runs and a walk with four Ks. Well, at least he got through the start without re-injuring the groin.
- On the minor league front, the Dodgers signed undrafted reliever Dave Preziosi out of Boston College, where he had a pretty good collegiate career. The 23-year-old lefty looked strong in his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, going 0-2, 3.24 in 16 2/3 innings. He’s a groundball specialist who didn’t serve up a single homer before the Dodgers moved him up to Class-A Columbus of the South Atlantic League. Preziosi had a tougher time in the Sally, going 1-0, 11.25 and getting lit up for six hits and five walks in four innings. This is the kind of kid who can sometimes move through an organization quickly, but obviously has a limited ceiling. Expect Preziosi to play full-season ball in 2007.
- Another young Dodger who’s looking interesting is shortstop Juan Rivera. The 19-year-old switchhitter, signed out of the Dominican Republic, didn’t wow anyone last year in the Pioneer League (.251, 610 OPS is 41 games) but, of course, he was just 18 at the time. This season, Rivera again was unspectacular during his 20-game stint in the Pioneer League (591 OPS), but he played much better after a promotion to Columbus. In 40 games, he hit .256, with a 625 OPS, but most impressively, batted .355 over his final nine games. RotoRob Dodger correspondent John Hill tells me that Rivera has a pretty good glove, but he made 12 errors with the Catfish. He hits righties way better (over .290) so will likely have to give up switchhitting, but at least Rivera is on the right side of a platoon. This is a player who has good physical tools, but is not yet an advanced hitter. Next year, he should be playing full-season ball, and is a name for prospect hunters to stash away.