Royals Fantasy Report
Scott Yerbic is on vacation this week, so we reached out to our parent site, BaseballDigest.com, who kindly sent us a temporary fill in with Matt Wilson to bring you this week’s Fantasy Report.
Though the Royals are looking toward the future, there are a few guys to watch for this week on your fantasy radar.
After surgery on his rotator cuff, Jason Kendall will miss the remainder of the season. Brayan Pena and Lucas May (acquired in the Scott Posednik deal with the Dodgers) will share the catching duties but neither will hold much value down the stretch. Pena has the better eye of the two while May has flashed some pop in the minors this season (40 extra base hits). May has the better upside of the two offensively but his defense has been erratic.
Mitch Maier may benefit a bit from the Kendall injury. He will slide into the second spot in the lineup. Royals hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer explained that he fit the two-hole best of everyone on the team. Seitzer keeps a detailed situational hitting report, and Maier has an even better rating than Kendall at that spot in the lineup. The biggest impact will be in the Runs column and of course seeing some better pitches by batting in front of Billy Butler.
Butler is a must start in all formats. He has had struggles at Target Field and with the Twins starters he’ll face there this week, but with a career mark near .300 Butler is a solid start. He also has hit .429 in his last 7 games. The only question with Butler is where has the power gone? Many anticipated improvement from the 21 HR he hit a year ago. Instead, he has regressed. The 24 year-old has taken some nice strides at the plate striking out less and walking more. It may just be that Butler is a 15-20 HR guy for now with a possible breakout coming in the next couple years. With an average in the .300’s and the power potential, I’ll take it and so should you.
With the Royals visiting the Twins and White Sox this week, it would be hard to justify starting anyone in their rotation outside of Zach Greinke. Even Greinke has struggled against the Twins at Target Field this season posting two losses and a 7.20 ERA in his two starts there. His last start against the Twins he was shelled surrendering 6 runs in the first inning and 8 through four innings in a 19-1 shellacking. Last season, I would never try to talk you out of starting Greinke. This season, I’d at least think about it. There are lots of numbers I’m not liking here, but since I’ve pointed that out I’m sure he’ll respond by throwing a “no-no.”
There are guys who should stay on your radar in keeper leagues. Alex Gordon is hard to give up on. Mike Moustakas is the leading name on the list of Royals to like in 2010. He will compete for the 3B job next spring. He was awarded the George Brett Hitter of the Year honor this last week. His minor league line this season: .326 with 34 HR and 120 RBI between AA and AAA. He won’t get a call-up this September but if your league allows you to claim minor leaguers he’s one to keep in mind.
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