MLB Hot Page: Bats New and Old (July 9, 2018, Week 16)

July 11, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments

*A special from Lawr Michaels at Creative Sports

The Fourth — and we all hope you had the best of holidays — is in our rear view now, with the All Star break the next  target, meaning a full complement of games this week with the schedule — and our IP and AB — taking a hit next week.

That means anticipating playing time following the break and perhaps even beyond the trade deadline as we try to ensure playing time for all our rostered players. And that is why the HotPage started in the first place. So, let’s see what we can glean.

Kyle Tucker (Astros, OF): With the arrival of Ronald Acuna, Jr. and the stall of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Kyle Tucker was the most anticipated outfielder — probably related to another big leaguer — arrival for roto heads. The 21-year-old younger sib of Preston Tucker was moved into a tough outfield over the weekend, taking a spot among the Astro flychasers. No question with respect to Tucker’s skill set. With a minor league line of .280-51-258, Tucker was crushing it to the tune of .306-14-66 with 4 swipes and a .370 OBP (36 BB to 70 K) and is as ready for the Show as any player could be.

Jim Adduci (Tigers, OF): If Tucker represents the new wave of stars, the 33-year-old Adduci is the other end of the spectrum: an older journeyman corner/first sacker who always comes to the majors for 47 at-bats every season, hitting .270 with eight or nine knocks. That covers 1,207 minor league games with a .287-52-429 with 10 teams, and then 95 minor league games with a .282-2-19 line. Adduci is a good play for a couple of weeks in a deep AL-only format, but that is about as far as one can extrapolate.

Victor Caratini (Cubs, 24): The Cubbies second-round pick of 2013, Caratini has been up and down enough over the past couple of years such that the catcher has nearly as many at-bats as does Adduci, posting a .268-0-5 mark over 71 games. The young backstop could indeed play a part similar to that of Austin Barnes for the Dodgers last year, as his 2018 minor league line — .313-4-22 with a .409 OBP (18 walks, 25 strikeouts) — suggests. With a .290-30-263 minor league line (.371 OBP), Caritini could actually be a starter in a year, and a decent one, perhaps.

Dillon Peters (Marlins, P): The surprisingly tough Marlins advanced their 10th-round pick in 2014 in Peters, a lefty whose 2018 numbers look scary, and who has a pretty good resume leading into this year. Peters’ minor league line this year is 2-4, 6.60 and with the Fish, 2-2, 7.16, though he has toiled 283 innings in the minors with a 24-17, 3.08 mark. Peters has 243 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP, and though I cannot recommend rostering the southpaw at this point, he is more than worth tracking.

Garrett Cooper (Marlins, 1B/OF): Sticking with the Marlins, Cooper has been on the 60-day DL with a wrist injury, but the former Yankee (Cooper was swapped with Caleb Smith) has a solid .306-46-274 line in the minors and .298-0-7 over 20 major league games, separated largely by injuries over the past couple of years. Cooper has a solid .371 OBP with 150 walks to 334 strikeouts, and if he can stay healthy, Cooper should be a solid and productive player.

Dilson Herrera (Reds, 2B): Herrera really grabbed me in 2015 when he finished #1 overall on my Top 250 Prospects hitting .331-11-50, largely at Las Vegas as a 20-year-old in the Mets chain. Traded for Jay Bruce at the 2016 deadline, Herrera has not done anything spectacularly but was hitting a solid .297-9-35 at Louisville, and since he is still just 24, I am keeping my eyes on him.

Steven Duggar (Giants, OF): Duggar almost made the SF Opening Day roster by virtue of a .236-4-10 line, but in the end Austin Jackson earned a trade and the job. Well, Jackson is now in Texas, and Hunter Pence is hurting, and for now Duggar is the everyday center fielder at ATT.  A sixth-round pick in 2015, Duggar was hitting .272-4-21 with 14 swipes and 52 runs scored, and he will be expected to lead off, get on, and score runs as he did in Sacramento.

Quickly, of how much value are the three players swapped to the Rangers by the Giants over the weekend? Well, Jackson becomes a fourth/fifth outfielder among a corps that is spotty, while Cory Gearrin is a veteran (he is 33) reliever of no consequence.

But, Jason Bahr, a third-rounder selected in 2017, has an 11-6, 2.83 line over 117.6 innings with 139 strikeouts and a 1.10 WHIP. Bahr has 23 starts with six relief appearances (one save) and will likely begin his tenure with the Rangers in the pen but with an eye on the rotation. Bahr, for sure, is worth tracking.

Now it is the ubiquitous “player to be named: who the Giants will get” piquing my curiosity.

Tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Sunday, 2-4 PM ET/11 AM-1 PM PT, and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.