Top 2013 fantasy picks, August trends (cont.)
OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins -- It has been over three weeks since we last gave you an edition of our weekly fantasy baseball trends report and, in that time, Stanton leads all batters with 10 homers, is tied with Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Swisher for the RBI lead with 21, and has hit .333. If Stanton was even a 15- to- 20-steal threat -- or a model of health -- he would be in the discussion as a first-round pick next March. Instead, he will have to settle on being just out of the outfield top five, a second-rounder. He won't reach 40 homers or 100 RBI, but a full healthy season can get him to .290-45-120-100-10. Just the fact that we are talking about a .290 average for a 150-strikeout candidate is noteworthy.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners; SP Kris Medlen, Braves; SS Derek Jeter, Yankees; OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers; and 1B/3B Todd Frazier, Reds.
SP Johan Santana, Mets -- The Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster left Mets fans jealous. Couldn't there have been a way for someone to take Santana and Jason Bay? Yeah, the argument is that at least the Red Sox gave up someone of value in Gonzalez. As if the Mets would have given a team David Wright AND R.A. Dickey, too! Santana, who's been shut down, had pitched like he'd shut it down since June. He had a 15.63 ERA in his last five starts, which included a 19.89 ERA in two since returning from a DL stint for shoulder and ankle injuries. Sure, you lost him for the rest of the season, but that is addition by subtraction. The Mets did you a favor, so you wouldn't be tempted by any five-inning shutouts that led you to start him in fantasy crunch time only to be whacked with seven earned in two innings. Santana can be a late-round sleeper again next spring, but there is no way you can count on him for 150 quality innings, much less 150.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS Ben Sheets, Braves; Josh Beckett, Red Sox; OF Drew Stubbs; OF Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays; OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates; and P Alfredo Aceves, Red SoxRoster trends</h4>
1. SP Brett Anderson, Athletics -- It is nearly impossible to be any better than he's been in two starts since coming off Tommy John elbow surgery. He's a must-have and must-start in all leagues during crunch time, particularly since the A's are a surprising contender.
2. SP David Phelps, Yankees -- This rookie has been decent in the Yanks' rotation, but increased ownership was merely a function of his two-start week. He should be used only when the matchups are right. You are better off going with the pitchers who have gotten you here.
3. SS Pedro Ciriaco, Red Sox -- He's a utility infielder, not a fantasy gem, but ride him in deeper leagues for as long as he holds it together.
4. SP Kris Medlen, Braves -- He's been a revelation and, while he won't stay this dominant, he is good enough to trust in all leagues down the stretch. He's earning a rotation spot for next season, too.
5. SP Kyle Kendrick, Phillies -- Rebounding just in time to help fantasy owners in deeper leagues, he's not as trustworthy as Anderson or Medlen, nor as risky as Phelps (above), but he can be useful in spurts like this.
1. SP Ben Sheets, Braves -- His remarkable comeback has hit a significant snag. Stash him for potential rewards in September, but his shoulder woes are a sign he was asking it to just do too much in a hurry.
2. SP Lance Lynn, Cardinals -- Oh, you didn't believe there was such a thing as a late-season wall for young pitchers? You probably also think Stephen Strasburg won't be shut down, either. Believe it.
3. SP Bartolo Colon, Athletics -- Hey, sometimes people in their late 30s suffer from low testosterone and need some medicinal enhancement. Kidding. We apparently have discovered where his renaissance has come from.
4. SP Johan Santana, Mets -- He's been complete junk since June, basically since his no-hitter. And you think pitch counts are overrated? He's done for the season now and cannot be trusted for 200 innings in 2013 either.
5. OF Carl Crawford, Dodgers -- At 31, he has a chance to prove to be a sleeper in rotisserie leagues next spring, whether or not he's ready for opening day after Tommy John elbow surgery.
1. 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers -- Clearly, he needed a change of scenery. He might not get another one anytime soon, so he better make the best of it. He will. BUY
2. 1B Albert Pujols, Angels -- With a homer, he returned from nearly a week off. Hopefully, you kept him active through thick and thin. He's been the pre-2012 Pujols since mid-May. There's no reason to think he won't finish strong and remain a fantasy first-rounder for next March. HOLD
3. SP Josh Beckett, Dodgers -- His personality is far better suited for Southern California isn't it? He will be better than he was in his Dodgers debut, or to date. Promise. BUY
4. OF Carl Crawford, Dodgers -- You might as well see what you can get for him, unless you're in a keeper league where he's of no use to anyone. Use him as a piece to win now. Perhaps the hype of his change of scenery will make someone willing to fork something over. He's better off being a sleeper. SELL
5. DH David Ortiz, Red Sox -- They hurried him back to quell the bad press of giving away a bunch of stars. Yet another mistake by the Boston front office. You probably aren't going to get anything significant out of Ortiz, so you might as well try to fob him off on someone who thinks otherwise. SELL
Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. You find him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).