Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
8/20/2007 02:50:00 PM
Chris Young is the first rookie to have 20 homers and 20 steals in a season since Carlos Beltran in 1999.
Rhona Wise/Icon SMI
One big way to succeed in your fantasy league is to get hitters who can contribute big numbers in both the power and speed categories. Of course, most of them will come at a premium, but if you can snag a couple of them, you've done a good job. Even better if you can find the guys who put up those numbers, hitting the magical 20-steal/20-homer milestone, at a cheap price.
And it's possible that Arizona's Chris Young could be one of those lower-priced 20-20 guys. Thanks in part to five solo homers this past week, Young has reached the level that many thought he had an outside shot of reaching this year. He's shown power and lots of speed this year, although you'd like to see his average about .240. That's the only thing keeping his value down slightly. Meanwhile, teammate Eric Byrnes is just two homers away from joining Young in the club (he has 33 steals already), proving his 2006 was no fluke. Add Justin Upton to the mix, and you could have one ridiculous outfield next year.
Some of the other guys already at 20-20 came at high prices and have at least lived up to those expectations: David Wright, Jimmy Rollins, Grady Sizemore. Both Brandon Phillips and Hanley Ramirez are a slight surprise to have reached 20 homers already, although both were very close to that mark last year. However, I'm not sure how many people would've guessed Gary Sheffield to have a team-leading 20 steals to go with 24 homers.
As for people coming close, Alfonso Soriano (18 homers, 18 steals) may still get there whenever he gets off the DL, but Corey Hart (18 homers, 19 steals) should get there soon as another pleasant surprise this season. Carlos Beltran's recent hot streak (five homers since coming off the DL) put him at 24 homers, but he still has work to do to improve upon his 16 steals. Alex Rodriguez also has 16 steals, and should run enough to get to 20 -- as if his value needs to get any higher.
Bobby Abreu (14/17) needs some work on the power, but he has hit nine homers since the All-Star break. Ian Kinsler (15/16) is running more this year, but he has just six homers since April. Mike Cameron (15/14) and Curtis Granderson (16/14) also need a little work to get the 20-20 mark.
Other notes from Monday: -- So much for thinking Johan Santana hasn't been as dominating as he used to be after the break. Santana struck out 17 Rangers and allowed only two hits in eight innings in a tight 1-0 pitchers duel against Kevin Millwood. This is the type of performance fantasy owners had hoped to see more of this year.
-- Meanwhile, in the NL, Brandon Webb is establishing himself as the Cy Young front-runner with his streak of 42 consecutive scoreless innings. The impressive part is that he's now gone the distance in three straight games to get those shutouts - hard to do in these days where complete games are rare.
-- Mark Teixeira is now up to seven homers since joining the Braves, making him one of the best trade deadline pickups. Of course, he's been historically strong in the second half, so maybe this isn't as huge a surprise as you might expect.
-- Cameron Maybin had an up-and-down first series for the Tigers, but he did hit his first homer Saturday against Roger Clemens. The Rocket has allowed the first major league homer for seven players. Hopefully Maybin will be more like Sammy Sosa or Robin Ventura, and not Beau Allred, Sandy Martinez, or Pedro Swann. The seventh player to hit his first homer against Clemens? Nationals relieverJon Rauch. Go figure.
-- Since his two homer-game last week, Rick Ankiel is just 3-for-15 with a couple of walks but seven strikeouts in that time, and no homers. I supposed this is what to expect from Ankiel given his minor-league numbers this year.
-- And speaking of homers from somewhat unexpected sources, Mike Jacobs has finally started to hit, batting .417 and slugging three homers this week. His average had dropped down to .243 not too long before this recent surge.
-- Chris Capuano still has not won a game since May 7, a string of 16 starts. Even more startling is that the Brewers are 0-16 in those games.