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MLB Cold Starts - Time to Heat Up

Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.  We have heard that time and time again.  One of the most important things to be in fantasy baseball is patient.  Your 1st round pick is hitting under .200?  That just means he is about to go on a tear and carry your fantasy team for the next few weeks.

Brian McCannYankeesC936600013150.167
Carlos SantanaIndiansC10327200211150.219
Evan GattisBravesC620410121070.200
Jason CastroAstrosC828500234170.179
Welington CastilloCubsC7285101122110.179
Wilin RosarioRockiesC830720022450.233

The Colorado Rockies offense is the best in the National League at the moment and yet Rosario has just 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Things will turn around once he decides to join the hit parade. Carlos Santana was the #1 overall catcher last season for a reason. He has never been one to swing the bat much (38.5%), which is why he draws so many walks, but this season he is swinging at just 33% of pitches thrown his way. He is drawing a base on balls in 1 of every 4 PAs. Once he gets more aggressive he will start to raise his AVG. McCann has a new pitching staff to managed, a new league of pitchers to figure out, a contract to live up to and the New York media. I think all he needs a little time before he is able to recognize that short porch in left field at Yankee Stadium!

Adrian GonzalezDodgers1B10377402644100.189
Billy ButlerRoyals1B828600033430.214
Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays1B10376210404120.162
Nick SwisherIndians1B1041710155380.171
Prince FielderRangers1B937620033250.162
Ryan HowardPhillies1B9357201436130.200

Encarnacion has 0 RBI, but is actually having his balls in play fall at the same average as last season (.247) when he drove in 104 runs. However, he is putting less balls in play this year thanks to a 29% K rate! He only struck out 62 times last season (10%). Ryan Howard wen t1 for 10 in the Phillies first home stand vs the Brewers.  He has also been swinging at anything thrown his way, swinging at 40% of pitches thrown out of the strike zone. The good news is 40% of his batted balls are line drives. 6 of Gonzalez' 7 hits have been doubles or HRs so that is one positive. One negative though, he is missing on 18% of his swings (~10% career). Fielder will be fine, and I can't wait for the Texas summer to roll into town.

Brian DozierTwins2B9366103947120.167
Jason KipnisIndians2B1035720156780.200
Jedd GyorkoPadres2B9324100144120.125

Kipnis just signed a big deal so he is feeling some pressure to live up to the cash. He is not hitting line drives (14% 2014), which is his thing(25% 2013). Once he gets back to that, things will be all good. Dozier is hitting a ton of flyballs (56%) which has led to 3 home runs but we will want him to turn those into some line drives so we can get 30 doubles from him again. Only Jonathan Schoop swings and misses at more strikes (among 2B) but Gyorko is on your team for that all or nothing swing. You can live with the strike outs as long as he turns those pop ups into HRs.

David WrightMets3B934800164380.235
Josh DonaldsonAthletics3B9419301651130.220
Kyle SeagerMariners3B723330021780.130
Nolan ArenadoRockies3B1039910267170.231
Pablo SandovalGiants3B1038510164770.132

As soon as Donaldson brings his strikeout rate down from 31% he will be fine. He has a .296 BABIP. Seager just isn't swinging the bat...literally. He swings at just 38% of pitches. It has led to 7 base on balls, but also 8 strikeouts. He isn't swinging through these pitches either as he swings and misses just 6.5% of the time. Swing away kid!

Asdrubal CabreraIndiansSS1035730152230.200
Brad MillerMarinersSS8367202551130.194
Jhonny PeraltaCardinalsSS929200234560.069
Jimmy RollinsPhilliesSS730710148360.233

Brad Miller is chasing pitches outside of the strike zone, leading to a 35% strike out rate. Last season he struck out in 15.5% of his ABs. Cabrera is not getting on base, but he is not striking out either. Eventually those balls in play will fall. Peralta is adjusting to a new team, league and pitchers and Rollins is a savvy veteran, he will get it going.

Allen CraigCardinalsOF831300003160.097
Andrew McCutchenPiratesOF93371104310100.212
Bryce HarperNationalsOF8327001442130.219
Curtis GrandersonMetsOF9324301336110.125
Hunter PenceGiantsOF1041630163490.146
Jason HeywardBravesOF9356002445110.171
Jay BruceRedsOF932601258690.188
Jose BautistaBlue JaysOF10307104961260.233
Matt HollidayCardinalsOF934830045580.235
Matt KempDodgersOF518310254380.167
Wil MyersRaysOF9358200543110.229

Harper and Kemp are striking out at an alarming 38%.  But let's not forget, Harper is still the younger player in baseball while Kemp is coming back from numerous injuries and played in just 73 games last season.  40% of Harper's swings are at pitches out of the strike zone.  He will figure that out.  Granderson hasn't played well but he has just missed a couple homers.  Moving from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field will do that and he will either level out his swing and hit the gaps, or he will wait until the summer air moves in and helps carry those balls over the wall.  All of their BABIP are under .200 except Myers, Harper, Holliday, and McCutchen.

MLB Hot Starts - Time to Cool OFf