- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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The headline really says it all. That's not true. Or maybe it is. I don't write the headlines, so as I write this I don't know what the title will or will not say.
I am guessing the word "TRUM" will appear somewhere in it, and while that is not terribly descriptive, what TRUM stands for -- Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless information and Musings -- really is. This is my old blog format, the one I did back in the day for my TalentedMrRoto.com site. Posted and emailed every single night, it very well may have been the first-ever fantasy blog. Or not. I have no idea.
Just like I have no idea what I am going to write whenever I start one of these. It's a loose, semi-coherent brain dump that is, like many things I do, more popular that it should be. I always get positive feedback when I do it and I enjoy doing it, so just like last season I am bringing it back for my final baseball column this year.
That's right. Final. There are only so many hours in the day, and with my job requiring preseason football analysis in addition to on-going baseball, some things have to give. I will still be doing the baseball podcast five mornings a week and the two weekly digital video shows I do (Fantasy Focus and Next Level Matchup), but for weekly baseball articles, this is it.
So ... after missing the first month of the season, Mike Trout is now the No. 1 overall player on our Player Rater. Think about that. Guy missed a month (first game was April 28), is 20 years old and, according to our Player Rater, which takes into account only numbers as compared to everyone else's, is the best player in fantasy.
If this keeps up, this has to be the best rookie season in the history of professional sports, doesn't it? What rookie year tops this? If I had to do rankings for next year, Trout would clearly be a top-10 guy. I just wonder how high up on that list he'll end up. One reason I wanted to bring up Trout is something that the SWAN, Zach Jones, sent me and Nate.
Zach brought up a very good point: Because they were promoted at the same time, with a lot of hype and both are very young, Bryce Harper and Trout get lumped in together. And that's unfortunate, because Harper is having a really nice year. And no one is noticing just how impressive it is. Remember, Trout got 123 at-bats last season. Which isn't a ton, but it's something. Look how his season last year, at 19, compares to Harper's 19-year-old season this year:
Mike Trout versus Bryce Harper -- age-19 season
Trout's insane level of Troutness, which is a new word I just invented to describe how all-powerful and amazing something is. Like, here, I'll use it in a sentence. "I'm in love with her, dude. She's total Troutness." It can be used in many ways and variations. "Just aced my exam. I'm Trout!" "Have you seen 'The Avengers?' Holy Trout!" "This is the best Trouting pizza I've ever had."
The possibilities are limitless. Anyway, Trout's level of Troutness has obscured the fact Harper is having one of the Troutiest seasons ever for a 19-year-old in the history of Major League Baseball.
Highest OPS in age-19 season
Since 1920, min. 400 plate appearances
Mel Ott: .921 (1928)
Tony Conigliaro: .883 (1964)
Bryce Harper: .761 (2012)<<
Edgar Renteria: .757 (1996)
Ken Griffey Jr.: .748 (1989)
<< Currently has 360 plate appearances
Watch out for Harper next year, kids.
As long as we're in the Zach portion of our TRUM, Zach also sent this note: "I was just shocked to discover that Ryan Ludwick now has 19 home runs (including one Wednesday night!)"
I thought that was a good point. I know he has been hot lately, but his may very well be the quietest 19 home runs this year. So I started wondering: What other surprising stats might there be? My quick search starts now.
Would not have guessed 20 home runs for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Or that Miguel Montero is tied for 21st in RBIs with 64. Jason Kubel, tied for 14th in home runs and eighth in RBIs, is hitting .287 while tied for 11th in strikeouts.
If you haven't seen the new Batman movie, skip this part, because there is a semi-spoiler. I've seen it and I have a few reactions:
1. Bane is one of the all-time great villains. Well done.
2. Everyone who ever doubted me about Anne Hathaway owes me an apology.
3. For a superhero movie, Batman sure doesn't spend a lot of time being super, you know?
Speaking of movies, in my 100 Facts You Need to Know football column, I mentioned that I thought "Superman 2" was the only sequel better than the original. Many people argued with me about other sequels and many were wrong. But there were two that I think they are correct on. "Terminator 2" is better than the first, and "The Dark Knight" (the one with Heath Ledger as The Joker) is better than "Batman Begins," which I also admit. I'm a sucker for "here's how it all happened backstories," so it's close for me, but thinking about it again, and yeah, "The Dark Knight" is better.
Scrolling through the box scores, Chase Headley with three RBIs. Currently 12th on our Player Rater among third basemen, he's basically on pace for a 20/20 and 80/80 season. ... You ever look at a team that's crushing in your league and, as you scroll the list of names, you're like, "How the hell is this team winning?" I sort of feel that way with the Yankees. I get Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson and they've had injuries ... but ... Andruw Jones, Russell Martin, Jayson Nix and Casey McGehee all played for the Yankees Wednesday night. They won 12-3. Ugh ...
Ben Revere stole base No. 25 Wednesday. He is hitting .319. He is available in 70 percent of leagues. America, why do you hate Ben Revere? His great-great-great uncle once rode to tell us the British were coming. (Oh, yeah, that's another quality of the TRUM. I don't bother worrying about overrated things like "accuracy.")
You know how you've been dating a woman for a long time, then you guys break up and suddenly she loses weight, changes up her hair, new outfit, totally babes up and you run into the "new" her somewhere and you're all like "Damn!" and a little bit jealous?
I can only assume that's exactly how anyone who used to own Jake Peavy feels. ... If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now. Mike Fiers is above the Wandy Line. ... Another home run Thursday night: Don't look now, kids, but over the past 30 days, Rickie Weeks has been the fourth-best second baseman in baseball, per our Player Rater, and he hit a very respectable .272 in July. ... That's actually a very encouraging start for Wade LeBlanc as he joins the Marlins rotation. Always liked him, he goes 4 1/3 innings, one earned run, strikes out three, walks one, five hits. Meanwhile, Ben Sheets, fantasy zombie.
Moving over to the Cubs' box score, I'm in a 12-team, NL only, 4x4 dynasty league. "The Fat Dogs," I've written about them before and mentioned them on the podcast before, are currently in first in this league, but it's very close and pitching will decide things as offense is pretty much all settled. I just lost Zack Grienke and Anibal Sanchez in this league (if a guy gets traded to the AL, you lose him, period). And who do I have in my bullpen? Shawn Camp. Zero outs, seven hits, five earned runs. Thanks, Shawn Camp. I hate you. Is there any worse sinking feeling than when you see something like that? A reliever who is supposed to help (and in this case -- 25-man NL only, 10 pitcher slots -- maybe I luck into some saves) ... and he does that to you? Arghhhhh.
Here's the top annoying things a reliever can do, in reverse order of how heartwrenching.
1. Middle reliever just gets lit up.
2. Closer brought into a non-save situation ... and gets lit up.
3. Reliever kills win for your starting pitcher.
4. Reliever kills win for your pitcher, gets a vulture win himself and is owned by the guy you are playing that week.
I asked the gang over at Elias Sports Bureau to look up the starting pitchers who had been let down by their bullpens the most this season; they left with the lead, were in line to get the win and then their bullpen blew the win for them. The list -- compiled before Wednesday night's games -- was a little surprising.
Randy Wolf, 8
Jon Lester, 5
Kyle Lohse, 4
Joe Saunders, 4
Homer Bailey, 4
Matt Cain, 4
Carlos Zambrano, 4
Jarrod Parker, 4
Marco Estrada, 4
Cole De Vries, 4
Eight potential wins for Randy Wolf? Eight!!! Brewers fans, how angry are you guys at your bullpen? Be honest. A lot, right? And it's not enough that Jon Lester has been terrible (for him). If he had gotten five more wins, you could have at least lived with it a little bit.
Back to box scores. Juan Pierre steals two bags. Available in about 80 percent of leagues, I expect him to play a lot more for Philadelphia with Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence gone. He didn't start Wednesday night, but still, if you need speed, Juan Pierre, kids. ... And Greg Holland, 1-for-1 in save chances this year. Great strikeout rate, terrible walk rate. Wide range of possible outcomes here. ... I seem to remember saying in the preseason that Yu Darvish was a guy you should grab then sell about halfway through the season. He had a 3.59 ERA pre-All-Star break and now a 7.66 since. Just saying. ... Pirates wasting no time: Gaby Sanchez, yes, Gaby Sanchez hit cleanup for the Pirates Wednesday night for a few at-bats.
I really enjoy the TRUM. I may do more it next year. Maybe I'll do it all the time. Or not at all. Who knows? My next baseball column is a long way off, but you're in great hands with Tristan H. Cockcroft and the rest of the gang here. And again, I'll still be doing the podcast and video the rest of the season, but football calls and football is the Trout, so writing football I shall.
In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to read, follow, listen, comment and give me plenty to think about. I'm very lucky and I am well-aware of it.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- looks forward to the people who complain about his column every week now complaining about the fact that it's not there. Berry is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off.