by Ryan Butler
Here are the Players of Week Five, playas:
Gaby Sanchez (6 R/2 HR/10 RBI/0 SB/.464 BA): He’s turned in a great season so far with solid numbers across the board (21/5/20/0/.328) and has played a large role in Florida’s surprising early success. As of Monday he’s still owned in only 68% of Yahoo! public leagues. He plays in a big ballpark, but I like his .282 career BA (small sample size, I know) and love his 18/18 K/BB rate.
Alex Rios (6/2/3/1/.458): This one is from the “back from the dead” files, as the first month of the season left everyone wondering what the hell was wrong with this guy. On May 1 he was hitting .155 and by May 8 his BA had risen to .213. Clearly things are starting to turn around for Rios, and he’s too talented a player to stay terrible for too long.
Adrian Gonzalez (7/3/9/0/.321): Week five finally gave Red Sox fans and fantasy owners a glimpse of what to expect from Adrian. I personally saw his act for five seasons in San Diego (not to mention Little and Pony League), and he’s as legit a hitter as there is in baseball. He can be streaky, but when he’s hot, he can carry your team for a week.
Tom Gorzelanny (15.0 IP/2 W/10 K/1.20 ERA/0.60 WHIP): Classic case of a guy who is a pretty good real-life pitcher, but not much of an asset in terms of fantasy play. This week he was outstanding in both respects, and while he left something to be desired in the strikeout department, when a guy manages two wins in a week, who’s going to complain?
Clayton Kershaw (13.2/2/12/1.98/1.24): He’s only 23, but it seems like this guy has been around forever, doesn’t it? One of the best young pitchers in baseball, his week five performance is nothing out of the ordinary for him. He’s a solid contributor in all SP categories.
Clay Buchholz (11.2/2/8/1.54/1.11): He was pretty awful the first month of the season, but he seems to be turning it around. Though his K/BB rate (23/19) is still terrible and his BAA (.289) is very high, he walked only three hitters in his two starts this week and allowed only 10 hits in 11.2 IP.
Brian Wilson (2-0/7/3 SV/0.00/0.80): It looks like the Bearded Weirdo is up to his old tricks again. His week five line is a fantasy owner’s dream, and as good as you can hope for from a relief pitcher.
Drew Storen (1-0/3/2/0.00/0.82): Maybe the game of Musical Closers is finally over in Washington, as Storen has clearly outperformed Sean Burnett, and Tyler Clippard seems firmly ensconced in the setup role. Storen has allowed only one earned run in 18.2 IP this season (0.48 ERA).
Francisco Rodriguez (0-0/4/3/0.00/1.62): I don’t know how much longer he can keep this tightrope act up, but despite an unseemly 1.70 WHIP on the year and a BAA of .271, K-Rod has nine saves in 10 opportunities. In 15 games so far has has walked nearly half as many batters (10) as he walked in 53 appearances (21) last season. Expect both his WHIP and BAA to return closer to his career averages (1.15 and .196, respectively) as the season progresses.
Honorable Mention: Jacoby Ellsbury (6/0/3/5/.387): The odds-on favorite to win the AL stolen base title is well on his way to doing just that. Health is the main concern with him, not his base stealing prowess; he’s averaged 62 steals per season and owns a career 81% success rate.
Dishonorable Mention: Adam Dunn (8/3/14/0/.167): He’s not what the White Sox had in mind when they signed him to a four-year $56 mil contract in the offseason. And it’s certainly not what those who drafted him in the first four rounds expected, either. I find it hard to believe that his struggles can be entirely attributed to his switching leagues. He’s too powerful a hitter to keep such pathetic production up for much longer. Right?