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May 19 - Week 6 Snapshot

In Part 1, we took a look at the Hot/Not players in each league — one of each per position. Granted, it
is very early in the season, but let’s now turn our attention to other players doing well through Week 6,
guys who are shaping up as potential 2006 Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player and Breakout
Player candidates.

American League – Rookie of the Year candidates:
Just to be clear, here is MLB’s official definition for determining rookie status:
“A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a)
exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45
days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit
(excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).”

Jonathan Papelbon cl (BOS) – YTD MOTY#: 50.36   MTD: + 18.75   LW: + 0.54
YTD: 0 win, 13 sv, 18 K, 0.69 whip, 0.44 era, 6.00 K/bb, 19 gs (20.33 ip), 100% sv pct

Rookie of the Year? More like MVP. The Red Sox closer job was a question mark coming out of
spring. Papelbon got first dibs, took the reins and has yet to let go — reminiscent of Eric Gagne in
2002. Papelbon’s ratios are sick-good and should creep up. But what’s realistic to expect? Here are
his 2005 stat lines, both minors and cup of coffee:

’05 AAA/AA: 6 win, 1 sv, 110 K, 0.92 whip, 2.59 era, 4.23 K/bb, 21 gp/19 gs (115 ip)
’05 MLB: 3 win, 0 sv, 34 K, 1.47 whip, 2.65 era, 2.00 K/bb, 17 gp/3 gs (34 ip)


John Koronka sp (TEX) – YTD MOTY#: 28.66   MTD: - 5.79   LW: + 1.29
YTD: 4 win, 0 sv, 25 K, 1.20 whip, 3.65 era, 2.08 K/bb, 7 gs (44.33 ip), 80% win pct

Texas picked him up at the end of spring in a three-way trade with Oakland and the Cubs. He’s quietly
paid dividends for the Rangers, for the quickest R.O.I. Very nice, but not spectacular ratios like
Papelbon’s. Still he does pitch in homer-friendly Arlington where he has picked up 2 of his 4 wins.
(Newsflash: Koronka rocked for 5 runs in 4.667 ip in the Bronx Tuesday night). Here are his 2005 stat
lines:

’05 AAA: 9 win, 0 sv, 96 K, 1.35 whip, 4.24 era, 2.00 K/bb, 23 gp/21 gs (136 ip)
’05 MLB: 1 win, 0 sv, 10 K, 1.72 whip, 7.47 era, 1.25 K/bb, 4 gp/3 gs (15.667 ip)


Justin Verlander sp (DET) – YTD MOTY#: 20.44   MTD: + 5.18   LW: + 2.72
YTD: 4 win, 0 sv, 27 K, 1.26 whip, 3.77 era, 1.93 K/bb, 7 gs (43.0 ip), 57% win pct

Like the Tigers as a whole, he’s looking good so far. Respectable numbers, except for his winning
percentage — he’s lost 3 games. Also, that sub-2.00 K/bb ratio could portend a “back to earth”
scenario, especially when comparing to his ’05 ratio stats. Clearly, there’s a reason AA hitters ain’t
big leaguers:

’05 AA/A: 11 win, 0 sv, 136 K, 0.90 whip, 1.29 era, 5.23 K/bb, 20 gp/20 gs (119 ip)
’05 MLB: 0 win, 0 sv, 7 K, 1.76 whip, 7.15 era, 1.40 K/bb, 2 gp/2 gs (11.33 ip)


Kenji Johjima c (SEA) – YTD MOTY#: 7.17   MTD: + 1.23   LW: + 0.95
YTD: 16 runs, 3 hr, 19 rbi, 0 sb, .269 avg., .720 ops (.333 obp/.387 slg), .462 bb/K

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of including players with multiple years “big league” Japanese
experience in the RoY race, but by MLB’s rules they qualify. Johjima started out hot, homering in his
first 2 games. Since then, not much happening — neither his average nor OPS are numbers that
scream “Award winner!” To be fair, though, we’re only 6 weeks in.


American League – Comeback Player candidates:
Guys who are hot this year and definitely were NOT last year. Of course, in order to be considered
“comeback players,” they have to be coming back to something — valuable fantasy production in the
past.

Now, there are some nice stories so far this year, like Mike Lowell 3b (BOS), Carlos Guillen ss (DET),
Tim Salmon of (LAA), Corey Patterson of (BAL) and Kelvim Escobar. But the following guys have really
made a resurgence in 2006:

Curt Schilling sp (BOS) – YTD MOTY#: 35.18   MTD: - 16.95   LW: - 10.45
YTD: 5 win, 0 sv, 50 K, 1.08 whip, 3.76 era, 5.56 K/bb, 8 gs (52.67 ip), 71% win pct
‘05: 8 win, 9 sv, 87 K, 1.53 whip, 5.69 era, 3.95 K/bb, 32 gp/11 gs (93.33 ip), 50% win pct

Last year, Schilling won 8 games, but also lost 8. And blew 2 saves, granted he’s not a closer by
trade. But his ratios were horrendous. This year they’re very nice, whip and K/bb returning to
excellence, in fact.


Jim Thome 1b (CWS) – YTD MOTY#: 29.81   MTD: + 11.84   LW: + 1.24
YTD: 34 runs, 15 hr, 38 rbi, 0 sb, .298 avg., 1.149 ops (.439 obp/.711 slg), .829 bb/K
‘05: 26 runs, 7 hr, 30 rbi, 0 sb, .207 avg., .712 ops (.360 obp/.352 slg), .760 bb/K, 193 ab

Show of hands — who thought Thome’s career was perilously close to over? Yes, yes, my paw is a
loft, I admit it. Through 25% of the season, Thome’s already eclipsed ALL of his 2005 stats. Forget
Comeback Player, Jimbo is on track for MVP honors. And the thing is, we all know he’s capable of
keeping this up all season long. Kudos to those who predicted the turnaround.


Magglio Ordonez of (DET) – YTD MOTY#: 16.54   MTD: + 12.15   LW: + 1.55
YTD: 23 runs, 10 hr, 26 rbi, 0 sb, .304 avg., .922 ops (.342 obp/.580 slg), .391 bb/K
‘05: 38 runs, 8 hr, 46 rbi, 0 sb, .302 avg., .795 ops (.359 obp/.436 slg), .860 bb/K, 305 ab

The power is back. Just look at the slugging percentage. While, interestingly, his batting average is
almost exactly the same as last year’s. Same avg + jump in slugging = comeback.


American League – Breakout Player candidates:
The updated, “My Rosters” personal watchlists available on fantasybaseballmoty.com now let you
click back-and-forth between YTD numbers and 2006 Projections — both including MOTY#s and 25
sortable stat categories. So it’s really easy to examine what’s happening vs. what was expected.
Making “breakout” players, like the following guys, readily apparent:

Mike Maroth sp (DET) – YTD MOTY#: 33.31   Proj: 6.25
YTD: 5 win, 0 sv, 17 K, 1.40 whip, 2.18 era, 1.21 K/bb, 7 gs (41.33 ip), 71% win pct
Proj: 12 win, 0 sv, 111 K, 1.37 whip, 4.59 era, 2.09 K/bb, 33 gs (208.0 ip), 46% win pct

Scott Kazmir sp (TB) – YTD MOTY#: 29.27   Proj: 22.90
YTD: 5 win, 0 sv, 48 K, 1.43 whip, 2.94 era, 2.67 K/bb, 8 gs (49.0 ip), 71% win pct
Proj: 12 win, 0 sv, 186 K, 1.39 whip, 3.82 era, 2.02 K/bb, 32 gs (191.0 ip), 55% win pct

Nick Swisher of (OAK) – YTD MOTY#: 23.80   Proj: 34.99
YTD: 32 runs, 12 hr, 30 rbi, 0 sb, .305 avg., 1.069 ops (.405 obp/.664 slg), .700 bb/K
Proj: 75 runs, 22 hr, 78 rbi, 1 sb, .249 avg., .801 ops (.342 obp/.459 slg), .590 bb/K

Alex Rios of (TOR) – YTD MOTY#: 23.74   Proj: 30.13
YTD: 24 runs, 8 hr, 27 rbi, 4 sb, .367 avg., 1.078 ops (.386 obp/.692 slg), .300 bb/K
Proj: 72 runs, 10 hr, 59 rbi, 14 sb, .274 avg., .742 ops (.326 obp/.416 slg), .330 bb/K

Chris Shelton 1b (DET) – YTD MOTY#: 17.92   Proj: 42.85
YTD: 22 runs, 11 hr, 22 rbi, 0 sb, .313 avg., 1.041 ops (.377 obp/.664 slg), .306 bb/K
Proj: 73 runs, 22 hr, 74 rbi, 0 sb, .294 avg., .868 ops (.359 obp/.509 slg), .450 bb/K



National League – Marlin of the … err, Rookie of the Year candidates:
You’ll probably notice the omission of Ryan Zimmerman 3b (WAS) and Josh Barfield 2b (SD). Both
deserve mention, but not quite in the same conversation (yet) as the following players:

Hanley Ramirez ss (FLA) – YTD MOTY#: 18.38   MTD: + 13.41   LW: + 5.70
YTD: 34 runs, 2 hr, 16 rbi, 10 sb, .345 avg., .903 ops (.406 obp/.497 slg), .412 bb/K

Without Ramirez in the deal, the Lowell/Beckett-to-Boston trade probably doesn’t get done. And we’re
starting to see why. As a rookie, Hanley tops ALL NL shortstops in the Weekly MOTY rankings … for
YTD, MTD and Last Week. Not only that, he’s #3 overall in the YTD rankings for all MLB ss, trailing
only Tejada and Jeter. It only gets better for MTD (2nd) and Last Week (1st). Still, keep a close eye on
him — compared to his 2005 AA stats, he is playing over his head:

’05 AA: 66 runs, 6 hr, 52 rbi, 26 sb, .271 avg., .720 ops (.335 obp/.385 slg), .630 bb/K
’05 MLB: Goose eggs across the board in 2 ab


Prince Fielder 1b (MIL) – YTD MOTY#: 17.00   MTD: + 14.50   LW: + 3.23
YTD: 24 runs, 8 hr, 22 rbi, 3 sb, .321 avg., .929 ops (.379 obp/.550 slg), .371 bb/K

Came into the season as RoY front-runner in most people’s minds. And still looking that way.
Though, taking a gander at ’05 AAA stats, his stolen bases this year aren’t as big a surprise as some
seem to think:

’05 AAA: 68 runs, 28 hr, 86 rbi, 8 sb, .291 avg., .957 ops (.388 obp/.569 slg), .580 bb/K
’05 MLB: 2 runs, 2 hr, 10 rbi, 0 sb, .288 avg., .764 ops (.306 obp/.458 slg), .120 bb/K


Josh Willingham of [c] (FLA) – YTD MOTY#: 14.27   MTD: + 6.66   LW: + 0.75
YTD: 14 runs, 7 hr, 29 rbi, 1 sb, .296 avg., .945 ops (.385 obp/.560 slg), .615 bb/K

Guess who can hit, and has at every level? Gotta love that catcher eligibility without the daily wear-and-
tear of having to actually play the position, especially in the humid Florida heat. Not much power in his
brief stint in the bigs last year, but the avg was there:

’05 AAA/A: 57 runs, 19 hr, 55 rbi, 5 sb, .320 avg., 1.112 ops (.450 obp/.662 slg), .840 bb/K
’05 MLB: 3 runs, 0 hr, 4 rbi, 0 sb, .304 avg., .755 ops (.407 obp/.348 slg), .400 bb/K


Dan Uggla 2b (FLA) – YTD MOTY#: 11.50   MTD: + 10.45   LW: + 3.01
YTD: 24 runs, 4 hr, 17 rbi, 3 sb, .301 avg., .808 ops (.359 obp/.449 slg), .524 bb/K

With his 2005 AA numbers, how is it that this guy came out of nowhere? Why was Pokey Reese even
part of the early spring training equation? Possibly for defensive considerations, but hey, this is
fantasy and “D” is of little consequence. Granted it was the minors, but given his stats last year, you’
da thunk one of the pundits would have mentioned him in the preseason:

’05 AA: 88 runs, 21 hr, 87 rbi, 15 sb, .297 avg., .880 ops (.378 obp/.502 slg), .500 bb/K
’05 MLB: No java for Dan last year, not even a sip


Conor Jackson 1b (ARI) – YTD MOTY#: 10.46   MTD: + 7.78   LW: + 1.09
YTD: 18 runs, 4 hr, 20 rbi, 0 sb, .292 avg., .853 ops (.372 obp/.481 slg), .929 bb/K

Looks like Mr. Jackson is more comfortable this year on the D’backs roster than he was last year
when he was called up:

’05 AA: 66 runs, 8 hr, 73 rbi, 3 sb, .354 avg., 1.010 ops (.457 obp/.553 slg), 2.16 bb/K
’05 MLB: 8 runs, 2 hr, 8 rbi, 0 sb, .200 avg., .609 ops (.303 obp/.306 slg), 1.09 bb/K


National League – Comeback Player candidates:
Like the AL, the National League offers a lot of guys returning to form, but not all made the shortlist for
Week 6. Some of the guys you might be missing below — Jose Vidro 2b (WAS), Edgar Renteria ss
(ATL), Woody Williams sp (SD) and Scott Rolen 3b (STL). The following guys have made a noticeable
resurgence:

Sidney Ponson sp (STL) – YTD MOTY#: 30.64   MTD: - 4.57   LW: 0.00
YTD: 3 win, 0 sv, 13 K, 1.28 whip, 2.81 era, 1.18 K/bb, 6 gs (32.0 ip), 100% win pct
‘05: 7 win, 0 sv, 68 K, 1.73 whip, 6.21 era, 1.42 K/bb, 23 gs (130.0 ip), 39% win pct

Wow. That’s a turnaround, despite having going on the DL May 9th. Supposedly, the Cardinals are
helping him get command of his life, which clearly includes his pitching — strikeouts are a little
underwhelming, but look at those ratios. Seems he’s regained control in more ways than one. But let’
s keep an eye on him after he’s activated.


Nomar Garciaparra 1b [3b,ss] (LAD) – YTD MOTY#: 16.74   MTD: + 16.74   LW: + 9.49
YTD: 15 runs, 5 hr, 22 rbi, 1 sb, .354 avg., 1.099 ops (.416 obp/.684 slg), 1.800 bb/K
‘05: 28 runs, 9 hr, 30 rbi, 0 sb, .283 avg., .772 ops (.320 obp/.452 slg), .500 bb/K, 230 ab

Opening the season on the DL was not the stuff of “comeback.” But since then, gotta think Nomar is
back (fingers crossed health-wise) and the front-runner for the award.


Austin Kearns of (CIN) – YTD MOTY#: 16.32   MTD: + 8.44   LW: - 0.09
YTD: 25 runs, 7 hr, 25 rbi, 2 sb, .306 avg., .903 ops (.369 obp/.535 slg), .400 bb/K
‘05: 62 runs, 18 hr, 67 rbi, 0 sb, .240 avg., .785 ops (.333 obp/.452 slg), .450 bb/K, 387 ab

Not the greatest 2006 vs 2005 stat turnaround of the trio, but remember the Reds were so
confounded by Kearns last year – exacerbated by a log jam of outfielders – that they sent him down to
AAA Louisville. Well, he’s back and he’s producing. Gotta love the jump in avg and ops. And that he’s
scored as many runs as he’s driven in.


National League – Breakout Player candidates:
Everybody has spring training hunches. And usually a favorite sleeper or two they target for the draft.
Were any of these guys, “your guy” for 2006?

Bronson Arroyo sp (CIN) – YTD MOTY#: 44.21   Proj: 25.73
YTD: 5 win, 0 sv, 43 K, 1.01 whip, 2.03 era, 3.58 K/bb, 8 gs (57.667 ip), 83% win pct
Proj: 12 win, 0 sv, 114 K, 1.30 whip, 4.31 era, 2.24 K/bb, 30 gs (192.0 ip), 57% win pct

Brad Hawpe of (COL) – YTD MOTY#: 15.18   Proj: 27.80
YTD: 16 runs, 8 hr, 23 rbi, 2 sb, .331 avg., .997 ops (.418 obp/.579 slg), .667 bb/K
Proj: 53 runs, 15 hr, 61 rbi, 2 sb, .270 avg., .798 ops (.351 obp/.447 slg), .580 bb/K

Xavier Nady of (NYM) – YTD MOTY#: 12.12   Proj: 22.46
YTD: 19 runs, 8 hr, 19 rbi, 1 sb, .292 avg., .884 ops (.345 obp/.538 slg), .417 bb/K
Proj: 48 runs, 14 hr, 48 rbi, 2 sb, .268 avg., .756 ops (.324 obp/.432 slg), .370 bb/K

Brian McCann c (ATL) – YTD MOTY#: 11.09   Proj: 21.67
YTD: 16 runs, 4 hr, 14 rbi, 1 sb, .340 avg., .932 ops (.388 obp/.544 slg), .800 bb/K
Proj: 44 runs, 11 hr, 49 rbi, 2 sb, .272 avg., .767 ops (.341 obp/.426 slg), .700 bb/K



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