Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 6/24/13
We are back with another installment of our weekly survey write-up. This week we asked you about a no name pitcher that MUST be on your radar, some first basemen who are on fire, a potential NEW closer, a post hype sleeper pitcher and a power/speed slugger turning things around. Throughout the week we received a whole bunch of responses, crunched the numbers, and now you get to see the results!These surveys can help you dominate your league in a couple ways.The results are a great way for you to lean what your competition is thinkingThe survey itself can point you in the directions of trending players, buzz worthy news, and waiver wire ideasPlus, it’s just fun!The week 13 survey highlights an ace pitcher’s value, top prospect hitter, uncertain future of a top pitcher, an injured slugger and a chance for you to get creative…so be sure to check it out!Click here to take the Week 13 survey!Now on to Week 12′s results! (Note: all stats are as of Saturday morning)1) Just how good is Corey Kluber?Quick recap: A third of you are ignoring his impressive and out of nowhere ride, but almost 50% are playing it safe and keeping him on the wire for now. A minority, 18%, aren’t taking any chances of missing out and think there just might be something to this Kluber guy.My take: Who is Corey Kluber not to be great? Kluber, with the imagination of a brilliant child and the powers of Cy Young. Who is Kluber to be ordinary? Kluber, who could weather a difficult schedule, and has little name value…Who is Kluber to be anonymous? Kluber, whose name should be spoken in reverent tones or in terrified whispers. Who is Kluber to be afraid? Kluber, who can serve as judge and jury while hoarding infinite lives. Who is Kluber to be a slave to the past? Kluber who can travel time like the oceans and rewrite history with a single pitch. Who is Kluber to deny greatness? If Kluber would deny it to himself, Kluber would deny it to the entire world. Greatness awaits.Actually, these aren’t my words, I wish they were but it is just a Kluberized version of the new Sony Playstation commercial. I admit I don’t actually think “greatness awaits,” (for Sony or Kluber) but I do think he should be scooped up if available. Normally, I would need to see a lot more than just 65IP or so to decide on whether I “believe” in a guy or not, but in this case I have seen enough. I am not saying I think he is a top 30 pitcher, but I am saying he MUST be added in an even Ryan Depster is owned in 50% of ESPN leagues kind of way. On the season his numbers won’t exactly jump off the page and hit you in the face, but a 3.58 ERA and 1.18 WHIP are more than respectable, and seem to be improving with each and every start since a rough May. In fact, in the last 30 days he has a 1.76 ERA and .95 WHIP (including an 8 IP shutout in Texas)! His component stats also impress; K/9 of 8.95 (which is higher than Clayton Kershaw’s) and a K/BB rate of 5.42 (which is 6th best in the league). If you are the kind of person who thinks FIP or xFIP has predictive value then you should pick him up even more aggressively as his is 3.15 and 2.94 respectively.2) Which first baseman’s hot streak should be taken most seriously?Quick recap: More than half, 52%, have the most faith in Adam Lind’s revival, with another 18% coming in support of Kyle Blanks. Far less, 14%, are putting any stock in Mike Carp’s last few weeks, with most fantasy owners writing off Tyler Colvin despite him actually having the best 2012 of the bunch. My take: I agree with the group this time around. Lind has been awesome so far this year. At least this much is undeniable, but the big question is whether he can keep it going. While I don’t think there is any way he will hit over .300 for the rest of the year (take a look at that .370+ BABIP), there are several stark improvements to his plate discipline that make me think he is going to rekindle a bit of his magical 2010 season. For starters, projecting his power is low hanging fruit, as even during his last three bad seasons he still hit over 23 HR in two of them. So this year I expect him to finish with at least 20 HR again. The more intriguing part to his 2013 has been his swing decision making, or SDM for short. Not only is he walking over 10% of the time, but he has drastically reduced his tendency to swing at pitches outside the strike zone from 31% to 24%. This is a huge drop and perhaps what has led to the decrease in ground balls and increase in LD rate. Thank you Lind for figuring out that if you stop chasing balls, you will swing at better pitches and make solid contact – who knew! Anyways, that is a formula for success and why I am buying the 2013 version of Lind. For the record, I also think Blanks is definitely worthy of a flyer, but I don’t like him quite as much as Lind.  3) Is this the real Rick Porcello? Quick recap: Similar to Kluber, majority (52%) of our fantasy community is keeping Rick Porcello on their radar, but not quite ready to make the pick up just yet. Though 26% are buying this, which is definitely more than we saw with Kluber, another 22% believe this is just par for the course with Porcello’s inconsistent career and have likely been there done that…I know I have!My take: It is somewhat common to see a lucky pitcher with a solid ERA, despite having a troubling WHIP. However, when it comes to Porcello he is just the opposite. He has an uninspiring ERA despite a tidy WHIP. This makes sense though because when it comes to Porcello nothing is the usual…in fact the only thing you can count on is inconsistency. The reason for the discrepancy this year is from not giving away free passes, and simultaneously limiting the number of hits (hence the good WHIP), but the type of hits is where he runs into issues. He is getting killed on home runs (hence the bad ERA) – by the way, he hasn’t had a skewed tendency to give up lots of HR in the past so just more of that inconsistent year to year performance I am talking about. Another example is his all of the sudden K/9 over 7, when throughout his career it has been in the 5s. Basically, it is hard to tell exactly what to make of Porcello because so many of his numbers are all over the place from year to year. He has certainly burned me before so I’m probably not going to actively try and own him, the scars run deep, but on a hunch I am going to lean towards buying this recent pretty good stretch based on the expectation that his HR rate declines back towards his career average. For the moment, I recommend picking him up, but that can change at any moment.4) What to make of the Mariners bullpen…Quick recap: Whether it is due to a lack of faith in the alternatives or a belief that Tom Wilhelmsen will get it together, 72% think he is most likely to lead the team in saves the rest of the way. If he isn’t able to get it done, there was a big divide between whether Oliver Perez or Carter Capps gets the nod.My take: I can just see the Mariners bullpen now, passing time in the 4th inning waiting for their chance and singing the song “if he can’t do it no one can.”  Well they take that song literraly because if Wilhelmsen can’t close no one on the team can. It doesn’t seem like there will be much hope going forward for Wilhelmsen either. I think the Mariners want him to be the guy (so they can trade him), and he will probably get every opportunity to win that job back, but given his ERA north of 10 and WHIP of 2.00 over the last month clearly something isn’t right. I also have no faith in Capps, who despite having a fireball fastball can’t seem to get anyone out. I would be very surprised if he was allowed to handle the 9th any time soon. Lastly and most surprisingly, Perez has been fantastic…well, on the surface anyways. For the short term, in certain situations he will conceivably pick up a few saves here and there if the match ups are right, but definitely not someone to trust given his love of walks – no matter what the ERA is. The guy who probably should be closing, is Charlie Furbush. Despite being a lefty, he has been unhittable against batters on both sides of the plate this year and has his usual killer K rate. Unfortunately, since there has been almost no chatter about him I expect him to continue to be used in his normal 9th inningless high leverage situations.  That makes the dark horse candidate, who I have a decent feeling will get a shot is Yoervis Medina. He is a bit of an unknown, but has pitched well and absolutely must be monitored as a save candidate.5) B.J. Upton, question mark…enough said periodQuick recap: Two thirds think B.J. Upton still stinks…plain and simple. Can you blame the other 33%?!My take: He does, he %@$#@ does indeed %$@&* stink! Here is the obvious: He is striking out on almost a third of his AB, he is on pace for a career low in R and RBI, he is still hitting under the Mendoza line and there has been no improvement over the past month…oh and despite having more than 30 SB in each of the past 6 seasons he only has 6 so far this year…thanks BJ. There really isn’t anything positive to say about B.J. except maybe he will, um, I guess he could, yeeeeeaaaah….there is nothing positive to say. Comment, ask questions or whatever you want on twitter @ANodBaseball, I dare you
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