Cubs

Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

Buy

Carlos Gomez, OF, Brewers: He's still swinging from his heels like he's the second coming of Jose Canseco, but after a sizzling July (.274, five homers, 11 steals), we'll leave him alone. Gomez can take a bag almost any time he likes (he's 19-for-23 on the year) and the Brewers are letting him bat in the No. 2 slot, even with his lack of patience. Power and speed combos are wonderful rotisserie finds, no matter how much batting-average risk you might be taking on.

Travis Snider, OF, Pirates: Get out the post-hype sleeper file, it's time for another entry. Snider was considered a Top 10 prospect as recently as 2009, but let's not call him a bust today - he's still just 24. We saw Snider mashing Triple-A pitching over the last few years (a .333.412.565 slash gets your attention) and the Bucs are going to use him every day and perhaps slot him leadoff as well. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a young player needs to get over the hump.

Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds: He's cracked 13 homers over the last two months and yet he's unowned in over 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues. A home address in hitter-friendly Cincinnati is a good start for Ludwick, and his average actually jumps 57 points on the road. You can buy in and trust him as a regular, Dusty Baker already has. Swing for the fences.

Sell

Marco Scutaro, Utility, Giants: San Francisco should have realized the pitfalls of Scutaro - his home OPS is 245 points higher this season, a clear residual from Coors Field. The Giants will welcome Scutaro's versatility and professionalism, but they shouldn't be using him near the top of the lineup.

Pedro Ciriaco, Utility, Red Sox: The .348 average and six steals sound nice, but Ciriaco is the type of hack-first batter that tends to get figured out quickly by opposing pitching staffs. Ciriaco only had six walks in 289 plate-appearances at Triple-A this year, and he spent eight seasons in the minors for a reason. There's nothing long-term to grab onto here.

Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays: The 21-year-old hasn't done much in his first go-round, just 5-for-28 since joining the club (with 12 strikeouts). He's flashed elite speed at every minor-league level, but there's still no way to swipe first base in this game. When Jose Bautista is ready to play again, Gose probably slides to the bench (or to the minors).

Hold

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals: Despite a static line-drive rate and KBB ratios, Hosmer has dropped 62 BABIP points this year. His HRFB clip is down three percent as well. This has fluke written all over it, and it's a perfect time to quietly make an inquiry for Hosmer in your keeper league.

Delmon Young, OF, Tigers: His fundamentals are all over the place, but at least he's been more selective of late (a season-high six walks in July). And Young's connections have also been fun: five homers last month, and strong run-production stats in the middle of Detroit's deep lineup. Young can't play the outfield to save his life, but the Tigers DH him about 75 percent of the time. Not a bad support bat for the end of your roster.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 49th homer of the season came with a runner on 1st and one out, when Oriel Hershiser served up a high fastball that Sammy belted 415 feet into the last few rows in left-center field. 

Sosa would later start the game-winning rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring the game-tying run on a Henry Rodriguez single through the right side of the infield. Jose Hernandez would step in the next at-bat and walk it off with a base hit that scored Mark Grace, as Sammy and the Cubs bested the Giants 6-5. 

Fun Fact: A 33-year-old Barry Bonds would hit home run No. 25, finishing the season with 37 homers. He would finish the next season with 34 dingers but would string five consecutive seasons with at least 45 home runs, of course hitting a record 73 home runs in 2001. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

Pete McMurray, David Haugh and Ben Finfer join David Kaplan on the panel and discuss the long-awaited arrival of Michael Kopech for the White Sox, Yu Darvish's short rehab start and Mitch Trubisky's second preseason game.

Plus, they discuss new NFL rules and when Eloy Jimenez could get his call up.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: