Blog Entry

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

Posted on: May 1, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 1:03 pm

By Matt Snyder

April was a month chock full of big individual performances in the ultimate team sport.

April's Best
Expert Batter Pitcher
Knobler Bautista Weaver
Miller Bautista Weaver
Brunell Bautista Garza
Rosecrans Bautista Johnson
Snyder Bautista Weaver
Fantasy Bautista Weaver
It was a month when we saw Andre Ethier put together a 26-game hitting streak en route to a .380 batting average. We saw his teammate Matt Kemp storm out of the gate as hot as anyone and slug a few walk-off home runs. Lance Berkman and Alfonso Soriano have apparently discovered the fountain of youth, while Alex Gordon had a breakout month four years in the making. Ryan Braun and Joey Votto have hit the ball as consistently well as anyone in the game. Matt Holliday returned in less than two weeks from an appendectomy and continued to mash. In the Big Apple, veteran Alex Rodriguez and youngster Ike Davis have been raking. Carlos Quentin and Troy Tulowitzki had stretches where they were hitting everything in sight. Ben Zobrist had one incredible double-dip and young Brett Wallace is finally making good on his promise.

April was also a time where Josh Johnson dominated the entire NL. Dan Haren showed he can still be a staff ace, while Michael Pineda showed glimpses of his ace potential. Matt Garza learned how to strike guys out at a much higher rate than ever before, while Roy Halladay just continued to do what he's done for his entire career. Alexi Ogando and Justin Masterson have surprised in a good way, while Jaime Garcia and Trevor Cahill prove last year was no fluke. Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang and Josh Beckett turned back the clock, while Zach Britton showed up a bit early. And what has gotten into James Shields?

April was about much more than everything above, but those are just a few of the players who have come through with exciting performances thus far in 2011 as we turn the calendar to May.  

But above and beyond all else, in terms of individual players, April was all about Jose Bautista and Jered Weaver -- just look at the staff awards for April's top batter and pitcher.

Batter of the Month
Danny Knobler Scott Miller
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
No top player in baseball had more to prove, because no other player had so many people asking whether he could repeat 2010. His major-league high 28 walks show the respect that comes with a 54-home run season, but his nine home runs and American League-leading .366 batting average show he's taking advantage when they pitch to him.
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Not only is Bautista leading the AL in both batting and homers, he's also leading in OPS and runs scored. Nobody matched his combination of average and production in the first month -- though Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist gave it his one-day best during the doubleheader in Minnesota last week!
Evan Brunell C. Trent Rosecrans
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Pitchers are rightfully terrified of Jose Bautista these days as he is delivering with a .366 average and nine home runs entering play Sunday. He's one of three qualified players with an OBP over .500. Overall, just a dominant month by someone who still had plenty of doubters. What are they thinking now?
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
As unbelievably good as Bautista's 2010 was, his April of 2011 was not only better -- but significantly better. Not only does he lead the majors in on-base percentage (.532), slugging (.780), OPS+ (235), walks (28) and runs (25), while leading the American League in homers (9) and batting average (.366) -- he hasn't even grounded into a double play so far this year.
Matt Snyder Fantasy -- Scott White
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
His breakout season in 2010 was an incredible outlier as compared to his previous career numbers, but it most certainly wasn't a fluke. Bautista's numbers are showing he's one of the game's most feared sluggers, including an MLB-high 28 walks heading into Sunday. 
Jose Bautista Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Not only did Bautista lead all of baseball in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage, but he led all hitters in Fantasy points -- and he did it despite missing half a week for a personal matter. That's one way to quiet the skeptics coming off his out-of-nowhere 54-homer campaign.
Pitcher of the Month
Knobler Miller
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
It's hard not to pick Josh Johnson, who had us thinking no-hitter in nearly every start. But as Scott Miller pointed out in his fine column last week, only seven pitchers since World War II have gone 6-0 in their team's first 23 games with a WHIP under 1.00. I can't think of much that Johnson did wrong. I can't think of anything Weaver did wrong.
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Weaver's WHIP (0.79) is ridiculous, and when a lineup as disciplined as the A's begin hacking at first pitches because they know they don't have a chance if Weaver gets ahead -- as the Athletics did last Monday night -- you know it's a special guy.
Brunell Rosecrans
Matt Garza Matt Garza, Cubs
Garza is 1-3, but that doesn't mean he's awful. His 1.98 xFIP leads baseball along with an 11.87 K/9; his peripherals suggest he's actually been unlucky so far, too. He's baseball's hottest pitcher hidden behind a won-loss record that does not reflect actual pitching performance.
Josh Johnson Josh Johnson, Marlins
It wasn't until his sixth and final start of April -- on the last day of the month, no less -- that Johnson had allowed a hit to any batter the first time through the order. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on opening day and took a no-no into the eighth in third start. His 3-0 record and 0.88 ERA are only the tip of the iceberg when describing how good he was this month.
Snyder Fantasy -- Al Melchior
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Very tough to pick someone other than Johnson here, but I give the nod to Weaver based upon his having thrown more innings, complete games and strikeouts with less walks in the same number of starts. Otherwise, they're basically identical and have been completely dominant.
Jered Weaver Jered Weaver, Angels
Josh Johnson may have a slightly lower ERA, and Roy Halladay may have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio, but nobody has been closer to perfection than Weaver. All six of his appearances have been quality starts, and he has allowed more than one run only once.

Danny Knobler and Scott Miller are Senior MLB Writers; Evan Brunell, C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder are Eye on Baseball Bloggers; Al Melchior is a Fantasy Data Analyst; and Scott White is a Fantasy Writer.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:21 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 31, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:13 am

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

You're joking of course DRB7393!!  Any other choice but Bautista would be ludicrous and would mean you know squat about baseball!!

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:49 am

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

there were some other great hitting stars -- votto, braun, kemp, berkman -- but nobody was as good as bautista. it wasn't even close. it was tough to argue anyone other than weaver, but it was impossible to give it to anyone but bautista
-- ctr

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2011 1:36 pm

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

How about we expand the hitter choices a little more than Bautista. He's not the only one swinging a hot bat.
Seriously?  This isn't a list of who's hot.  It's the one hottest hitter for the month, and not one guy you mentioned approaches Bautista's April.  Peter Bourjos?  Don't be an idiot.  Why would his name even come up?  Bautista's currently hitting 58 points higher, has an OPS 460 points higher, and killing him in every other offensive category.  Since the topic is best hitter for April, who would be unconsciounably stupid enough to even consider Bourjos?  Hell, Bourjos' deal is supposed to be speed, and Bautista even has twice as many steals as Bourjos.  And Bourjos has a horrific 1-5 BB/K ratio (for a slap hitter!), and Bautista is 2-1 BB/K.  The same arguments can be made in comparison with any player you mentioned.

Bautista had a Bonds-esque month.  You might want to go home, sober up, and try again when the fog clears.

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: May 2, 2011 1:16 pm

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

your an idiot bautista is on pace for nearly 200 walks and 50+ homers and 186 runs in 144 games....

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2011 8:48 am

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

DRB are you kidding me, can anyone be more dominating than bautista was............but thanks for your two cents...moron.

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2011 3:22 am

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

I agree DRB that Braun, Kemp, Berkman, Cano and Soriano should be in the conversation but you lost alot of credibility by adding Peter Boujous. He's not in the to 50 and he's a rookie.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:35 pm

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

narrow minded?  Jose Bautista has hands down been the best hitter in baseball.  while rbis are great.. It's not Jose Bautista's fault guys arent often in scoring postion when he's up. And when they are in Scoring postion, he gets walked.  Not only is bautista leading in avg, but hr, Slug, OPS.  The man is on fire.  there are other great performances of the month no doubt.  But come on.. Open YOUR narror mind and smell the coffee.  It's an easy choice.  If he played for the Yankees, Phillies, or Red Sox I'm sure you'd have no problem with this vote... but because he plays for The Toronto Blue Jays, you're having a misfit.  Deal with it

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 7:17 pm

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

Not sure how A-roid is on that list, hardly raking it at 5 hrs....he's not even the top ranked 3rd baseman, let alone of the best hitterson the year. Stop giving NY tomuch credit. If anything, Cano is raking..

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: May 1, 2011 7:05 pm

Players of the Month: Bautista, Weaver

How about we expand the hitter choices a little more than Bautista. He's not the only one swinging a hot bat. As stated above, there are also Soriano, Braun, Ethier, Kemp, and many many others. But here are some that didn't even make this post's list: Ryan Howard (27 RBI leads MLB), Placido Polanco (also tied with Ethier for most hits with 41), There's Peter Bourjos, Prince Fielder, Lance Berkman, and Robinson Cano to name a few more. This has to be a post that is more open to others' opinions. Sure these are White's, Snyder's, Brunell's, Knobler's, Miller's, and Rosencran's opinions, but c'mon guys, you can't be that narrowminded in choosing a standout star. 
In regards to the pitchers, at least the opinions are more open, and not everyone picked Weaver.

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