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Roto Renaissance Men (Week 12)
Nate Springfield | Tuesday June 29th, 2010
From BBP Podcast to Renaissance Man. (AP)
From BBP Podcast to Renaissance Man. (AP)
Mat Latos
From BBP Podcast to Renaissance Man. (AP)

Renaissance Man [ren' i-sans' man] n - a man who knows a lot about many different subjects and has many practical skills and abilities.

At the beginning of each week I am going to take a look at some Rotisserie Renaissance Men from the previous week. Stats in this edition cover the week of June 21th - 27th. These are the hitters that are solid contributors to all 5 roto categories and pitchers who are doing things right in 4 - and possibly 5 categories some weeks. Whether these guys are sitting on your bench or your league's waiver wire, they probably need to be in a starting line-up while they are staying hot.

The offensive selections this week focus more on speed than power.  With the lack of hitters with big home run numbers to be able to swipe a bag, we are including a couple stolen base guys that also went deep this last week.  We also welcome back for the first time in a few weeks a Relief Pitcher/Closer to that side of the coin.  Along with a couple guys with the proclivity to strike men out, you get this week's Roto Renaissance Men.

Hitters

Justin Upton OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
(21 AB, .571 AVG, 6 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB)
It may have taken a little longer this year than last, but it appears that Justin is starting to look like that player that everyone thought would be a top 5 to 10 outfielder this year.  6 of his 14 home runs have come in the month of June and he has seen his average jump from .249 to .271 during the same time period.  If he can produce in the second half like he has in June look for all of his career best numbers to change by the end of the year.

Shin-Soo Choo - OF, Cleveland Indians
(20 AB, .250 AVG, 5 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB)
If Choo played for just about any other team besides the Indians he would have much better counting numbers and be in top fantasy outfielder discussions everywhere.  Unfortunately Cleveland has struggled with injuries, which in turn has moved Choo all over an inconsistent line-up, giving him little protection and opportunity for counting stat production.  All that said Choo is still a very viable option in any outfield, he could just be so much better than what he is.

David Wright - 3B, New York Mets
(22 AB, .500 AVG, 7 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB)

David Wright is starting to lead the Mets offense by example.  Getting hot, along with Jose Reyes, has turned the Mets into a team that is buying to try to take make a run for the play off spot in the NL East.  Even though David's strike out rate is still high based on his history, the turn around at the plate can probably be attributed to him swinging and missing less.  In April and May he struck out 65 times in 220 plate appearances, striking out every 3.4 times he stepped up to the plate.  In June that has improved, striking out 23 times in 101 plate appearances, or just once every 4.4 times he came up to hit.  A whole plate appearance better.
Pitchers

Mat Latos - SP, San Diego
(12.2 IP, 1 W, 13 K, 0.71 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
As we mentioned on our second podcast last week, Mat Latos may be the best pitcher in the National League that most people have not taken a look at.  A lot of factors contribute to this of course, he is young, was drafted straight out of high school and he plays on the West Coast for the Padres.  I know I usually don't include 1 win guys as Renaissance Men but Latos really pitched well enough to earn the win on Sunday.  A tying run was scored after he left the game keeping his weekly total at just 1 Win.  Even without multiple wins his ERA and WHIP numbers edge him in as our top performer of the week.

Mariano Rivera - RP, New York Yankees
(5 IP, 2 W, 8 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 1 S)
As you can see by the his weekly ERA, Mo did not earn those wins by blowing saves.  In fact he pitched multiple innings to chalk up wins this week which just goes to show you why he is one of the elite closers in the game.  Of course the example of how Mo made it onto the list, by the situations he was put in, is the exact opposite of why Latos was included, but playing for the Yankees does have it's perks.  Look for Mo to maybe lose a save opportunity at the beginning of the week to rest his arm after going 2 innings Sunday night against the Dodgers, but still worth having active all week of course.

Edwin Jackson - SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

(9 IP, 1 W, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)
Okay, I got a lot of flack for not including some previous no-hit and perfect game pitchers because they lacked the Win totals of some other pitchers that week.  Well by including Latos above I couldn't not put Edwin Jackson on the list.  A no-hitter is a no-hitter no matter if you walked 8 guys in the process or not - he still has a WHIP under 1 for the game.  A couple things to worry about though, the high pitch count and the lack of control.  The D-backs are going to give him an extra day of rest because of the pitch count - and you can't blame A.J. Hinch for letting him go, he had a no-hitter - and he isn't a "young arm" but the combination of fatigue and control problems is not good for any pitcher.


Nate SpringfieldNate Springfield joined the Baseball Press crew for the 2010 season and hosts the site's podcast. His love for the game has grown thanks to fantasy baseball, with a specialty in NL-only auction leagues. You can contact him at nate@baseballpress.com or follow him on Twitter @NateSpringfield.