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Mid-Season Mailbag
Reggie Yinger | Friday July 16th, 2010
Can rookie Brennan Boesch last all season? (AP)
Can rookie Brennan Boesch last all season? (AP)
Brennan Boesch
Can rookie Brennan Boesch last all season? (AP)
The Baseball Press crew is always down to answer baseball related questions.  Over the past few weeks, we received a lot of inquires from top prospect questions, trade questions, and general baseball.

So with that said, I've opened up the mailbag and have pulled a few questions out that myself and Nate Springfield have answered over the past few weeks.  As always, if you have a fantasy related or general baseball question, feel free to shoot us a tweet over on Twitter, or simply shoot us an email.

And away we go..

Our first question comes from Adam Spencer via Twitter: 

"Who will have the better second half for the Detroit Tigers? Magglio Ordonez or Brennan Boesch ?


Nate Springfield: With Brennan Boesch coming almost out of no where this season and Magglio Ordonez making the 2009 season look like a mistake this year, this is a tough question.  I am going to have to revert to the BAbip (Batting Average of Balls in Play) stat and player's tendencies to regress to the mean to make the call on this one.  A player's BAbip should settle right around .300 with flyball hitters settling a little lower and line drive/speed guys a little higher.  Boesch's BAbip for the season is .384, which is extremely high no matter what kind of hitter you are.  In his 23 at-bats in April, with a BAbip of .278, his batting average sat at .261 with one home run.  I would guess he should settle somewhere close to that average here on out.  Mag's BAbip on the year is .319, which is only a point higher than his career .318 BAbip.  As long as he stays healthy I would put my money on Ordonez at this point in time for a better second half.

Our next question comes from Dave in Texas via e-mail

"Which Tampa Bay Rays prospect will be called up first? Desmond Jennings or Jeremy Hellickson?"

Reggie Yinger: First and foremost, both prospects are tremendous athletes and have dominated the minor leagues to this point.  Jennings is hitting .297/.375/.419 this season at Triple-A Durham with 21 stolen bases.  This is also the same speedster that stole over 50 bags last season while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, being caught just one time.  Prior to this season, Desmond was rated the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America and has recently moved up to the No. 3 spot on the Top 25 Mid-Season Prospects list from BA (just in front of Hellickson).  Desmond projects to be a solid defender while in the outfield and has the skills to reach base and cause havoc for opposing teams. Jeremy Hellickson has a 104/26 K/BB ratio over 106 innings this season, while compiling a 11-2 record with a 2.21 ERA.  While Hellickson has been terrific in Triple-A, what's the rush to move him?  The Rays rotation currently consists of James Shields , Matt Garza , David Price , Jeff Niemann , and Wade Davis .  Now while Wade Davis has been questionable this season (4.0 BB/9 and 1.46 WHIP this season) - he certainly hasn't been outright awful.  My choice for being called up first - Desmond Jennings.

Next up - Patrick McCurry via Twitter:

"Should I deal outfielders Shane Victorino and Delmon Young for pitcher Max Scherzer ?  I already have an OF consisting of Corey Hart , Jayson Werth , Alexis Rios , Carlos Quentin , and Carlos Beltran .  Head-to-Head league and my pitching is thin"

Reggie Yinger: Looking at the deal first glance, it doesn't appear to be a great deal for yourself.  But when you add in your outfield depth, you can obviously do without the services of Victorino and Young, without hurting your team drastically.  Victorino and Young have been decent this year and you only stand to lose some points in the steals and runs categories.  Victorino's average is way down which can be frustrating and talks of Young's power are out there, but he simply hasn't done it on the diamond.  Scherzer is bouncing back from a recent trip to the minors and is posting huge strikeout ratios.  While his ERA and WHIP numbers are suspect, owners will look past his disastrous start to the season and should start focusing in on his  ~9 K/9 average ratio.  Since returning from Triple-A, Scherzer has posted a 5-2 record with a 2.44 ERA and a 10.8 K/9 ratio.  You could certainly pull this deal off without question if your team is weak on pitching, but why not see if you can "sweeten" the deal up?  In addition to acquiring Max, here are some other names that can help you in the non-strikeout categories: Jonathon Niese , Jeff Niemann , Ryan Dempster , and Jair Jurrjens . Just to name a few, maybe try to target a pitcher like the ones mentioned above who can help in the wins or ERA category - It never hurts to try.

Finally, our last question comes from Chad in WI via e-mail:

"Pick 2 of 3 for the rest of the 2010 season - Felipe Lopez , Jason Bartlett , and Jose Lopez "

Nate Springfield: With health being equal of course I see Felipe Lopez as the odd man out in this group.  Even though both Jason Bartlett and Jose Lopez has struggled in the first half I think they will see more at-bats in the second half than Felipe.  Even if Felipe is named an every day guy, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa plays roulette with anyone in his line-up not named Albert Pujols , Matt Holliday or Yadier Molina for no reason sometimes.  

Couple things on the other guys to make you want to pick them instead of just leaving Felipe off the list.  Bartlett's BAbip is sitting at a mere .267 on the year.  Low compared to the MLB average and well below his lifetime BAbip of .320.  Also in the last 15 games he is hitting right around .370.  Jose Lopez's bat is starting to show some life, and with talks of getting traded being slotted into a better line-up can only help him at the plate.  I don't think you have to worry about him getting traded and losing time because the Mariner's will ask for enough in exchange that the team getting him will have to play him.



Well that's it for the mailbag this time around.  Keep sending in the great questions and we'll be sure to either answer them on the Baseball Press Podcast or over the internet.

Reggie YingerReggie is a writer and the co-founder of Baseball Press. He enjoys fantasy baseball and hates when players bunt in baseball.