Every season, James Loney is a sought after name on draft day. In the past he has been taken much higher, but after two very similar (and very mediocre) seasons, fantasy owners are starting to smarten up. Still, every season Loney seems to get more love than a other first basemen who aren’t far off when you compare the numbers. Last season Billy Butler was one of the names that was far less owned and had a huge second half. Will there be a similar case this season?
James Loney .286/.325/.429, 4 HR, 30 R, 32 RBI, 6 SB
Owned: ESPN 100%, Yahoo! 75%
Adam LaRoche .271/.365/.494, 7 HR, 32 R, 33 RBI, 0 SB
Owned: ESPN 93%, Yahoo! 55% (Diff -7%, -20%)
LaRoche is on pace to do what he does just about every season, but he has actually been a bit better in the AVG department early this season. With better career numbers post-all-star break, LaRoche should be owned and at least stashed in almost all leagues. I’d take him over Loney from July on in any season.
Troy Glaus .274/.368/.434, 8 HR, 25 R, 37 RBI, 0 SB
Owned: ESPN 58%, Yahoo! 25% (Diff -42%, -50%)
It has been a great comeback story for Glaus, who some thought would never be the same after major shoulder surgery. The Braves stuck with him through a cold April and are reaping the rewards since. Clearly, if Glaus can stay healthy, he is going to out homer Loney. Glaus also has more RBI and only five fewer runs scored to this point. With Kendry Morales down and out, Glaus should be owned in more leagues.
Garrett Jones .261/340/.415, 6 HR, 22 R, 32 RBI, 3 SB
Owned: ESPN 89%, Yahoo! 53% (Diff -11%, -22%)
After a booming start to April, Jones struggled for most of the rest of the month to a .207 AVG. Jones then hit .302 in May, albeit with only two home runs. With as much raw power as anyone, Jones should start seeing more balls leave the yard. When all is said and done, he’ll likely have more home runs and close to as many (if not more) stolen bases than Loney. The AVG might not matchup, but if Loney hits in the .280′s as he has the last two seasons, Jones won’t be that far behind.
Aubrey Huff .292/.380/.468, 6 HR, 26 R, 23 RBI, 1 SB
Owned: ESPN 22%, Yahoo! 16% (Diff -78%, -59%)
Just to show the difference between hitting in the Dodgers lineup and the Giants lineup, Huff has only 6 fewer hits in 25 fewer at bats. He also has only four fewer runs scored 11 fewer RBI and the same number of home runs with a higher AVG/OBP/SLG. Huff has really started to heat up. After after he hit .242 in April, he put up a .330 AVG in May with four home runs. The difference between Huff and Loney for the rest of the season may be a lot closer than one would think.