With the trade deadline approaching, a flurry of moves will be made. Some players will end up benefiting from these changes, while others will be hurt. Our look at the Senior Circuit today is headlined by an address change for one of the biggest names in baseball.
Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals: I just wrote about him in the AL piece last week. But post-trade, he's a must add for those in NL-only formats. He's collected two multihit games since the deal and already has four doubles with the Cards. Having OBP machine Albert Pujols in front of him will give him tons of chances to drive in runs, further increasing his value.
Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pirates: He helped force Adam LaRoche out of town with his major league-leading 10 homers in July. With a line of .307/12/49 in the minors prior to his promotion, he's shown no signs of slowing down. I'm beginning to believe, especially considering he's doing his damage with a .317 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) that's only slightly above average. His 81.2 contact percentage is further evidence that he's a great add down the stretch.
Josh Willingham, OF, Nationals: After an embarrassing April in which he hit only .143 with a single home run, he's been above .300 in each month since, awarding his patient owners with 13 long balls as well. His .323 BABIP is a bit high, but a slight correction shouldn't drag his season average of .291 down much.
Chad Gaudin, P, Padres: It's been a great month for this Padres' hurler, with an ERA of 2.87 and four quality starts. His 8.97 K/9 rate has been very strong this year, and his FIP (fielding independent) ERA of 3.67 shows how well he's pitched despite his season ERA of 4.57. He is a nice back-of-the-rotation pitcher who should give you a great return relative to his waiver-wire cost.
Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers: The power hasn't quite come yet (13 homers in '09), but he is still on pace for 20 this season and should be a 30-homer bat in his prime. Still, you can't complain with his line of .314/13/55 and 21 steals. Expect similar production going forward and even better things in 2010.
Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers: He's been a monumental disappointment this year, but he's showing signs of life since Manny Ramirez returned, compiling a line of .309/2/10 over the past month. He's scored 20 runs as well. If his speed rebounds, he could be a nice little second-half sleeper. But proceed with caution until you see evidence of a commitment to run.
Chris Volstad, P, Marlins: He's a young pitcher who's shown growth in his second season, particularly in his K/9 rate (6.16) and BB/9 (2.79). He's been lucky this year, with a .269 BABIP, part of the reason his FIP ERA sits at 4.84.
Corey Hart, OF, Brewers: I've been hesitant to put him here all season, and part of me is doing this in hopes of reversing the jinx, but he deserves it. His .259/10/39 line is unacceptable, especially for owners who used a high pick on him with the expectation that he'd be a season-long fixture in their outfield. A .310 BABIP shows luck isn't the problem; he's just been bad. Cut ties now if you haven't already, there are some good young options available.
Mike Pelfrey, P, Mets: It seems like the more Big Pelf licks his hands, the worse his stats get. He's been getting licked this last month by opposing lineups — 5.90 ERA and 1.52 WHIP during that stretch. He has a crummy 4.58 K/9 rate without great control (3.19 BB/9). Owners toiling in mixed formats should forget him.