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Matt Kemp and Dianetics

We're one month in, and Matt Kemp is having a Barry Bonds-steroid-era type start to the season. His home run-to-fly ball rate is an impossible 60%. I do not have him on any teams.

In fact, after his 2010, I traded him to my archnemesis in a no-limit keeper league. That archnemesis's name is Jim. Perhaps you, too, are fated with a Jim. I'd like to dedicate this post, then, to the Jims of fantasy baseball leagues everywhere: Jims, may your star players all discover the intricate metaphysics of Scientology and leave baseball to follow the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Speaking of which, have you ever heard of Operation Snow White, the largest infiltration of the United States Government in history? 

April was cruel indeed. But we have five more months!

Dave Cameron wrote a nice piece yesterday on Kemp's April over at FanGraphs; check it. Kemp's video-game start had me curious about the home run-to-fly ball leaders in April. Astonishingly, three of the five hitters following Kemp are catchers:

Curtis Granderson: 36.4%

Josh Hamilton: 36.0%

Buster Posey: 33.3%

Mike Napoli: 33.3%

Matt Wieters: 31.6%

And Carlos Santana is at 23.1%. Sadly, none of these catchers are on any of my teams. Granderson's splits were impressive: 32.2% line drives, 30.5% ground balls, and 36.4% fly balls, yet only a .275 BABIP. Teams are shifting on Granderson and turning those line drives into outs. Still, he appears poised for a near repeat of his MVP-caliber 2011. 

Other interesting names near the top of the home run-to-fly ball leaderboard in April:

Adam Dunn, 25.0%: After a lost 2011 that saw Dunn's rate drop to a 9.6%, the old Dunn is back. His strikeout percentage was an alarming 35.8% in April, however, and not even an old Dunn season is sustainable at that rate. Let's see if he can bring it down to 30% in May. 

Alex Rodriguez, 23.5%: A-Rod's display of home run power in April should be an obvious sign of good things to come. His disturbingly high ground ball rate from 2011 (48.6%) ballooned to 54.5%, however, resulting in a measly fly ball rate of 25.8%. Rodriguez has to lift more balls skyward before we see a 30-home run season. 

Dexter Fowler, 22.2%: In 1,613 career plate appearances prior to the 2012 season, Dexter Fowler had 15 home runs. In 81 April plate appearances, Fowler had four home runs. Granted, all four home runs have been at Coors, but if Fowler is on your waiver wire and you have some flexibility, pick him up and see what May brings.  

Lastly, an addendum to yesterday's post from esteemed colleague Dan Manella: keep your eyes on Scott Maine, of the Chicago Cubs bullpen. Carlos Marmol has been atrocious so far for the Cubs. Kerry Wood returns tomorrow, yet, per a Chicago Tribune report on Monday, Wood's role is likely to change. In the article, Paul Sullivan assumes that Rafael Dolis will enter the setup role should Wood vacate it, but Maine has been electric since his April 20 call up. Maine already leapfrogged Shawn Camp, and if he continues to dominate, he could pass Dolis and his 2-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 


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