Early Season Standouts
It's early and I continue to preach patience in the fantasy baseball game. Hopefully you're able to heed that advice. Whether you've made one move or 11 thus far is irrelevant though to what follows in this piece. I'm just gonna randomly touch on some players that have stood out to me in the early going, so here goes.
Chris Denorfia is a 4th outfielder who doesn't play every day, but boy can he hit when called upon. Chris is hitting .395 in 38 at-bats this season and dating back to the start of last season he has hit .303 with a .357 OBP over 386 at-bats. He doesn't have a ton of pop, 11 homers in that time, but he also has a sneaky 15 steals. He's a great option in NL-only leagues.
Doug Fister improved to 3-0 Tuesday as he lowered his ERA to 2.77 (he also owns a WHIP of 1.10). Overlooked because of his flashy teammates and lack of elite numbers, some have neglected to note that Fister has been very impressive as a Tiger, and I'm not giving him props cause I have nothing else to do. Through 252 innings with the Tigers Fister is 21-11, has a 2.93 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Oh, and that 4.48 K/BB ratio is over the top good. When will he get the respect he deserves Detroit? Isn't R E S P E C T by Aretha Franklin, one of those that made Detroit into Motown, a song that you should all be singing?
Jedd Gyorko is expected to remain the starter at second even with Chase Headley returning to action. Alex Amarista is lurking if Gyorko continues to struggle, so the question becomes will the rookie continue to struggle or will the Padres eventally turn to Amarista (don't forget about Logan Forsythe either as he is working his way back from injury)? Jedd has flashed his solid plate discipline, his 0.73 BB/K ratio is proof of that, and he's still getting on base at a better than league average rate with a .339 OBP even though he's hitting .240. Still, he's yet to go deep in 50 at-bats so many are likely disappointed with his effort.
Matt Kemp has never been at a lower place than he is right now. Kemp is hitting .185 with 17 Ks and no homers in 14 games. You know what I say? Buy that guy on the cheap. A breakout is, without question, coming.
Victor Martinez had three hits Tuesday to push his average up to .200. The guy is a .302 career hitter who has hit at least .302 his last three seasons. V-Mart will hit, jujst give him time. Remember, he missed all of last season with that knee injury and it takes some time to get back in the groove. Buy him on the cheap if you can.
To see how others are evaluating players don’t forget to go to Fleaflicker.com where you can check out the owned percentages of all your favorite players.
Jordan Pacheco hit .309 last year. He has hit .306 for his career. He's batting .304 this season. It's only 582 at-bats in total for the guy, but I think it's safe to say that he is one of the better depth plays in NL-only leagues. If he ever got full-time work...
Fernando Rodney had 48 saves last year with a historic 0.60 ERA. There's no chance he's gonna repeat that. I know, way to go out on a limb. So far he's allowed five hits and walked a batter while getting just eight outs leading to a 10.13 ERA and 2.25 WHIP. It's far too early to panic, especially after his great WBC, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Pablo Sandoval is fat. Pablo Sandoval is loveable. Pablo Sandoval can hit. Through 13 games he is batting .320 with 14 RBIs. He's also struck out only three times on the year.
Mike Trout is a player I've written extensively about. You all know my thoughts on him. If we allow that he will maintain his current pace over 150 games he would produce the following 5x5 line: .300-11-54-86-11. Obviously even I think he will do much better than that. However, I think it's fair to be concerned that he has attempted only one steal in 14 games after running 54 times in 139 games last season.
Barry Zito... told you so. Zito was lit up for nine runs while recording eight outs Tuesday against the Brewers. That horrific outing leaves him with a 4.86 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, numbers that aren't that far off his 4.15 and 1.39 marks of last season.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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