There is a lot of focus on young players tonight in Rounding The Bases, as from Seattle to San Diego to Colorado we focus on some of the new kids on the block in major league baseball. More and more these players are having a fantasy impact earlier in their careers and shouldn't be ignored. All of that and Hunter Pence is red hot tonight in another edition of Rounding The Bases.
Hunter Pence had just one hit on Thursday, but he made it count as he hit his fifth homer of the season and his third in four games. Pence has seven hits in the last four games, as well as seven RBI. I told you not long ago that Pence would be fine and would end up hitting .300 with 25 home runs, and while that might be a hair generous, I still like Pence a lot to be a consistent contributor. Keep him in your starting lineup and by September you will be glad you did.
Bud Norris had a great game as the Astros swept the Cardinals, but he is far from someone that I would consider in my fantasy league. Norris won just his second game of the season as he dominated the Cardinals over eight innings, allowed just one run and struck out eight. Norris outdueled Chris Carpenter, but given his major and minor league career he isn't someone that I would even consider. Norris has been racking up a good number of strikeouts, but he had given up at least four runs in three straight starts before Thursday night. He could be a decent option for a pitch and ditch kind of guy, but even under that scenario I would be careful about who I threw him against.
Michael Saunders continues to hit for the Mariners and although he is in the ninth slot for Seattle, I don't foresee him there much longer. Saunders hit his second homer in five games, drove in his fourth and fifth run of the season and is hitting a robust .389 in his rookie season. I would say right now that there is no way that Saunders returns to AAA at this point and you should consider adding him to your roster if there is anyone on your team that isn't living up to expectations. He has 25 home run potential with some ability to run to go along with it.
Flying completely under the radar is the great start to the season of Alberto Callaspo. The Royals second sacker had just one hit on the night, but it was his sixth home run of the season. The young middle infielder is also hitting over .300 and already has 22 RBI. I don't see the power stroke continuing or for Callaspo to hit 20+ home runs, but I do believe that he will continue to hit for a good average, and seeing that he drove in over 70 runs last year, he still should keep knocking guys in. He is a definite add for leagues with a middle infield position and isn't a bad idea for infield insurance if you have the roster space.
Mat Latos was incredibly impressive on Thursday night as he spun a one hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants. Not only did Latos only give up the one hit, but he didn't walk anyone and he struck out six. He also helped himself out by driving in the only run in a 1-0 decision. After a rough start to the season Latos has now thrown two absolute gems in which he hasn't given up a run in 17 innings and has 15 strikeouts while allowing just three hits. There is no way that he should be available in leagues, but if he is you should absolutely scoop the Pads future ace.
And on the other end of the spectrum, Jhoulys Chacin finally had a rough outing, but I think he has earned enough of a leash that you should definitely keep pitching him and not give up on him because of one bad outing. Chacin gave up six earned over five innings, walked just one and struck out three. Even the best pitchers have some bad outings, and not that I am saying he is elite, but I would give him two or three more bad starts before I thought about cutting ties with him. Chacin is one of the more exciting young arms in the league and has a real chance to be special, hold on tight to him for now.
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