A little extra flavor never hurts. Especially when puttin’ together a fantasy squad.
When I’m in the kitchen I make moves. If something aint selling, I take it off the menu. If a staff member isn’t doing their job, they’re gone. That’s how I run my fantasy teams.
Each week I will hit you with the players moving up the rankings that you NEED to know about. I don’t care if it is the No. 8 hitter on the Cubs or the No. 4 starter for the Astros. If they are producing, you’re gonna know about it.
With less than a week of action in the books making pickups this early in the season can be risky but the rewards could be endless. Below are the players that either need to be added immediately or need to be added to watch lists after a hot start. Just keep in mind, we are dealing with an extremely small sample sizes here folks, so don't be droppin' perennial fantasy studs who are starting off slow for a new up-in-coming name.
Kris Bryant, 3B (CHC)--After smacking nine home runs this spring, Bryant was sent packing to the Triple-A where he needed to stay for the team's first eight games in order to gain an extra year of team control. Whether that was the right move for the Cubs to make is a whole other discussion but what matters is that he is here is now in the big leagues, likely for good. Through 28 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa Bryant slashed .321/.364/.679 with three home runs and 10 RBI, as he seemed to never slow down despite all the media attention. Although strikeouts will likely be a tough habit to kill for the 23-year-old, he is still one of the best youngsters to own in every fantasy format. If you happen to be playing in a shallow league where he is on the waiver wire grab him NOW as he has the tools to be a fantasy studs from the first time he steps into the batter's box.
Mike Moustakas, 3B (KC)--The Royals are off to a great start in 2015 and a lot of that success can be credited to an offense that ranks first in runs scored through their first nine games. Although this former top prospect has just two RBI thorough his first 34 at-bats, he has now logged five multi-hit games in that stretch and appears to have final turned to corner from being a boom or bust fantasy option. He is now slashing .382/.488/.618 with two home runs,more importantly he has found a way to limit his strikeouts (5) thus far in limited at-bats. Maybe this act could be smoke and mirrors, but until he proves otherwise he is someone worth adding at the hot corner in a year that the position appears to be at it's weakest in recent years.
Yasmani Tomas, OF (ARI)--The Diamondbacks spent BIG bucks on this Cuban defector in the offseason, but sent him to Triple-A to start his big league career, where he showed little promise slashing .190/.261/.381 through 21 at-bats. Despite the slow start he has since been called up to the big show where he has gone 0-for-2 in two pinch-hit situations. Although his first two weeks are certainly not encouraging, Tomas has the skill set to be a solid fantasy contributor once given regular at-bats, which may still be a couple weeks away. As you all know sometimes you have to gamble in fantasy to hit big, and Tomas packs enough upside to be worthy of an add even though his short-term outlook doesn't seem promising. Those in deep leagues will want to stash Tomas, but shallow leaguers should wait until he gets more at-bats until his belt before adding him off the waiver wire.
Steve Souza Jr., OF (TB)--After rough spring and a slow start to the regular season Souza has since picked up the pace as he is now slashing .250/.368/.469 with two home runs, seven RBI, three stolen bases and four runs scores through his first 32 at-bats. Souza was once heralded as a top prospect in the Nationals organization but was blocked by Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in the corner outfield slots from ever making a lasting impact in the big leagues. Although he has little big league experience thus far, Souza makes for a very intriguing based on both his power bat and speed on the base paths as he will likely be a perennial 20/20 candidate if his minor league track record translates to the next level.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B (COL)--Although there is nothing flashing about the Rockies second baseman, he has done more than enough to attract the attention of prospective owners looking for help up the middle. Through his first 35 at-bats LeMahieu is slashing .514/.528/.571 with six multi-hit games in which he recorded three hits on three occasions. Despite the great hitting LeMahieu has logged only one extra-bast hit, a triple, but his ability to both get on base and hit for average makes him an intriguing option even if his current spot in the Rockies lineup will limit some of his production in other categories. Clearly he is not going to hit over .500 forever, but he should be able to maintain an average around .300 which is hard to come by, especially on the waiver wire, this day in age as the MLB-average continues to plummet.
Danny Salazar, SP (CLE)--Despite not making toe big league roster out of spring training Salazar will be recalled to start on Saturday when the Indians take on the Twins. He could not have asked for a better matchup, as he gets to take on a team that has one of the worst offenses in all of baseball in the early going, having scored just 27 runs through nine games. In his first start in Triple-A Salazar managed to toss six scoreless innings allowing just four hits while striking out seven, more importantly he was able to keep his command under control, having not allowed any free passes. Whether or not his promotion is long-term is up to him. If he has a good showing the Indians could move Zach McAllister out of the rotation or decide he needs more work in the minors. Either way he is still worth adding for those who like to roll the dice as he could provide a great return on investment if he has figured out his issues with his command.
Jimmy Nelson, SP (MIL)--Nelson was once the prized prospect in the Brewers farm system, but a shaky start to his big league career has taken his name out of the spotlight. However, Nelson managed to start his 2015 campaign on the right foot as he tossed seven scoreless innings striking out nine batters to notch his first win of the year last week. After giving up 26 hits with a 6.23 ERA this spring, Nelson dropped down draft boards and went undrafted in more than 2/3 of fantasy leagues, but has since started to regain some popularity after a solid start. Although his next start doesn't come until April 22 against the Reds, now is the time to pick him up before the pitch-n-ditch vultures attack the waiver wire early next week. If he is able to keep the ball down like he did against the Pirates, he has a good chance of providing lasting fantasy value heading into the summer months.
Adam Ottavino, RP (COL)--The Rockies bullpen situation was "rocky" at best to start the year, but after a few dominant performances the team appears to have found their guy to close out games. Through 6.1 innings of work Ottavino has allowed just two base runners while owning a 12:1 K:BB rate. Having logged as least two strikeouts in five of his first six appearances, Ottavino is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone else in the Rockies bullpen despite having just one save coming into 2015. Although he may be on a short least in terms of staying in the closer role, as long as he continues to rack up the strikeouts he has standard league value outside of the saves category as well. He is a must-own in all fantasy formats and should be added as soon possible.