Here is a combination of players coming off the DL or being called up from the minors who have made an impact or are looking to make an impact. Keep in mind some of these players are mentioned just as a reminder that they’re available; they might be undervalued or valued appropriately.
Eric Young Jr., 2B, COL, $3200 – With the Rockies struggling to find a leadoff hitter, manager Jim Tracy has decided to use Young in that spot over the last 10 games he’s started. He’s been hot during that span with nine multi-hit games while hitting a blistering .489. Before you point to Coors Field, six of those 10 starts have come in San Francisco and Los Angeles. With Todd Helton out for the season, look for Michael Cuddyer to man first base while Young sticks in the outfield.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, COL, $2900 – Since getting the starting second base job handed to him, LeMahieu has raked at the plate. A current streak of 11-for-17 at the dish over five games brought his season average up to .302. While LeMahieu projects more of a high batting average type of player, not a lot of power or speed is expected from him. At 23, it’s possible that he still fills out and is able to show some power, especially at Coors Field.
Brandon Belt, 1B, SF, $3200 – I know Belt isn’t exactly new to the team or the starting lineup, but he’s all but assured everyday playing time with the suspension to Melky Cabrera. Belt has been on fire since the calendar turned to August, sporting a 1.192 OPS in 12 games. He won’t have to check the lineup card every day now and his recent hot streak should give him the confidence to continue being productive.
Fernando Martinez, OF, HOU, $2400 – Martinez originally signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old, which is why it seems like he’s been around so long even though he’s only 23. With the J.D. Martinez experiment not working out, the Astros will likely give Fernando a long look over the final third of the season. He smacked a three-run home run Tuesday and has shown better pop this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City (13 home runs in 341 at-bats). The 13:0 K:BB rate with the Astros is a bit concerning, although it’s likely a result of adjusting to big league pitching. He’s worth a look if he has a good matchup considering his price tag.
David Cooper, 1B, TOR, $2900 – It’s been a couple of weeks now since Cooper has been a regular in the Toronto lineup and he’s an intriguing player considering a few facts. First, he’s hit .306 in August and has homered in both Oakland and Tampa Bay, two pitcher’s parks. Finally, he’s been hitting cleanup behind Edwin Encarnacion (.388 OBP) and Rajai Davis (.345 OBP in August), which is a nice spot to hit in.
Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA, $2800 – I’d be crazy to recommend Smoak at this point considering the lack of production both with the Mariners and at Triple-A Tacoma. However, he’s going to get playing time with Mike Carp on the DL and he still has a solid pedigree. Right now, he’s just a guy to keep tabs on in case he catches lightning in a bottle.
DeWayne Wise, OF, CHI, $2800 – Including minor league teams, the list is a mile long as to how many different teams Wise has found himself on. After starting in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, Wise spent some time with the Yankees before being claimed by the White Sox and sent to Triple-A Charlotte. Wise has been recalled with Paul Konerko hitting the 7-day DL and should see some starts in the outfield with Adam Dunn playing first base. Wise has hit safely in his first three games with the White Sox, including a home run Wednesday night.
Here are some everyday players who are on a tear as of late. All of these stats will be shown as what they’ve done over the last seven games. It’s nice to use a player while they’re in the middle of a hot streak, just remember it won’t last forever.
Garrett Jones, 1B, PIT, $3800 – Jones has seen his price get inflated to the highest of the season after what he’s done at the plate recently. Over his last seven games, he’s hit .417 with a homer, a triple, three doubles and five RBI. It’ll likely be tougher sledding for him in St. Louis and he doesn’t hit lefties well (.572 OPS). If you believe he can keep producing at a high level at the plate, he’s your man.
Michael Bourn, OF, ATL, $3900 – Bourn has been a little disappointing this season considering he stole 61 bases last season and only has 31 right now. Of course some of that has been made up for in the power department as his nine home runs are a career-best right now over the five he had back in 2008. Bourn has been especially good over his last seven games, hitting with a similar line to Jones. He’s batted .417 with a home run, a triple, two doubles and five RBI during that span.
Eric Chavez, 3B, NYY, $3600 – Chavez has been an excellent fill-in player for the Yankees, spelling his teammates by playing three or four games a week in a super-utility role. Once considered a great prospect in the Oakland system, Chavez has taken advantage of hitting in the Yankees’ potent lineup. Chavez sports a .909 OPS for the season and has gone 6-for-12 over his last seven games with two home runs. His numbers are slightly better at home and significantly better against right-handed pitching.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS, $3700 – While the Red Sox have been mired in controversy over the last week involving manager Bobby Valentine, Pedroia has quietly picked up the pace at the plate. He’s currently riding a 10-game hit streak and has batted .478 over his last seven games. A trip to Yankee Stadium this weekend should be more than enough motivation, and hitting in that park won’t hurt either.
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