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The Daily Duel: Stars On The Mend

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Teams continue to call up players plus some veterans come off the DL in this week’s “Newbies” section. It’s important to track everyone coming back into their team’s lineup as they could make for sneaky plays in tournament formats if your opponents aren’t keeping track of them.

Newbies

Brett Wallace, HOU, $2400 – Are you feeling lucky? It’s never a good sign when you’re considered a good prospect yet you get traded a bunch of times before playing in the big leagues. Wallace was a disaster to start out the season with the Astros hitting .042 with 17 strikeouts over 26 plate appearances. Since his demotion to Triple-A Wallace has been tearing the cover off the ball with 11 home runs and a .952 OPS over 233 plate appearances. The minor league success could be exactly what Wallace needed to get things going in Houston, although he’s best used as a “pot-odds” play when you spend your budget on pitching.

Aaron Hill, ARI, $3800 – Hill finally returned to the Diamondbacks lineup Tuesday, missing all but 10 games this season due to a broken hand. In a limited sample size, he had posted a .961 OPS, which follows up his solid .882 OPS form last season. Diamonbacks manager Kirk Gibson gives his player the green light on the base paths and Hill is one of the few power/speed combos at his position. With the lack of production Arizona was getting out of their fill-in players, look for Hill to be a regular in the lineup provided his hand holds up.

Jose Reyes, TOR, $4000 – The Blue Jays have come to life over the last two weeks with an 11-game winning streak, and now they’re getting back their leadoff hitter and star shortstop. Just like Hill, Reyes was off to a hot start while playing only 10 games, posting a .991 OPS. He’ll be hitting in one of the best spots in baseball with sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista slotting in behind him. Shortstop is another shallow position (especially with Troy Tulowitzki on the mend), so you may want to spend the big bucks on Reyes.

Matt Kemp, LAD, $3000 – Kemp could have landed in this section or the next considering how much his value has dropped, and rightfully so given his early season production. Kemp’s recent DL stint was due to a hamstring injury but the time off will hopefully ensure his ailing shoulder is stronger as well. Kemp will return to a lineup with the red-hot Yasiel Puig, meaning it should be a stronger lineup with more RBI opportunities for Kemp.

Value Players Looking To Rebound

Here are some players who have seen their value drop significantly due to poor production in the season thus far. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. That being said, for most of these players there is either a track record of success or enough pedigree that they should be able to turn their season around sooner rather than later. As a result, they should provide good value in the near future.

Mark Reynolds, CLE, $2600 – A notoriously streaky hitter, Reynolds has really struggled over the last month after getting some faint mentions in the very early MVP discussion. He only has one home run this month after belting 13 over the first two months of the season. As cold as he’s been, he can heat up at any moment. The key to Reynolds is to keep track of his production and jump on the bandwagon once he heats up.

Jason Heyward, ATL, $2600 – It’s hard to be too disappointed if you drafted Heyward in season-long formats considering an appendectomy is impossible to predict. In many formats, Heyward was a second- or third-round pick but the good news is that his health shouldn’t be a factor going forward. Like much of the Braves lineup, he shouldn’t stay slumping much longer and should still be considered a 20/20 player.

On Fire

These players have been some of the hottest hitters in the league recently. They are worth considering putting into the lineup regardless of the price they cost. Hot streaks do not always last, but there is no reason to sit a player down if he is smoking the ball.

Gregor Blanco, SF, $3100 – Considering what he’s done filling in for Angel Pagan in the leadoff spot, Blanco is still a little under the radar. He entered Tuesday’s game riding an eight-game hit streak with four of those games being of the multi-hit variety. Blanco has raised his batting average from .260 to .304 during the month of June and should continue to hit leadoff while Pagan is on his lengthy DL trip.

Oswaldo Arcia, MIN, $3100 – Arcia was demoted to Triple-A Rochester a few weeks ago. After dealing with some shoulder soreness, homered in three straight games for the Red Wings. Since his recall back to the Twins, Arcia has hit two more home runs and five doubles over the last two weeks, fueling a .954 OPS. He should continue to receive regular playing time going forward, especially if some veterans are gone at the trade deadline.

Marcell Ozuna, MIA, $3100 – Ozuna is one of those guys who I feel is in the middle of a hot streak, hitting safely in the last six games. He’s got multi-hits in two of those six games and has driven in eight runs over that span while assuming the cleanup spot. Ozuna is one of the better prospects on the Marlins club right now.

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