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.
Brian Roberts, BAL, $2700 – If you have read anything about Roberts returning to the lineup, you’ve probably been subjected to an injury joke as well. He’s currently hitting in the nine-hole, which isn’t the worst spot considering Nate McLouth, Manny Machado and Nick Markakis are hitting behind him. There’s a good chance if McLouth (.222 BA over the last 14 days) struggles that Roberts gets moved back into the leadoff spot. His first home run of the season Tuesday night could be a sign of good things to come.
Brian Bogusevic, CHI, $2400 – Yes, this is the same player who at one time had a little shine to his prospect status back with the Houston Astros. After a disappointing 2012 campaign that saw him put up a .596 OPS, Bogusevic had a .930 OPS at Triple-A Iowa before his call-up last week. What makes him interesting for fantasy purposes is that he has the skill set to put up low-end speed and power numbers. Despite the poor OPS, he had seven home runs and 15 stolen bases with the Astros last season, and another 10 homers and 16 stolen bases in the minors this year. With Ryan Sweeney out for the next 4-6 weeks, look for Bogusevic to be the everyday center fielder for the Cubbies.
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.
Adrian Gonzalez, LAD, $3300 – It’s incredible to think that going into Tuesday night’s game the cellar-dwelling Dodgers were only 3.5 games out of first place. The team has looked much more like contenders over the last few weeks since the emergence of Yasiel Puig and the return of Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp. Gonzalez has consistently hit cleanup this season, and with some capable players now hitting in front of him, he should have plenty of RBI opportunities going forward. He’s also going to be hitting in Coors over the next few days, making him an attractive option.
Starlin Castro, CHI, $2400 – It’s hard to ascertain exactly what’s gone wrong with Castro this season, especially considering his pedigree and the success he had in the majors at such an early age. While it’s interesting to try and figure out what exactly Castro’s problem might be this year, the stats show he really hasn't improved since coming into the league. Since his rookie season, he’s had years of OPS that look like this: .755, .773 and .753. His struggles this season start with his plate discipline, as his 3.4 percent walk rate (a career-low) and his 18.3 percent (a career-high) strikeout rate both indicate. The silver lining here is that after a day off last Tuesday, Castro has hit safely in every game except one with a home run and stolen base.
Martin Prado, ARI, $2300 – I almost put Prado into the next category since he has a 1.029 OPS over the last seven days, showing he may have turned the corner. One of the key pieces in the Justin Upton deal, Prado’s been an overall disappointment especially in the stolen base department where he’s gone 1-for-5. Still, Prado should be a fixture in the Diamondbacks lineup and he has seven home runs which puts him on pace to easily eclipse last year’s mark of 10 dingers. The park and lineup are good, so if you need a cheap filler at the hot corner, Prado’s your man.
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.
Eric Hosmer, KC, $4000 – While season-long fantasy owners may believe Hosmer has been a disappointment, he’s been spectacular of late for daily gamers. Hosmer has found his power stroke, recording four home runs and six RBI over his last seven games. His OPS was even higher the week before, suggesting he’s finally started to figure things out at the plate, possibly due to new Royals hitting coach George Brett.
Starling Marte, PIT, $4200 – I find it peculiar that people who are doing the rest of the season rankings haven’t seemed to come around yet on Marte. At this halfway point of the season, he’s on pace for roughly 16 home runs, 46 stolen bases, over 100 runs and a .288 batting average. He really hasn’t fallen into a big slump yet and he’s one of the big reasons the Pirates are contending this year. Coming into Tuesday’s contest against the Phillies, Marte was riding a six-game hitting streak that includes five doubles, two triples and two home runs. While comparable players like Jacoby Ellsbury might steal more bases the rest of the way, Marte should hit for more power.
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