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The Daily Duel: Tulo Catches Fire

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 in this week’s “Newbies” section. It’s important to track everyone returning or making debuts in their team’s lineup, as they could make for sneaky plays in tournament formats if your opponents aren't on top of the latest promotions and players being activated.

Newbies

Travis d’Arnaud, NYM - $2900 – With the Mets playing for the future, they called up d’Arnaud to see what he can do at the Major League level. While John Buck is still on the roster there isn’t much of a reason to play him over d’Arnaud going forward. Considered one of the best catching prospects in the minors, d’Arnaud has shown good pop and has improved his batting average over the last few seasons.

Kolten Wong, STL, $2400 – It took Wong four games but he finally got his first two hits Monday to go along with two stolen bases. Considered by many the second-best prospect in the Cardinals organization, Wong had an .835 OPS at Triple-A Memphis while adding 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases. He had a .369 OBP as well and could find himself near the top of the lineup (he was in the two hole Tuesday night) as a table setter for the big bats behind him. Watch for the favorable matchups when you’re looking for a cheap option at second base.

Xander Bogaerts, BOS, $2400 – Bogaerts was putting together a nice minor league season prior to his call-up, hitting 15 home runs with 67 RBI and seven stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A. Considered one of the best shortstop prospects in the game, it’s hard to ascertain how much playing time he’ll get going forward with Stephen Drew producing. However, don’t be surprised if they end up in a platoon, provided Bogaerts isn’t overmatched at the dish.

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.

Justin Morneau, MIN, $2800 – Morneau struggled to start the season and could have been a big trade target for a contender had he gotten off to a better start. He’s hit much better as of late, smashing eight home runs over the past 30 days. Due to his overall stats, Morneau’s price tag hasn’t gone up too much over the last month. The best time to use Morneau based on his splits is at home (.851 OPS) against right-handed pitchers (.815 OPS).

Aramis Ramirez, MIL, $2800 – I considered putting Ramirez in the “Newbies” section since he just returned from the DL but his price has a lot to do with the lack of production before he was injured. Ramirez only had a .746 OPS on the season and was on pace for less than 18 home runs after averaging 26 bombs over the last three seasons. He’s hit much better at Miller Park over the last two seasons and has enough of a history in the National League to check his Batter vs. Pitcher stats when considering using him.

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.

Yadier Molina, STL, $3800 – Often times it will take a player a few games to get their timing back at the plate after they come off the DL. That isn’t the case with Molina who has hit the ground running since his return. After a 0-for-5 performance Thursday, he’s gone 10-for-19 with two home runs and five doubles over his past four games. A few more performances like these and he’ll be right back in the NL MVP conversation.

Troy Tulowitzki, COL, $4300 – Right now it’s almost an automatic to have Tulowitzki in your lineup considering how hot he’s been. Entering Tuesday night’s game, he had multi-hit games in four of his last five including a home run Monday, and then hit another home run in his first at-bat Tuesday. Given how shallow the shortstop position has become, Tulo is worthy of consideration every night, especially at Coors Field.

Mark Trumbo, LAA, $4100 – I was watching Trumbo play a couple of weeks ago when he was mired in a 1-for-25 slump over six games. He did nothing but chase breaking pitches over the outside part of the plate and looked completely lost at the dish. However, he’s looked more comfortable at the plate over the last week and has been especially hot over his last three games heading into Tuesday night’s game. Over that span he’s homered in each of those three while racking up six total hits and eight RBI. The loss of Albert Pujols hurts, but Trumbo still has the always dangerous Josh Hamilton hitting in front of him.

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