by Brian Dorsey
Every week we will be posting players who are worthy of picking up and are owned in under 50% of Yahoo! public leagues.
1. Nick Hundley, SD (43% Y!): Hundley wasn’t on anyone’s radar coming into the season, but Big Nick swings a Big Stick. Despite hitting in Petco, he’s got three HR with nine RBI and a .348 BA.
1. Justin Smoak, SEA (18%): In his last seven games, Smoak is hitting .421 and his K/BB ratio is 3/6. He’s seeing the ball very well.
2. Mark Trumbo, LAA (4%): Kendrys Morales will be coming back, so Trumbo might not be the Angels starting baseman for much longer, but if he keeps hitting the way he did this past week (two HR, four R), he’ll have a spot somewhere in the lineup.
1. Jonathan Herrerra, COL (31%): Jonathan who? Largely unknown, but making some noise. He’s already got four steals while batting .400.
2. Orlando Hudson, SD (16%): The O-Dawg! As long as this guy is healthy (has only played in over 130 games once in past three seasons) he is worth owning. He’s hitting .300 with six steals for the Swinging Friars.
1. Jed Lowrie, BOS (20%): The Red Sox offense has not looked solid so far, but Lowrie isn’t the problem. Going into Monday’s games his line looks like this: 6 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, . 462 BA.
2. Maicer Izturis, LAA (44%): Nothing terribly exciting about Izturis, but he’s sporting a a .383 BA with 23 hits. He’ll be on base a ton, so he’s going to score runs and get that occasional steal.
1. Mike Aviles, KC (43%): He was a preseason favorite, but the Royals really don’t have a place for him on the field, which could be a good thing for fantasy owners (2B, 3B, SS eligibility). Regardless of his uncertain position, Aviles has been on fire this past week (.357 BA, eight RBI).
1. Johnny Damon, TB (19%): Could we be seeing the resurgence of the Mighty Damon? Just two years ago Damon clubbed 24 homers. He’s got three this year and a whopping 13 RBI.
2. Jeff Francoeur, KC (31%): Sticking with the “He Used to be Good” theme in the outfield, Francoeur is starting off 2011 on fire. He is playing in Kansas City, so this all could be smoke and mirrors, but the Royals look different this year.
3. Brennan Boesch, DET (27%): This guy had a good first half last season, then in the second half he just dropped off. You don’t have to own him all year, but take notice of his hot start (11, 1, 9, 2, .280)
1. Kyle Lohse, STL (19%): Low-strikeout guy already has 16 K in 22.1 IP.
2. Justin Masterson, CLE (51%): I know, I’m cheating. He’s owned in over 50% of Yahoo! leagues. But, come on! This guy is dealing. He’s got three wins and an ERA under two through his first three starts. Remember that year Cliff Lee came out of nowhere and won the Cy Young for the Indians? This sort of feels like that.
3. Jair Jurrjens, ATL (44%): Looked good in his first start back from injury. Two years ago this guy was really solid for the Bravos.
1. Brandon League, SEA (49%): David Aardsma will take over the closer job soon, but this guy will get a few more saves before that happens. Probably has more value in a Roto league right now.
2. John Rauch, TOR (47%): He’s in a similar situation as League. Frank Francisco is coming off the DL soon, and he should take over as closer. But Francisco isn’t the best pitcher in the world and he’s
injury prone always hurt.
3. Frank Francisco, TOR (49%): See Rauch, John.