Special thanks to contributing writer James Boyce.
Potential Waiver Wire Adds
C – Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto – Two Twins Cs who are doing well. They may not get the ABs of a 1st string Catcher but both are off to great starts. Suzuki has 19 RBIs and Pinto has 5 HRs and 17 Walks for those in OBP and counting W leagues.
1B- Adam LaRoche, usually known as a slow starter has gotten off to a great start with 4-category juice. Last year was a down year for him but the year before he went 30-100.
2B – Sticking with the Nats, Danny Espinosa has been making the most of his playing time with Ryan Zimmerman out for an extended period of time. Like LaRoche, last year was a down year, but the previous 2 years he displayed 20-20 production.
3B – I think Nick Castellanos will be a good player, and he has had his moments. His #s are just ok but he has shown some pop and you would think the Tiger lineup (yes you Miguel Cabrera) will wake up and start scoring some more runs and Nick will be a part of it. He also carries a secondary OF (LF) position.
SS – Yangervis Solarte has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees. Again, he won’t give you plenty of ABs, but he has been productive when he plays, plays for the Yankees who will be scoring runs, and gives you 2nd and 3rd coverage as well. A nice utility guy to have on your roster for some plug and play.
OF – Matt Joyce (LF, RF) is a strong 1st half player off to another great start. He typically fades in the 2nd half, and usually only plays against RHPs, but why not take advantage of current production. For those in OBP leagues, he’s coming off a 5-walk game, usually reserved for someone like Joey Votto.
OF – Dayan Viciedo (LF, RF) was the odd man out at the start of the season, but with the injury to Avisail Garcia, he’s now back to being a regular and raking. He’s shown some pop in the past, and maybe some of the Cuban magic will come back his way.
OF – Chris Gentry (LF, CF) started the year on the DL. I am not sure how he will work his way in the As lineup but he has shown some wheels and could be a source for some SBs, especially if his play time increases.
SP – Zach McAllister has probably been the best Indians P to start the season. Just call him Mr. Quality Start. Expect a 4.00 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and average Ks.
SP – Tom Koehler is the Zach McAllister of the NL. Both he and Zach are off to good starts.
SP – Drew Hutchison was a popular spring sleeper and then got pounded by the Yankees and dropped by many. Yet he has strung together 3 solid starts giving his owners a lot of Ks in the process. He pitches in the tough AL East but he could be a solid matchup play.
RP – I am not going to offer up any “closers” since they are probably long gone and every time one gets hurt his replacement is usually gone in minutes. So lets focus on some strong middle relievers. Will Smith’s movie career has been in a tailspin but as a reliever on the Brewers, he has 6 holds and 1 save along with strong Ks.
RP – Dellin Betances has 16 Ks in 9 innings of work. Once one of the Yankees triumvirate of pitching prospects that fizzled out or got injured, Betances has re-emerged this year and seems to be carving out a nice career as a reliever. He won’t give you Saves or Holds but the Ks and other peripherals will come in handy.
On the Farm – If you haven’t nabbed Gregory Polanco OF in the Pirates farm system, then you haven’t been paying attention to all the fantasy press he has been getting. On the pitching side, Andrew Heaney LHP of the Marlins has been getting the zoom lens focus among fantasy scribes. Both players have gotten off to great starts.
Quick Hits Teams Rankings
1. Brewers – the biggest surprise so far, it helps with Ryan Braun back on the team. It helps less when he smashes his teammates in the face.
2. Braves – I don’t think it’s possible for this team to produce a bad pitcher.
3. A’s – Both this team and the Braves lost 2 of their starters for the year and they’re strumming along like nothings changed.
4. Rangers – Offense hasn’t been as overpowering as I initially thought, but they’re still one of the better teams.
5. Yankees – Tanaka looking to go undefeated and Jeter’s looking to make me feel foolish in believing in a 40 year old swan song year.
6. Giants – an even year means they’ll be back in the playoff hunt.
7. Tigers – when will Cabrera start hitting? I feel like this team has yet to hit their full stride, and they’re still doing pretty well.
8. Mets – the Mets have been surprisingly spunky. After starting the year getting swept by the Nationals, they’ve gone 13-7 and have even started winning at home, something they have struggled to do in the past. Maybe this year the Mets could disappoint less hard.
9. Nationals – I ranked this team as the best team in the majors, losing Harper and Zimmerman is making me less bullish on them. Good to see Rendon hitting well though.
10. Dodgers – Once Kershaw comes back this team should be better. Kemp is clearly not at 100% though.
11. Rockies – They always start off hot, glad to see Morneau producing in a new environment.
12. Cardinals – a bit of a surprise that they are struggling to score runs, losing a series to the Mets doesn’t help either.
13. Twins – pegged by many to finish in the bottom 3, the Twins are surprising doing well early on. Their pitching is dreadful so how are they winning? By walking. Six Twins have double-digit walks, led by lead-off man Brian Dozier with 19, followed by Mauer 17, Pinto 17, Plouffe 15, Hicks 14, and Suzuki with 10. Colabello seems to be hitting all these guys in.
14. Orioles – Losing Davis hurts, but at least Machado is coming back.
15. Royals – The HRs have been scarce, but everything else has looked solid.
16. White Sox – That offense looks great. Well Jose Abreu looks amazing.
17. Red Sox – Probably won’t be lower the worst Sox in the league for long.
18. Angels – a rejuvenated and healthy Pujols is raking it in. Who would have thought he’d bounce back strong this year? This guy.
19. Phillies – Cole Hamels is back and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are looking younger than they have in a while.
20. Rays – A strong team that hasn’t recovered from pitching injuries that other teams seem to brush off easily.
21. Reds – Jay Bruce is walking a lot more, looks like he’s taking lessons from Votto!
22. Indians – Salazar Slytherin is pitching worse than Slytherin in the house cups with Harry Potter around.
23. Blue Jays – Bret Lawrie is stealing E5s HRs.
24. Padres – I love Cashner’s hair…that’s about all the things I like on this team.
25. Marlins – Jose Fernandez is must watch TV. Stanton is looking like the most dangerous hitter in baseball.
26. Pirates – a disappointedly slow start for Pirates – they can’t afford to fall too far behind in a touch division, maybe its time to bring up Polanco?
27. Mariners – That 3-0 start seemed like only last week.
28. Cubs – Well at least they aren’t the Astros
29. Astros – Well at least they aren’t the Diamondbacks
30. Diamondbacks – no one was expecting much from the Cubs and Astros, but the Diamondbacks have been the most disappointing team so far. Losing Trumbo doesn’t help, and they don’t seem too keen on calling up Archie Bradley.
Quick Hits Players
Jose Abreu – 9 HRs, 27 RBIs, so far so good
Jose Bautista – 27 Walks
Charlie Blackmon – everyone’s out of no where MVP
Chris Colabello – 30-year-old rookie breakout, 27 RBIs
Brain Dozier – Twins leadoff man has 19 Walks, 7 HRs, 7 SBs, 24 Runs scored
Dee Gordon – left for dead spark plug leads w 12 SBs
Justin Morneau – career rejuvenation in Colorado
Albert Pujols – healthy and swatting HRs w 9
Giancarlo Stanton – 484 foot HRs
Jason Hammel – 0.69 WHIP probably un-owned in many leagues
Aaron Harang – 0.85 ERA, channeling Greg Maddux
Scott Kazmir – career rejuvenation part II in Oakland
Martin Perez – 2nd year pitcher 4 Wins for Rangers has been their ace
K-Rod – yes the K is back, leads w 10 Saves
Stephen Strasburg – 53 Ks in 34 IPs
Mashashiro Tanaka – looking to go undefeated
Yordano Ventura – 100 MPH fastball
Alex Wood – 2nd year pitcher another reason why Braves pitching is so good
So balloting is now open – below are my April picks – also the game is in Minnesota this year
1B – Abreu, Jose – CWS
2B – Dozier, Brian – MIN – feeling Minnesota
SS – Lowrie, Jed – OAK
3B – Donaldson, Josh – OAK
C – Wieters, Matt – BAL – yikes, I guess unlike Fantasy, MLB does not keep Mauer C eligibility – hopefully he makes it but with Abreu mashing it will only be as a coach, player, league selection
DH – Cruz, Nelson – BAL
OF – Bautista, Jose – TOR
OF – Trout, Mike – LAA
OF – N/A
Write-in – O – Chris Colabello – MIN – since this is an electronic ballot, how does MLB possibly not update the OF selections to include Colabello – shame and ridiculous that he is a write-in (why does the electronic have to match the paper? What’s the point of that) and if I could have written in more than 1 candidate, I would have selected Pinto or even Suzuki over Wieters for C
1B – Morneau, Justin – COL – feeling Minnesota 2
2B – Gordon, Dee – LA
SS – Tulowitzki, Troy – COL
3B – Wright, David – NYM
C – Molina, Yadier – STL
OF – Blackmon, Charlie – COL
OF – McCutchen, Andrew – PIT
OF – Stanton, Giancarlo – MIA