Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Fantasy Baseball

It’s still very early on in the baseball season, so there is no need to make rash judgments either way on players yet.  But, now that we’re a few weeks in, let’s look at some of the top producers so far, and some of the disappointments.

Hot:

Matt Kemp: Always thought he’s been a little overhyped in fantasy circles over the past few years, but he’s living up to the hype so far this year.  Hitting .472, with 7 SB.

Nelson Cruz: Cruz always seems to be an injury risk and you never know when the hamstring will flare up.  No sign of that so far.  Hitting .360 with a league leading 5 Home Runs.  With Josh Hamilton now out, the Rangers will need him to maintain this start.

Miguel Cabrera: No need to worry about the off the field issues from the offseason.  He’s been as solid as ever.  .385 with 4 HR’s.

Joey Votto: The reigning NL MVP is picking up where he left off, reaching base safely in 10 of the first 11 games for the Reds.  Hitting .415

Paul Konerko: Konerko continues to be undervalued in fantasy drafts.  He’s hitting .381 and providing some pop to the White Sox lineup.  Father Time hasn’t quite caught up to him yet.

Dan Haren: Haren always seems to pitch better in the first half of the season, but he’s been especially good this year.  3-0 with an ERA under 1 and a 10:1 K/BB ratio.  Will there be a late season collapse?

Jered Weaver: Another guy who has been undervalued.  After his initial success in the bigs, he had a couple inconsistent years.  Last year was very good for him and he’s really come into his own this season so far.  3-0 with a 0.87 ERA

Roy Halladay: As solid as ever.  Next.

Tim Lincecum: An inconsistent regular season last year was followed by a great post-season.  The workload of last season’s playoffs hasn’t looked to have hurt him one bit.  His strikeout numbers so far are a good sign.

Huston Street: Closers have been as unpredictable as ever.  Street could easily be on the not list in a few weeks.  For now, we’ll give him credit for his league leading 5 saves, while also striking out some batters.

Not:


Albert Pujols: The pressure of his contract year and the possibility that he will not get paid and be forced to live on the street are obviously affecting Pujols.  But seriously, there’s a reason this early list should be taken with a grain of salt.  He’ll be fine.

Hanley Ramirez: Hitting .182 with only 3 runs and 1 SB.  Not gonna cut it for someone picked so high.  Unlike Albert, I see high bust potential here.

Carl Crawford: There’s been much panic in Boston so far.  It’s been hilarious to watch them think the sky is falling already.  Crawford is hitting .152.  I’d give him a little bit more time to adapt to his new environment before I really started worrying.

Shin-Soo Choo: Owners who have Choo in all three of their leagues are none to pleased so far.  A guy who can help you in every category has failed to do so in the early going.

Derek Jeter: Father Time appears to be winning this battle.  Even though his fielding and power have declined some over the years, the hitting had always been there until last season.  Instead of a bounce back like some expected, he’s off to an even slower start thus far.

Madison Bumgarner: The 21 year old youngster showed incredible poise in last year’s postseason.  Hasn’t been so smooth so far.  He’s been rocked in his first two outings.  Growing pains at his age shouldn’t be unexpected though.

Chris Carpenter: Started out fine in his first two starts, but really got hammered in his most recent start.  With Wainwright out, the Cardinals are gonna need a lot out of Carpenter.

Clay Buchholz: Much has been made of the slow starts by the recent additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.  Buchholz hasn’t helped things out.  5 Home Runs given up in his first two starts is an alarming number.

Matt Thornton: Thought he had a lot of promise going into this season.  Shows why closers are so hard to predict.  Another blown save tonight.  Could lose the role soon.

Ryan Franklin: Last year, he always made things interesting and there were signs that his skills were declining.  A couple blown saves to start the year and La Russa may be forced to make a change if this continues.

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