We have put together some interesting data regarding the five players below that should make you want to consider looking them over and perhaps even snatching up one or more of them. We’ve listed where they’re ranked and what percentage they’re currently owned…
1. Nolan Reimold-OF-Orioles- RANK: 20 OWNED: 42% Finally, after three years with Baltimore, Reimold has been given the everyday job in left field and he has, at least so far in this young season, taken full advantage of the opportunity. It’s not so much that he has hit four home runs in four consecutive games that’s piqued our interest, it’s that three of them came in the ninth inning. Talk about dramatic… In just under 800 plate appearances over his short career, this 28 year old 2nd round draft pick of the Orioles, has averaged a HR every 22 AB. As the leadoff hitter, if he plays around 150 games, he should have around 600+ AB which would come out to approximately 27 HR. Throw in 15+ SB and you have a fairly serviceable OF in deeper leagues.
2. A. J. Pierzynski-C-White Sox- RANK: 41 OWNED: 33% At the outset, let me clarrify that the catcher position is the most meaningless in all of fantasy baseball. (Think Kicker in football). But in most leagues, he is a necessary evil. Usually injured the most and with the least AB of any other position player, we’re just mentioningPierzynski because of his one major assets; his batting average. Consider him a poor man’s Joe Mauer. They both hit anywhere from 9-12 HR a season but Mauer’s career BA is .323 while Pierzynski’s is .285. Who wouldn’t take a lifetime .285 catcher in their league? He is off to a quick start this season with 3 HR and 11 RBI already. His current .387 BA will drop but at least he seems ready to have his usual productive season.
3. Adam LaRoche-1B-Nationals- RANK: 57 OWNED: 48% When we recommended LaRoche last Wednesday, he was only owned in 25% of leagues. It’s nice to see that the figure has almost doubled. For those who didn’t catch that article, we are once again suggesting that if you need a 1B that you can pretty much bank on hitting 25 HR with a.270 BAyou will find LaRoche available in half of most leagues. He deserves a second mention also because historically he’s extremely slow out of the gate and usually heats up after the All Star break. This season however, at least so far, he has reversed that trend by virtue of his major league leading 13 RBI in just around 50 AB.
1. Kyle Lohse- SP-Cardinals- RANK: 6 OWNED: 70% Yes, 70 % owned qualifies as ‘widely owned’, but he should probably be owned in more leagues. Off to his best start since 2008, Lohse has had over 30 starts twice with the Cardinals and went 15-6 with a 3.78 ERA in his first year with St. Louis, and 14-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year. He won’t strike out a ton; probably around 100-120. So far this season he has won both of his starts with sterling control as evidenced by his 0.89 ERA and 0.59 WHIP. He will face an anemic offense in the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday and we wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to 3-0 in this young season.
2. Lance Lynn-RP-Cardinals- RANK: 26 OWNED: 50% We can only guess that one of the possible reasons that Lynn is not more widely owned is because of his lack of a SP availability yet. That will change to SP/RP at some point and maybe then he will get more recognition & attention. In the meantime, like fellow Cardinal Lohse, he too has victories in his first two starts. The reliever turned starter has 13 strikeouts against just 3 walks and has a 1.50 ERA to go along with a 0.75 WHIP. As a reliever, with only 18 appearances in his rookie seaon last year, Lynn had recorded 40 K’s with just 11 BB in 34 innings so we know his control is outstanding. Just 24 years old, the right hander has a promising future ahead of him if he continues to throw like he has. He’ll face the Reds at home on Thursday and then the Cubs, who he has already beaten, on Tuesday.