Holy baseball, Batman!
Yes, it’s Week 4, and we are now in the full swing of things. Fantasy baseball owners should be getting a better sense of which hitters are producing and which aren’t.
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(All ownership percentages are provided by ESPN.com)
» Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (59.4 percent owned): Mesoraco started the season on the DL, and judging by his ownership percentages, he’s taken a little while to endear himself to owners. What are they thinking??! Among all major league catchers, the 25-year-old is tied for fifth in hits (17), tied for second in home runs (3), and leads all catchers with an astronomical 1.522 OPS. Mesoraco was one of my sleepers coming into the season — and he hasn’t disappointed. He could be in line for a 20-homer, 80 RBI season when all is said and done.
» Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (37.3 percent owned): “You can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them!” The Miami Marlins’ new slogan comes courtesy of Dan Patrick. Well, in all honesty, the Marlins still suck, but they are producing on offense. Remarkably, the Marlins have the second-highest team batting average in baseball (.273) and are fifth in total runs scored. No. 2 hitter Marcell Ozuna has a lot to do with those numbers and he should be rostered as long as the Marlins’ bats remain hot (which won’t last forever). Ozuna’s 12 runs scored places him in the Top 50 and his .333 BA has him tied with teammate Christian Yelich for 17th overall. With Yelich getting on base in front of him, Ozuna has also managed to rack up 10 RBI. Add him now before the novelty wears off.
» Danny Espinosa, 2B, Nationals (1.2 percent owned): Ryan Zimmerman‘s injury has given Espinosa a chance to play every day, and he’s run with it, batting .308 with five runs scored, four extra-base hits, and three RBI over his last seven games. Espinosa was limited by injuries and ineffectiveness over the past two seasons, so it’s easy to forget that he smacked 38 HR and swiped 37 bases from 2011-12 — and he’s still just 26 years old. Zimmerman’s thumb injury should sideline him for at least the next 3-5 weeks, and until he returns, Espinosa should continue to get regular playing time.
» Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, Rangers: After playing a little more than 300 minor league games over the past eight seasons, Kevin Kouzmanoff’s early success has been one of the best stories in baseball. If you’re one of the owners who grabbed him when Adrian Beltre went down, you’ve got to be ecstatic with the .366/.409/.634 line he’s put up, not to mention the two dingers and nine ribbies. Unfortunately for Kouzmanoff owners, Beltre’s quad is feeling better and he is set to be activated from the DL this weekend. There may be a slight chance you could trade Kouzy for a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, but if no one bites, it’ll be time to drop him come Friday.
» Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers: With all the hoopla surrounding young call-up George Springer and soon-to-be callups like Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras, it’s easy to forget about Jurickson Profar. The Rangers’ talented young second baseman was once Baseball America’s No. 1 ranked prospect, but a torn shoulder muscle sidelined him this spring. There’s good news on the horizon, though, as Rangers’ brass thinks Profar could be back in the lineup by the first week of June. Second base has been pretty thin on the fantasy front this season, and if you’ve got an empty DL slot, Profar makes for an excellent stash
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