It is still early in the season as teams continue to yo-yo up and down the standings in your fantasy league. Stay the course – mostly – and take note of the players who are over and underperforming expectations.
Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, STL – Berkman has found the fountain of youth in the Gateway City. Over the last dozen years, several players have come to St. Louis and find one last hurrah at the end of a strong career, such as Larry Walker, Tino Martinez, and Will Clark. Berkman is adding his name to that list for the time being, hitting .286/4HR/10RBI/5R in the last week. Ride him for now, but chasing fly balls out in right field will wear him down as the season goes on.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL – As long as he stays healthy, a lot is expected of Tulowitzki. His monstrous September seems to have flowed into April as he’s hit .381/3/9/5 over the last week. Little seems to be able to stop him right now. Can he stay away from the disabled list in 2011? It is still early, and I’m still concerned about his ability to avoid injury.
Prince Fielder, 1B, MIL – It looks like the big fellow is taking this contract season thing pretty seriously. Fielder has blistered .500/3/11/3 over the last week. If he keeps anything close to this up, he’ll attract a lot of attention in free agency.
Chris Young, OF, ARI – Young is hitting on all cylinders. He is typically a great source of speed and power at the cost of batting average, but that isn’t a problem for him right now. Young has hit .346/3/9/8 over the last week and seems to be primed for more of the same. He might finally have found the secret to hitting without seeing the average hanging around .250, but don’t go crazy and expect him to end up at .300.
Justin Upton, OF, ARI – Young’s teammate is also surging. Upton struggled last season due to injury but seems to be healthy hitting .409/2/5/8 with a stolen base in the last week. Look for a return to the strong season that he put up in 2009.
Matt Kemp, OF, LAD – Kemp also slumped badly in 2010 and there have been a lot of questions about his desire to always play at his best. If the last week is any indication, Kemp seems very motivated as he’s posted .524/0/3/4 with six steals.
Brian Fuentes, RP, OAK – Five saves in seven days is quite a week for a guy who was a setup guy just a few weeks ago. Fuentes also struck out six while not giving up a run during that stretch. Andrew Bailey will get the closer role back when he returns from the DL, but enjoy Fuentes for now.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA – Ramirez is still struggling. The consensus number two fantasy player has posted a .200 average with two ribbies over the last week. That is tough to swallow, but maybe his owner is getting nervous so this could be a good time to make him an offer as the cold streak will end and the real Han-Ram will emerge.
Carl Crawford, OF, BOS – Crawford is the leader of the ineptness of the Boston offense to start the season. He’s not the only Red Sox player scuffling, but has only a .111 average and two runs to show for the high expectations during the week.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, BOS – Crawford’s teammate Gonzalez is hitting equally poor. Hitting .190/0/2/2 over the week is not what the Red Sox thought they would get from his bat when they traded for him over the winter. Don’t worry, because A-Gone and Crawford will both rebound in strong fashion.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY – Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter. He has even admitted that he doesn’t prepare during spring training as if he was trying to play his best right out of the gate. He claims that he would rather hit his peak late in the season and that he is merely building his way there. He’s obviously not wasting any energy here in April as he has only hit .111/0/0/2 during the week.
Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA – Hernandez put up a dud on Monday, giving up seven runs on 10 hits against the Toronto Blue Jays. This isn’t likely to happen again this season and expect a strong rebound in his next start coming against the Kansas City Royals. There is nothing to worry about here.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, COL – Jimenez gave up six runs on seven hits, including two homers, on Opening Day and then hit the DL. His rehab start was a good one and a return Monday is likely. His home/road splits were very dramatic last season, so look carefully at the opponent and venue for all road games that Jimenez pitches.