Alcides Escobar - Escobar picked up another pair of singles with two runs scored in his third career start for the Brewers, and it does look like he might be able to provide AVG, R, and SB out of the #9 spot for MIL in the early part of his career. I am definitely not as high on him as most people are, seeing him more as a David Eckstein type with more speed at best, and Julio Lugo on an average progression. He's probably a big-league regular, but doubtfully a future star.
Hunter Pence - Pence hit his fourth homer of the month in the Astros' 6-2 loss to Milwaukee yesterday, as he continues his stint as the lone young position player with promise down in Houston. Pence was certainly the victim of unrealistic expectations after his excellent 2007 debut, but he's made some solid strides here in 2009 controlling the strike zone, perhaps setting the stage for a bit more production in 2010 (his age 27 season). He's a solid mid-range OF with a bit of upside going forward.
Jeff Baker - Baker stayed hot in his seventh straight start for the Cubs, rapping a single and a homer in the Cubs' 3-1 win. Baker is 14-28 since starting every day, and is showing fairly consistent glimpses of the talent that has given him a lifetime minor league line of 302/377/506. He's a nice little pickup for those in need of a MIF at this late date.
Felipe Lopez - Three more hits yesterday, and Lopez has now hit in ten straight for the Crew. The 29 year old has increased his walk rate and LD% this year enough so that he is providing value in both AVG and OBP, making the continual absence of his power a bit more palatable. It looks like 2005 was clearly a fluke at this point, but Lopez is still a useful MIF in most formats.
Joel Piniero - Piniero tossed another quality start yesterday against the Padres, giving him nine out of ten. Yes, he's only fanning just over four batters per nine, but with under a walk per nine and a GB% of over 60, he's been able to make it work thus far. I'm always skeptical of this type of skill set on a pitcher.....there's virtually no room for error when batters are putting almost everything into play. He may very well keep it up the rest of this season, but expecting a repeat performance in 2010 isn't something I would want to put money on.