Randy Wells - Converted from catcher early in his Cub career, Randy Wells suffered through six-plus minor league seasons (and one rule V selection) to get to the point where he isn't really fighting for a rotation slot with the Cubs. He still doesn't get a lot of respect from folks like us though, but perhaps he should get a smidge. Wells struck out close to a batter per inning in the minors (8.7 per 9 to be precise) with solid control and a high GB%....isn't that kind of what we're looking for? His K rate was rather low in his first full major league season last year, so I think a lot of folks expected some serious regression from his abnormally low 2009 ERA, but I expect a bump in K rate this year to mitigate that regression somewhat. Wells was very solid against an admittedly punchless Met squad yesterday, limiting them to six singles, two walks, and one run over six innings with five K's. I'm a bit more optimistic on Wells than our forecast, although certainly not to last year's levels. He could be useful in most formats this year.
Ike Davis - Ike Davis is indeed in Flushing now, at the expense of Mike Jacobs, and the rookie went 2-4 with a ribbie in his major league debut. Davis certainly merits consideration in most formats for a pickup, as his 31 doubles and 20 homers last year (even though they were split between A and AA at age 22) in just 429 AB's illustrate his power potential, and his patience is probably best described as adequate. He did fan 112 times last season, which given his age and the levels in question is probably going to be an issue for him going forward. I don't think Davis has star potential by any stretch of the imagination, but he could be an average to slightly below contributor at 1B, and being that he's up well before most people expected this year, he's probably available if you need some corner help.
Brad Penny - I've got to agree with Drew through three starts: Brad Penny has been fantastic. Best velocity of his career this year, phenomenal control, and an increased GB% (due to more splitters than in the past) have had him throw three straight quality starts to begin the season. Aside from the continually declining K rate there isn't much reason to suspect things to change much either. An ERA in the 3.00's and above 15 wins are a distinct possibility this year for Penny in St. Louis.
Juan Uribe - Uribe homered for the second straight game, and he's off to a terrific 348/407/543 start to the year. Uribe is swinging less frequently than he has at any point in the past seven years, he's walking more, and he's scorching the ball when he does put it into play (27.5% LD). I'm not sure if the fact that he's seeing more fastballs than he has in seven years is the culprit for this or if it's just small sample size, but for the first time in quite a while Uribe bears watching.
Stephen Drew - Will we see the age-27 bump from Stephen Drew this year? Drew picked up a couple of singles yesterday to bring his AVG close to .300, his ISO is at a career high in the early going, his contact rate is up for the fourth straight season....things are looking OK for the Arizona SS. Forecasting a career high for anyone is typically a fool's errand, so let's just say career highs in most categories for Drew wouldn't surprise me at all this year.