Justin Smoak (1B - Mariners) - Smoak has been on a power tear lately. With his 9th HR of the year last night, Smoak now has 3 HR in his last 5 games. That raises his slugging to .464 and improves his AB/HR rate to 19.9. Smoak hasn't done much else other than crank home runs and even that has been inconsistent. Before this streak, his last HR came on May 13th, leaving 12 games in between shots. He only had 3 multi-hit games in May and his K% is an extremely high 23%. You'll get power out of Smoak the rest of the way and he should be in the high-20's in HR's when all is said and done, but he contributes little else at this point.
Matt Joyce (OF - Rays) - Matt Joyce is quietly raking down in Tampa in a big way. The guy just isn't slowing down. With another multi-hit game yesterday, Joyce raised his average to .364 for the year and brought his HR into the double digits with 10. He now has 12 multi-hit games since May 1st. Joyce's overall numbers include an OPS of 1.064, an FPI off the charts at 0.97, and an ISO of .277. I can't see how anyone can maintain this level of production and I'd expect Matt Joyce to have a hiccup or two in there to help his numbers revert to a normal level. But at this point, he shows no signs of cooling off and looks more like a superstar in the making than a flash-in-the-pan hot hitter.
Joakim Soria (RP - Royals) - After losing the closer job last week, at least for now, Soria took the mound on Thursday in the 8th inning and pitched perfectly. He went two innings and didn't allow a baserunner. He mentioned that he has not changed his mechanics, but is changing his mental approach a bit. It seemed to work yesterday. Owning Soria in a couple of leagues, I have stashed him away in hopes of a quick return. Aaron Crow took over the position for now, but Soria quickly went from an elite closer to the scrap heap in a very short time frame. I believe the Royals will return to Soria at some point soon once he regains his confidence. Thursday was a good start.
Elvis Andrus (SS - Rangers) - Speed continues to be the only positive contribution from Andrus in fantasy leagues. If you have speed elsewhere, you could probably stand to improve at the position depending on how much cushion you have in the SB category. Andrus is currently 2nd in the American League in stolen bases, trailing only Jacoby Ellsbury by one stolen base. While Ellsbury has been caught 6 times in his 25 attempts, Andrus is still a perfect 18-for-18. While that sounds good, the only thing that means to me from a fantasy perspective is that Ellsbury's .360 OBP compared to Andrus' .307 yields more opportunities to attempt the SB and thus get caught. Either way, Andrus is a monster on the base paths despite a big drop in OBP from last year's .342 and his career .332 rate.
Carlos Santana (C - Indians) - After a slow start to the season, Carlos Santana has been tearing it up lately. In April, he hit just .198 but was able to salvage a respectable OBP (at least given that average level) of .327 with 17 BB. Since May 1st, he's batting .272 with a .433 OBP, .828 OPS, 2 SB, and a BB/K of 1.64. In fact, for the season, Santana has more BB than K's with a total of 40 to just 34 strikeouts. He has hit safely in 5 of his last 6 games after going hitless in his previous 7. The HR totals haven't been great just yet (just 6 for an AB/HR of 27.8), but his SLG is creeping back to the .400 level after posting a .467 SLG in 46 games last year.
Follow us on Twitter all year: @Fantistics and @jribando