1. Rickie Weeks (2B - Brewers) - With another HR last night, Weeks has 3 HR in the last 8 games and has brought his season total to 10. The power has really emerged over the last three seasons and this year certainly looks like a repeat of 2010. Beginning in 2005, Weeks posted AB/HR rates of 27.7, 44.9, 25.6, and 33.9. In an injury shortened 2009, he began really showing his power potential, hitting a quick 9 HR in only 147 AB for an AB/HR of 16.3. Last year, with 29 HR to his name, he averaged a 22.4 and this year he has equaled that rate with a 22.3 for 10 HR through 223 AB. The speed is no longer what it used to be with only 6 SB in 8 attempts this year, so we won't be using "30/30 marks" as a gauge with Weeks. But as long as the health topic remains a non-issue for Weeks, there's no doubt in my mind that he can be a 30 HR second baseman in 2011.
2. Javier Vazquez (SP - Marlins) - Javier Vazquez has been atrocious and definitely deserves to remain on the wires in most mixed leagues of 12 teams or less. However, he is showing a few signs of possibly turning things around and I wanted to bring it to your attention, just in case he starts emerging as a decent one-start pitching candidate over the next few weeks. First, the walks. With last nights no walk performance through 6 IP, Vazquez has now allowed only 3 BB in his last 19 IP. Next, last night's start, despite not being a QS, marks the third straight start he has last in 6.0 IP or more. Also, while he allowed 4 ER in 6.0 IP, he got off to a great start in the game and looked good again, allowing just 1 hit through 5.0 innings before crumbling in the 6th. Again, still a little too early to tell if this is a turnaround story from a horrific start to the 2011 season, but he looks like he might be putting the pieces together. He will be a two start pitcher next week against the Brewers and the Diamondbacks.
3. Darwin Barney (2B - Cubs) - Barney's average continues to slip as he slumps from a .333 average in the beginning of May to a .303 to start June. For Barney, high average and long slumps shouldn't be too much of a concern because of his high contact rate. His contact % is 93.2% as he strikes out only 8.5% and yields a BABIP of .323. If he played a power position, his .383 SLG would be a concern, but knowing that he's simply an average contributor out of the MI should give him plenty of value for most league formats. I'd be shocked if he didn't end the season over .300.
4. Kevin Correia (SP - Pirates) - If you polled 100 baseball fans, how many do you think would know that Kevin Correia leads the majors in wins? I certainly wouldn't have guessed that (obvious guesses would be Halladay, Hamels, Gallardo, or Lester who are all tied with 7). Obviously, this is a little flukish as he oplays for a team that's under .500. But Correia is still posting a decent a 3.40 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. And, all 8 of his wins came in quality starts that he pitched (he's 9-for-12 in QS this year). Of course, this will not last as his K/9 is a sub-4.0 and he plays in Pittsburgh. Don't let the record fool you into overpaying for a guy like Correia. He's a low-end option for the long-haul as we have 8 years of history to suggest his 4.50 career ERA is probably a more likely ending-season mark.
5. Dan Uggla (2B - Braves) - Uggla's season-long slump continues as the Braves drop him to 7th in the lineup in an attempt to give him some breathing room to figure things out. For fantasy owners, patience continues to be the key here. He only has 7 HR this year to yield an abnormal AB/HR 30.3 compared to his career rate of sub-20.0. Consider his career yearly rates of 22.6, 20.4, 16.6, 18.2, and 17.8 from 2006-2010. This year continues to be the outlier. He's a buy-low candidate now as the power surge will come through the summer months.
Follow us on Twitter all year: @Fantistics and @jribando