1. Jemile Weeks (2B - A's) - Weeks was certainly impressive in 2011 hitting .303/.340/.421 with 22 SB in 97 games. While 2012 has gotten off to a slow start for Weeks, he is showing slow and steady signs of improvement. Breaking up his line by month beginning in April, he has hit .186/.263/.326 followed by a May of .250/.337/.315 and so far in June more improvement of .263/.349/.395. I am encouraged by Weeks and his potential value for the remainder of 2012 as he has shown improvement in plate discipline with a BB/K eye of 0.76 compared to last year's 0.34. That's the equivalent of a BB for every 10.0 PA this year compared to last year's 20.4. That has probably been the greatest contributor to his 10 SB in 15 attempts this year as it has led to a .307 OBP despite a .223 average. Speed out of the 2B position with the potential for average makes Weeks a nice buy-low candidate now if you're looking for some help in the middle infield.
2. Francisco Liriano (SP - Twins) - Liriano gave up 4 ER, 4 H, and 3 BB in 5.2 IP to bring his season record to 1-7. He recorded 6 K's, but wasn't as effective as he had been in his previous two quality starts. I've been burned by Liriano in the past, so perhaps my analysis is a bit bias, but he is still way too risky to be using every five days. While he'll help in K's with a K/I over 1.0, he is also sporting a BB/9 of 5.6. His next two starts will be against Milwaukee at home and then on the road the following week against the Reds. I'm not feeling good about either of those starts, so proceed with caution.
3. Andy Pettitte (SP - Yankees) - It was another QS for Andy Pettitte on Sunday despite having to leave "early" with a bruised left hand after bare-handing a grounder. X-rays were negative and he should be find for his next start. Yesterday, he lasted 6.0 IP and allowed 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 BB while striking out 8. He is now 4-for-6 in QS and has a K/I of 0.96. Even more impressive from the youthful Pettitte is his K/BB of 4.4 as he has only allowed 1.9 BB per 9. So his K/BB is well above his career rate of 2.4 and his K/9 for his career is 6.6 compared to his current rate of 8.6. I can't see this holding up as he is bound to regress to his career numbers at some point, but for now he is throwing well and the Yankee bats are producing runs. He'll face the Nationals in Washington at the end of the week. The Nats rank 23rd in the league against LHP hitting only .233 and a .693 OPS.
4. Ubaldo Jimenez (SP - Indians) - Just when you're ready to write-off Jimenez after a 7 ER performance, he follows it up with 2 QS allowing just 2 ER in 13.2 IP against the Tigers and the Cardinals. He has been very effective over the last two starts, especially Sunday's outing allowing just 5 hits and no walks while recording 7 K's. Still, even with a couple of good outings, the drop in velocity remains a cause for concern. His fastball is averaging 92 mph this year. From 2009 through 2011, it steadily dropped from 96.0, 95.8, to 93.9 and continues to drop in 2012. He does have a couple of favorable matchups coming up against the Pirates this week and the Astros the following week, so he's worth a look, but definitely not going to be fooled as a long-term solution by any means. According to ESPN, his ownership is slightly under 50%, but I expect that to rise after this start and with his favorable upcoming starts.
5. Russell Martin (C - Yankees) - Not only did Martin hit the walk-off to complete the Yankee sweep of the Mets on Sunday, but it was his 2nd HR of the game, 4th of the month and 8th of the year. Surprisingly, that puts Martin in a tie for 4th in the league for most HRs for a catcher. For fantasy purposes, that's really where it ends as Martin has been pretty cold for most of the year other than the occasional long ball. He's hitting just .216, but has managed a .348 OBP with his 24 BB. Martin is currently posting a .781 OPS which is his highest since his earlier days with the Dodgers, so don't expect too much more upside in his production. We might see a bump in average through the remainder of the season, but the power/production shouldn't move much off the .780 OPS level.
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