Adam Eaton (OF-CWS)
There was a lot of excitement in Chicago when Eaton was signed in 2014. He is a plus defender and seemed to be that stabilizing force atop the line-up that was needed. Last season he batted .300, scored 72 runs, and stole 15 bases in a nice if not spectacular debut. Eaton has suffered through a very slow start that has him batting only .209 with one stolen base. He was certainly hurt by a very low .235 BABIP. Eaton is a strong contact hitter with an 89% career rate so the average should begin to climb back towards his career .275 mark. With a career 59.2% GB rate you will not see much power from Eaton, but he has the potential to be a prototypical leadoff hitter with his .344 career OBP. If he can't at least approach last season's numbers the disappointment will certainly mount. Eaton is certainly not a star but the White Sox need him to quickly improve on his .253 OBP which has stunted the Chicago offense. The White Sox are currently in the bottom 3 in runs scored this year.
Jered Weaver, (SP LAA)
Jered Weaver has always been an extreme fly ball pitcher with a knack for outperforming his peripherals. Last season he won 18 games on only 22 QS so it was unlikely that we would see a replay of that level of performance. The 2015 season has been particularly unkind to Weaver as he has a 0-4 record with less than 4 K's per nine innings and a 6.29 ERA. He only has an 86 mph fastball but his 69 mph curveball usually is enough to keeps batters off their game. Not this season, as his curve has lost effectiveness and he has been throwing his slider more to compensate. At 32, the question with Weaver is when will the league catch up with his "Smoke and Mirror" routine. There were some ominous signs last season as he suffered with the highest HR/FB ratio of his career and his 16% rate this season is almost twice as bad. Weaver has been able to reverse the significant increase in walk rate from 2.74/9 innings in 2014 down to a career best 1.31. Unfortunately, his swinging strike rate has also dropped by 1.5 % and is now below league average. It would appear that his deceptive style is coming unglued. Weaver sits on the razors edge and so will his owners this season. With a 4.74 xFIP he may be able to keep the avalanche from completely rolling over him, but as we enter the 2nd month of the season he not a usable starter for fantasy owners this season.
David Ortiz (DH-Boston)
David Ortiz really surprised last season as he clubbed 35 HR's and drove in 104 runs. While his BA sagged to .263, there was some bad luck there as he sported a .199 singles rate. This season Ortiz is still sputtering on the BA side with a .250 mark, but he has clubbed 4 HR's and driven in 12 runs. There has been a slow escalation in strikeout rate over the past 4 season and his bat speed has declined. I don't think we will see the HR numbers we saw last year from Ortiz as his FB% is down about 5%. But he has managed to raise in LD%, so the promise of a higher BA could still be there despite a BABIP that is 35 points below his career mark. Still for a player nearing 40 years old, Ortiz remains an anchor in the Boston lineup and he should continue to be a run producer until injury or age finally catches up with him.
Logan Forsythe (2B-TBB) $3500
Logan Forsythe is starting to get attention in mixed leagues with is surprising early season play. He was 1-4 in today's game. He is batting .303 and has delivered 2 HRs and 11 RBI's from the #6 spot in the order. A former 1st round draft pick in 2008, Forsythe's first season with the TB team was uneventful as he hit .223 with 6 HR in 110 games. His .268 BABIP was partly responsible for his poor performance and his BA this season reflects a healthy .338 BABIP which is probably too rich for his blood. Forsythe has shown more plate discipline this year improving his walk rate by 4% and cutting down on his K rate by a cool 9%. His contact rate is up to a very good 87% so while his BABIP regresses he will hold onto most of his BA gains. At 28 years old and entering his baseball prime he seems poised to remain a usable MI in most mixed leagues. Forsythe makes a nice DraftKings play on Wednesday at $3500.
Mike Napoli (IB- Boston)
Mike Napoli has gotten off to a very slow start this season hitting just 2 HR's and batting a woeful .159. He is a career .250 hitter so we expect that he will see a bounce back in BA as the season progresses as he has been saddled with a miserable .177 BABIP. He was in today's ballgame. The most alarming number is the 9 mph drop in batted ball speed and 50 feet of distance on the 2 HR's he has hit this season. This could be an early season aberration or it could mean that at 33 some of the skills have started to erode. In any case these numbers bear watching as we have to adjust ourselves to the more normal aging process that hitters will go through in what we all hope is the post steroid era of baseball.
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