Carlos Santana (1B - CLE) - Santana singled and homered Saturday, and he's now reached base in 18 straight while leading the team in almost every offensive category. You can tell how much respect Santana is garnering, and also how locked in he is, by looking at his in-zone vs. out-of-zone statistics. He's receiving fewer pitches in the strike zone than ever before in his career (partly due to the weaker supporting cast and partly due to his current level of play, I would guess), yet he has remained patient, chasing pitches at his second best rate ever. He's also increase his zone-swing rate, telling me that he has an excellent understanding of what pitches he can handle and which ones he can't right now. Add in the #6 ranking in exit velo, and you've got a prescription for a career year from the 33 year old this season....much of this does appear sustainable to me right now.
Jason Castro (C - MIN) - Castro is, surprisingly (to me, at least), 14th in exit velocity overall and 4th in exit velocity on balls hit in the air thus far, and he had another pair of singles and a double on Saturday. He's hit in 9 of his last 10 without much that's different in his underlying stats, save for a sizable 5th straight increase in hard contact rate. Unfortunately, Mitch Garver was hitting even better than Castro when he hit the DL, and he should be back any day now, so that's going to limit the upside for both catchers. Still, the state of catching overall is weak enough that they should both be rostered in all formats, although my preference is still Garver.
Lance Lynn (SP - TEX) - Lynn had his 5th straight quality start (and 4th straight without allowing a HR) on Saturday, holding the Royals to 6 hits and 2 runs over 6 1/3, fanning 7 without walking a batter. Lynn has picked up a lot of velo over the past few years and the swinging strike rate has moved up commensurately, but the control improvement this year has been the real driver of his (relative) success. He looks like an SP5 once again for the first time in 3 years, but I expect I'll prefer him as a streamer as we move into the summer months, as I can't see his high flyball/moderate bat-missing ability playing all that well in Texas in the heat.
Domingo German (SP - NYY) - German continues to allow lots of flyballs and hard contact when he's not missing bats at a sizable clip, and Saturday was no exception, as the Red Sox tagged him for 6 hits and 3 runs in just 3 2/3 innings, although he did fan 8. He's allowed 6 HR in his last 13 2/3 IP now, as the mistakes he was getting away with early in the year are being punished now. I believe that German could settle in around a 4.00 ERA with a lot of K's, which does have value, but for me he may still be a "sell high" guy at this current value.
Xander Bogearts (SS 0 BOS) - Xander continues to be the best performing Red Sox bat, hitting another double and homer on Saturday in the 5-3 loss to the Yankees. A significant improvement in plate discipline (swing% down 4 to a career-low, chase% down 4 to a career low, SS% down 0.9% to a career-low) has fueled this performance, and the 26 year old is hitting .300, walking more than he ever has before, and looking like a threat to hit 45 doubles and 25 homers after just missing out on the feat last season. The twin movement of his hard contact upward and his chase rate downward has caused him to quietly reach stardom just 2 years after we all wondered what was wrong with him.....he's clearly in that top group of SS now.
This is just a small sample our daily analysis, join our member area for over 80 daily player updates sent to your inbox every morning and track your team online. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3