Ben Zobrist - Zobrist reached base three more times yesterday against the Yanks, keeping his OPS up near the 1.100 mark for another day. I like Zobrist quite a bit three years back when he was a high AVG minor league SS with some speed and an excellent batting eye, but I don't recognize this guy at all. Zobrist's first 1,616 professional at-bats resulted in 26 homers, but his last 342 at-bats (all at the big league level) have yielded 23. I love the age 27 power spike as much as anyone, but there's usually some hint of it in the prior data. With Zobrist there's practically nothing. The guy has 27 extra-base hits this year in 144 AB's, which leads me to believe that he is going to surpass his previous career high in XBH (minors and majors) by the All-Star Break. I hate to say that this is a fluke because clearly there is some growth here, but the list of players that hit homers on over 20% of their flyballs is very, very limited, and suffice it to say that not many of those guys went the first four years of their career hitting a maximum of eight dingers in a season. There is something here, but he couldn't be a clearer "sell high" candidate with a neon sign.
Placido Polanco - Polanco is one of those guys that is valuable when he's playing at the top of his abilities, but you could always see that one step backward would be a major problem for him. At age 33, that step backward might be occurring this season. Polanco is experiencing a steady decline in LD% (that one has turned precipitous this year) and contact rate, with a slight increase in K rate the past few seasons. Since he doesn't offer any power or patience, AVG and R were about all he was going to give you. The LD% is the biggest issue, because it means that the sub-.300 BABIP (his first since '04) is about where it should be. I would definitely be looking for a replacement instead of waiting for a resurgence.
Alfredo Aceves - Those of you in leagues that count holds, and judging from the questions that I receive that number is growing pretty rapidly, need to take a look at Aceves. The Mexican League graduate has become the Yankees #1 8th inning option in tight games, so holds (and wins) are going to come his way if he continues to pitch well. His repertoire is probably more suited to the rotation, but he's still option #7 or #8 in that battle so he's probably in the 'pen for the indefinite future.
Adam Lind - Lind bashed two more homers last night against the Rangers, giving him 11 on the year. This power spike was definitely something that we could have seen coming: Lind turned 25, he had 56 XBH as a 21 year old in the Florida State League, and he cracked 26 homers moving through AA, AAA, and the bigs at age 22. He suffered through a few growing pains the past two years, but he appears to have arrived now. I may have been a bit hasty in calling him a sell-high candidate a few weeks back, although I will stand by my contention that Travis Snider is likely to be the better player down the road. Lind is probably pretty close to his ceiling is the point I was trying to make. That point, in my opinion, stands, but Lind can help you either in your lineup or as trade bait.
Josh Outman - That's six quality starts in a row for Outman as he picks up win #4 against the Twins yesterday. He has been very impressive this season, but my biggest concern would be the .246 BABIP (about 60 points lower than you would expect). I've seen him offered around in a number of formats right now, so a lot of people are skeptical (and rightfully so). I think he's a solid mid-rotation starter at best long-term....his walk rates are fairly high, and that will likely come back to bite him once the BABIP normalizes.