Angel Pagan (OF – Mets)
Angel Pagan is nearing a return to the majors, and with the Mets outfield desperate for some warm bodies, I see some real value here. Pagan does not offer much at the plate (.713 career minor league OPS), but he is a major threat on the base paths. Pagan has had 60 and 50 steal seasons in the minors, as well as having 4 SB in just 42 AB in the majors this year. I expect Pagan to get some major PT once he returns, which makes him a recommended option in NL-only leagues.
J.A. Happ (SP – Phillies)
Happ tossed his 3rd consecutive impressive outing last night, and now owns a 16/2 K/BB ratio in these last 23 innings. Happ has very nice looking stats on the season (3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP), but he should be in for some serious regression in the second half. He currently sports two completely unsustainable statistics (.247 BABIP, 85.8% strand rate). I see Happ as very much a fringe player in mixed leagues, and coming off the heels of these last three starts, now would be a good time to move him.
Clayton Kershaw (SP – Dodgers)
Clay Kershaw looked excellent yet again last night, and has now allowed just 2 ER in his last 30 IP. What is most encouraging is that 2 of these 5 starts have been on the road (we’ve mentioned before about his drastic home/away splits this year). He is still throwing too many pitches and walking too many batters (5.34 BB/9) to reach elite status this season, but I do see this number coming down as the season progresses. He will be a very useful fantasy SP down this stretch this season, but next year is what I am really giddy about.
Garrett Jones (OF – Pirates)
Garrett Jones had yet another impressive performance by going 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 stolen bases last night. Jones has now started in all 7 games since being called up, and has batted either 3rd, 4th, or 5th in all of these games. I mentioned last week that Jones has shown a nice power/speed combo in Triple-A this season, and that has continued in the majors with 2 HR and 2 SB in his first 7 games. Jones is not a bigtime prospect by any stretch of the imagination, but he has made significant strides in the last couple years at Triple-A. It is very possible that he is just a late bloomer. It appears as though he is safely ahead of Steve Pearce, Jeff Salazar, Delwyn Young, and even possibly Brandon Moss on the Pirates current outfield depth chart. At this point he needs to be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Josh Willingham (OF – Nationals)
Willingham continued to spank the ball last night by going 2 for 4 with a HR and a stolen base. Willingham has improved his EYE by 10 points over last season, he is sporting a robust .922 OPS, and he is now finally starting everyday (mercifully, Austin Kearns’ last start came on June 27th). Just 4% ownership in Yahoo leagues is absolutely outrageous, and I view him as a player worth owning in all leagues at this point. The Nationals figure to make many more trades in the near future, but for now Willingham’s job is safe, which makes him a sure bet to produce (career .842 OPS).