Jose Altuve - Altuve certainly doesn't look the part, standing 5'5" on a good day, but the new Astros' 2B can hit with the best of them. The 21 year old hit .408 in the Cal League to prompt a call-up to AA, and then proceeded to hit .361 at that level to force the Astros' hand. He has surprising power for his size (he already had 42 XBH in 87 minor league games) and predictably has enough speed to at least expect 20-25 steals a year. Altuve is already 7-17 as an Astro after a pair of doubles and a single last night against the Cards, and at a weak position like 2B he immediately warrants consideration in all formats.
Juan Nicasio - Nicasio was knocked around in LA last night for the 4th time in 7 outings, leading me to look at some pretty surprising stats for the 24 year old flamethrower. Since mid-June, Nicasio has been a completely different pitcher at Coors than he is on the road. In his three home starts, Nicasio has allowed 12 hits and 1 run over 22 innings, walking 3, striking out 12, and allowing 44 GB outs vs. 19 FB outs. In 4 road starts, he's allowed 24 hits and 20 runs in 17 2/3 innings, walked 8 and struck out 17 while allowing 20 GB outs vs. 39 FB outs. He's allowed six homers in these seven outings....all on the road. It would be a major gamble to take these seven starts as a trend (and a reason not to start him Sunday at Petco), but it seems like there has to be something here (perhaps a conscious change in approach at home). On the whole, Nicasio is clearly inconsistent while retaining significant promise, making him a solid reserve option in most formats, but a tricky pitcher to start at present.
Javy Guerra - Guerra converted his eighth straight save for the Dodgers yesterday, but for me he fits the bill as a sell-high candidate. Prior to his LA arrival, Guerra had pitched a total of 72 1/3 innings above A-ball, walking 43 batters in that span (all at AA). He has decent stuff to be sure, but I don't see anything here other than a generic hard-throwing righty that has had a solid string of luck during the first 23 innings of his MLB career. His BABIP is about 90 points under expectations, and he's yet to allow a homer despite a GB rate of 35.7%. These things will normalize, so if you can get something for him now he's worth shopping around.
David Freese - Freese is heating up a bit again, going 6-12 with a double and a homer over the last four games. The 28 year old hasn't been healthy in three years for any reasonable length of time, but he's been productive enough during the healthy periods that he's an enticing choice at a position that hasn't seen many healthy players this year. With a career minor league line of 307/384/531 but still only 2/3 of a season worth of MLB playing time, Freese still has a bundle of upside, and is worth a spot in all formats.
Jason Isringhausen - Izzy saves his third in a row for the Mets yesterday, and the signs now point to the 28 year old sticking around in NY to mentor Bobby Parnell, whom the Mets believe will be their closer in the future. That means that Isringhausen likely will maintain some value here the rest of the way as a third-tier closer if he does indeed remain in New York.