Jarrod Parker - Parker continues to impress, tossing his 9th consecutive QS yesterday by holding the Mariners to a pair of Raul Ibanez homers and little else over 7 innings. Parker's numbers continue to return to normal after an absymal April in which he scuffled with his control, but he's walked no more than two men in each of his past eight starts, which has enabled him to overcome a still-subpar K rate. What's really interesting is that his swinging strike% has cracked the top-25 of SP now at 10.1%, reminding me in no small amount of Jacob Turner over in the NL. For me, that number is an even better indicator of quality of stuff than K rate, and perhaps a harbinger of continued or increased success going forward. I lie Parker to continue to contribute as a mid-rotation starter, perhaps with a smidgeon of upside from that.
Leonys Martin - Martin was 1-4 last night to extend his hitting streak to 9 games, and as the new starting CF in Texas he definitely merits a look in most formats. The 25 year old has finally started to run with abandon in the past month or so, stealing 12 of 14 bases, and with Craig Gentry out with a broken hand he's going to get a lot more playing time in the near future. He has a bit more pop than you think as well, having hit 12 homers in just 231 ABs last year at AAA. There is an awful lot of potential here, and I view him as at least a reserve selection in most formats and a starter in many right now.
Justin Verlander - Verlander has hit a bit of a rough patch of late, posting only 4 QS in his last 9 appearances after a 5 IP, 4 ER outing against Boston yesterday. He's been much less efficient lately, requiring over 100 pitches to get through just 5 innings four times (and over 110 three times), showing a walk rate that is up almost 1.0 from last season. His velocity is down significantly as well, and I'm starting to wonder if we aren't seeing the first chinks in the armor of baseball's best pitcher for the past four seasons. Verlander is only 30, and I still expect him to produce at an ace level, but there's just a hint of concern in my thought processes regarding him now.
Zoilo Almonte - Almonte had a pair of doubles yesterday as the new Yankee LF continues the hot start to his MLB career. The Yanks have wrung about all of the value that they could have expected out of Vernon Wells, but Almonte actually does offer a bit of production across the board, particularly if this year's improved plate discipline sticks. In deeper mixed leagues and AL-only formats he isn't a bad gamble right now if you're in need of an injury fill-in, although it's hard to see him retaining playing time once Curtis Granderson returns.
Chris Archer - Archer had his best start of the five since his recall, holding the Yanks to one run over six innings to pick up his second win. I know that his control has been spotty again so far this year, but his stuff is tremendous, the velocity has taken another jump forward, and the GB rate is still rising. There is a ton of potential here, so at the very least I would keep Archer around as a reserve option, and in many leagues I'd be happy to gamble on the stuff, K rate, and GB rate overcoming the inconsistent control.