Brad Miller (SS-SEA): Brad Miller went 0 for 3 with a BB, an RBI, and a SB in his major league debut. Miller is a divisive prospect due to his unorthodox stance, with some evaluators seeing his ceiling as a Craig Counsell type hitter and others seeing it as much more. One thing is for certain: Miller can hit. Through each stop in the minors he has posted OPS's from .850 to 1.022. Yes, some of those included the CAL and PCL environments, but, he has demonstrated excellent contact skills and a superb BB:K ratio at all levels. He can also be a sneaky base-stealer with the potential of chipping in 8-10 steals per season at the Major League level. The Mariners are going to give him a long look at shortstop, and as long as his defense is playable, he'll stay up for good. I wouldn't expect much power, but he could chip in with a .280+ average, a respectable level of runs scored, and a handful of steals, which could help many owners at the MI position in deeper leagues.
Trevor Bauer (SP-CLE): The White Sox lit up Trevor Bauer in his first start since May 13. The righty allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning without striking out a batter. Through 4 starts this season he has allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits and 16 walks with only 11 strikeouts in 17 innings of work. While he has posted a 23.2% K-rate in the minors this season, he has also continued to struggle with control, posting a 12.5% BB-rate. The Indians optioned him back to AAA for more seasoning immediately after the game, and he can be ignored in all yearly formats for now. Keeper/dynasty leaguers shouldn't give up on him yet, as the talent is there, but he has significant work to do before owners can trust him.
Jason Kipnis (2B-CLE): Jason Kipnis had a monster doubleheader for the Indians, going 4 for 7 with 4 RBI, 5 runs, 1 SB, and 4 BB. His season line now sits at .295/.380/.520 with 11 homers, 18 steals, 49 RBI, and 43 runs through 71 games. The power looks legit, as he has upped his ISO from .122 in 2012 to .220 this season, a number much closer to what he did in the upper minors. While the .349 BABIP portends some future AVG regression, I wouldn't bet on a significant one. Kipnis has increased his linedrive rate by 1.5% from last year, and more importantly, he has added over 300 points on his OPS against lefties. He has turned himself into an elite option in his age-26 season.
Nate McLouth (OF-BAL): Nate McLouth made the most of his start against CC Sabathia, going 2 for 3 with his 5th homer of the year. The veteran now boasts a .288/.366/.409 line with 5 homers, 24 steals, 48 runs, and a 31:34 BB:K ratio through 70 games. More importantly, he is showing marked improvement against lefties this season, actually posting a higher OPS against them than against righties this season. And Buck Showalter is taking notice, showing more willingness to start him against tough lefties like Sabathia. I wouldn't bet on much of a second half regression, and as long as he's healthy, he deserves to start in all formats as a #3/4 outfielder.
Kevin Gausman (SP-BAL): Kevin Gausman tossed 4 and 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of T.J. McFarland to pick up the first win of his career. The talented rookie only allowed 3 hits (0 walks) and struck out 4 as part of an efficient 55-pitch effort. Before being sent down in mid-June, Gausman allowed 21 earned runs on 34 hits in 24 and 2/3 innings. However, his xFIP of 3.76 suggests that he pitched much better than that, and he handled the Red Sox nicely before his demotion. The Orioles had him work on his sequencing in the minors, and he showed significant progress last night in keeping the Yankee hitters off balance. He is likely to rejoin the rotation next week, and while there will be more bumps in the road, I look for him to be more consistent this time around. If he's out there in your league, scoop him up.
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