Jean Segura (SS - MIL): As the season has worn on we're starting to see Segura's strong start to the season regress to a more normalized pace. Segura was a very good hitter in the minors (.313/.367/.439 in 6 seasons) but the .200+ ISO's he was posting in the first few months of the season were out of control. Since the end of May Segura has hit .277/.308/.383 with a poor BB Rate and a .109 ISO that is a bit closer to Segura's minor league profile. I do think Segura will be an above average fantasy SS in his career, but the performance in the first few months of the season was way over his head. He's a clear cut Top 10 SS option the rest of the way, but I think he's outside the Top 5 from here on out. In redraft leagues I think he remains a viable sell high candidate based on his season-long totals.
Starling Marte (OF - PIT): Marte's power-speed combination has always intrigued fantasy owners but concerns over playing time and plate discipline made us wonder how high the ceiling could be. Marte wasted no time raising owner's expectations as he hit .327/.395/.477 in the first month of the season but since then he's hit just .261/.308/.436. His power has remained steady throughout the season which coupled with elite base-running skills has helped him hold his value despite the shaky plate discipline. He's unlikely to sustain a batting average above .275 for a full season given his zone command issues and with a sub-4% BB% it will be hard-pressed to see him as a legitimate leadoff option, but his power is very real and as long as the Pirates keep running Marte out atop their lineup he'll be a threat for 90+ R, 15-20 HR, and 35-45 SB, making him an elite OF option for fantasy owners.
Alex Wood (SP - ATL): There has been some speculation that the Braves would promote Alex Wood to the rotation and potentially shift Kris Medlen back into the bullpen but with Paul Maholm on the DL and Tim Hudson lost for the season to a fractured ankle it appears Wood may get an extended look. His second start of the season didn't go so well on Thursday as the Mets got to him for 8 hits and 4 ER's in just 4 1/3 IP. Wood showed good stuff striking out 5 but he struggled to work from ahead and allowed a 35% LD Rate in the loss. Wood's peripherals have been very impressive as he's worked through the minor leagues, posting strong GB Rates and strikeout rates that catch fantasy owners' eyes. He hit a bit of a snag this year in AA with his command and that has reinforced some scouts concerns over his ability to repeat his delivery. Wood's strikeout potential warrants attention if he's going to get a crack at the rotation, but like a number of other young arms that have been called up this year, I'm not sure he's ready for consistent success at the big league level. He's a speculative add, whose value is a bit more elevated in deep formats.
Andrelton Simmons (SS - ATL): I'm sort of perplexed by the season the young Braves SS has had to this point. Simmons entered the year with 9 career minor league HR's and already has knocked out 11 in his first full big league season. The power isn't the only surprising characteristic for Simmons as his batting average has been way down this year despite small improvements in his zone command. My first reaction was Simmons might be opening up a bit more to try to increase his power but his contact rates are up and his swing % is down. It would appear Simmons batting average is just the result of some poor fortune on balls in play. We know Simmons is a star with the glove but if he can be a .290/.330/.410 hitter we're starting to get something closer to the Starlin Castro we saw the last few years. At just 23, Simmons is a future star because of his glove, but he's also starting to show some pretty intriguing fantasy potential with his bat too.
Nate Eovaldi (SP - MIA): Eovaldi had really strong results on Thursday in Colorado as he limited the Rockies to just 3 hits and 2 walks over 6 shutout innings. Eovaldi lowered his ERA to 3.54 and with a meaningful up-tick in his velocity this year (96.1 mph) the Marlins are optimistic that Eovaldi can be a long-term member of their rotation. The question for our subscribers is has the recent up-tick in velocity made Eovaldi a long-term fantasy asset? The early returns aren't particularly encouraging. Although Eovaldi has seen a velocity jump, his swinging strike rate hasn't jumped and his K% has jumped modestly but remains below the league average. In addition Eovaldi hasn't cured his command issues and is walking over 10% of the batters faced. On Thursday Eovaldi was able to roll a 62% GB Rate but for the season his 46.6% GB Rate remains neutral. The strong environment in Marlins Park may help hold Eovaldi's ERA down a bit, but his 4.41 xFIP leaves a lot to be desired. While Eovaldi has had some recent success, his peripherals suggest it's unlikely to last.