Tommy LaStella (2B-ATL): Tommy LaStella made his Major League Debut for the Braves and was one of the lone bright spots against John Lackey, lacing 2 singles in 4 AB's. After the struggles with Dan Uggla and Tyler Pastornicky, the Braves have signaled that they are committed to LaStella as the primary 2B moving forward. The smooth-swinging lefty has incredible strike zone judgment, as he has consistently walked more than he has struck out in the high minors (70:49 ratio over the past 2 seasons!). While LaStella hasn't displayed much power (6 homers over the past 2 seasons, <.100 ISO), most scouts see him possessing above-average bat speed, and he should at least hold his own and develop gap power against MLB pitching. I see him as an Omar Infante-type player with the potential for higher runs with his incredible on-base skills, making him a must-add in all 14-team mixed leagues as a MI option.
LaTroy Hawkins (RP-COL): LaTroy Hawkins continued his subpar 2014 campaign by blowing the save against the Phillies on Wednesday. Hawkins did only allow 1 hit and both runs charged to him were unearned, but most disturbing was Walt Weiss' decision to remove him in favor of Boone Logan to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Hawkins carries a 3.79 ERA/4.42 xFIP with an alarming 10% K-rate. While he has his own issues--namely, control--Rex Brothers could be in line for a time-share at closer. Minus one rough outing on Monday, Brothers has had a solid May and could be valuable fantasy commodity in the 2nd half.
Jordan Zimmermann (SP-WAS): Jordan Zimmermann continued his enigmatic 2014 campaign with another lackluster performance. The righty allowed 3 earned runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3 in 5 shaking innings. If you sense a Zimmermann owner is disgruntled, he makes for an intriguing buy-low candidate. He has a 4.07 ERA/3.38 xFIP with an inflated .369 BABIP; he is maintaining a K-rate of above 20%; and he has increased his swinging-strike and chase rates while decreasing his contact rate against. Look for him to pick it up in June.
Casey McGehee (3B-MIA): Casey McGehee continued his quietly impressive 2014 campaign, going 4 for 5 with 2 runs and 1 RBI to push his season line to .299/.363/.383. He now has 32 RBI in 52 games, and while his ISO remains south of the .100 mark and his BABIP sits at an elevated .360, there are compelling reasons to buy him as a useful option in deeper mixed leagues. His EYE, line-drive, swinging-strike, and chase rates are much improved from not only his last MLB stint but also his breakout 2010 season with the Brewers. McGehee can serve as a James Loney-light option; as long as you have power sources elsewhere, he could help you in AVG and RBI.
David Wright (3B-NYM): David Wright hit his 4th homer of the season as part of a 2-for-3, 1-run, 2-RBI, 1-steal, 1-walk night. This is a welcomed sight for fantasy owners of Wright, but I'm still slightly concerned. Wright has shown significant uptick in his swinging-strike and chase rates and a downswing in his contact rate and EYE. He is only 2 for 5 in SB attempts as well. While the ISO should continue to climb, as he is making hard contact with a 27% line-drive rate (and a fluky 6% HR/FB rate), Wright appears to be entering the beginning of the decline phase of his career. Fortunately for his owners, that still may be enough to return draft day value thanks to the myriad of issues afflicting others at the position this season.
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