Eric Hosmer- Those of you who read my stuff in 2014 will remember that Eric Hosmer was one of my least favorite fantasy assets. I routinely recommended selling the Royals first baseman as his lack of power was a disturbing trend. In 2015, we are actually seeing a very nice bounce back in Hosmer's trends that make him a far more interesting fantasy asset. His ISO is way up to .246 and his BB Rate is up to 10.6%. While he is still far to ground ball prone at 46.8%, Hosmer has already almost matched his 2014 home run totals with 7 in less than 30% of the plate appearances. Particularly, Hosmer has been fantastic against right handed pitching where he has managed to decrease his ground ball rate to 38.7% on the season. If Hosmer can continue to put the ball in the air, he can succeed.
Jacoby Ellsbury- Jacoby Ellsbury has been a huge boon to fantasy owners through the first six weeks of the season. His contribution to batting average categories has been substantial and his 13 steals puts him in the top five in baseball in that category. While there is a solid chance that Ellsbury can continue to do well in the stolen base category, it is worth noting that his batting average is likely in for a negative regression. His .406 BABIP is high even for a speedy player like Ellsbury. While it isn't necessary to move off Ellsbury at this point, it is worth keeping in mind that he may have a prolonged slump at the plate in his future.
Danny Salazar- Danny Salazar is back in the major leagues, and he is absolutely filthy. With a 37.2% K Rate (yes you did not misread that, he is striking out almost 40% of the batters he faces through his first 5 starts) and a 3.9% BB Rate, it appears that Mr. Salazar is officially ready to put all that talent together and make a move. I'm not sure what else to say except 48 strike outs in 33 innings pitched. It's insane. If he is starting, I'm all in on putting him on my roster at this point. Fanduel Salary- $8,700.00
Yoenis Cespedes- Yoenis Cespedes had an excellent night on Friday night with a home run and a steal for the Tigers. Despite Friday's nice game, Cespedes is showing some disturbing trends that bare watching. Always the free swinger, Cespedes is actually walking even less than usual (3.5% BB Rate) while striking out at his normal clip. Traditionally, we've been at least ok with Cespedes free swining ways as he has been an extreme fly ball hitter in the past. However, in 2015 he is hitting a ton more ground balls at 45.1%. It's a fairly terrible trend for a player that we were hoping would regain some of the HR/FB percentage points he lost in 2014. So far, not only is the HR/FB stabilized at around 9% as with 2014, but he is hitting less fly balls leading to less home runs. I'm quite a bit concerned that Cespedes may be trending in the wrong direction for fantasy owners.
Avisail Garcia- Beware believing in Avisail Garcia's fantasy value early on in 2015. Garcia is a traditionally extreme ground ball hitter (over 50% in each major league season before 2015) with little power profile. His success early in the season has been largely BABIP based with a .322 average based almost entirely on his .393 BABIP. As the BABIP regresses so will the batting average especially given his poor plate patience. Overall, Garcia may continue to have some value in AL-Only leagues but an extended correction to his current statistics should leave him with little to no value in traditional mixed formats.
Today's AL Player Blog is brought to you by Nicholas Rossoletti. You can follow Nicholas on Twitter @NRoss56
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