Marcus Stroman: Stroman has had a rough start to the season. Entering Saturday's game, the 26-year-old had posted a 7.98 ERA over 14.2 innings and struggled with walks, allowing 10 free passes over those innings. That being said, Stroman's strikeout rate has been strong at 22% and he has been victimized by some bad luck so far this year. Despite inducing a ground ball/fly ball ratio of 2.29, Stroman owns a .378 BABIP -- though part of the reason for the inflated BABIP has been because of Stroman's inability to limit hard contact over his first three starts. If Stroman can get his command under control (which he should be able to do considering his career average 2.5 BB/9) and his BABIP regresses to where it should realistically be, his performance will improve drastically. Stroman did get rocked on Saturday and allowed eight runs (six earned) over just five innings, but expect him to improve over the rest of the season.
Mike Clevinger: Entering Saturday's start, Clevinger had posted an impressive 2.70 ERA over 16.2 innings, and he may get even better as the season progresses. Clevinger again impressed on the mound during his start on Saturday, going a full nine innings while allowing just four baserunners and striking out three. Clevinger has posted a solid 0.92 GB/FB ratio and limited hard contact to a 27.1% rate this season but sports a BABIP of .340 that should fall throughout the season. While his HR/FB percentage of 4.5% will likely rise, Clevinger's BABIP should fall and his early success backed by soft contact and solid command looks mostly sustainable so far.
Yangervis Solarte: Solarte has earned significant playing time for the Blue Jays in wake of Josh Donaldson's injury, and the 30-year-old has become a legitimate fantasy asset over his first 16 games of the season. Solarte has slashed .286/.414/.554 so far this year with a sustainable .273 BABIP. Though his BABIP is low, Solarte's value comes from his ability to put the ball in the air often -- he owns a career 0.76 GB/FB ratio and 77 percent in play percentage -- and maintain a healthy walk rate that sits at 18.6 percent this year. Solarte went 0-4 on Saturday and struck out once, but such a performance isn't likely to be a frequent occurrence. Solarte has already hit four home runs this year and will likely slow down in the power department as the season progresses (considering his 16.7% home run percentage is nearly seven points higher than his previous career high and his hard hit rate is just 25 percent), but as long as Donaldson stays sidelined, Solarte should continue to be a solid fantasy asset with a high floor and low ceiling at third base.
Yoan Moncada: Moncada has spent his first 16 games of the season proving what many expected out of him: he can be one of the best hitters in the league if he can limit his strikeouts. Entering Saturday's game, Moncada has posted a .212/.325/.409 slash line, but his poor production is mostly the result of a ridiculous 40% strikeout rate. When he puts the ball in play, Moncada rarely ever hits for soft contact and has an incredible hard hit rate of 50% and a corresponding BABIP of .344. If Moncada can get his strikeout rate down to around 30% (a tall task given his career best of 32% in that department), he will be an elite fantasy asset. Moncada did get pulled from Saturday's game after just one at-bat though, so keep an eye on his status.
Nick Castellanos: Castellanos has seemingly been projected for a breakout season every year since he entered the league in 2013, and 2018 might finally be the season that he capitalizes on his potential. Entering Saturday's game, Castellanos had posted a slash line of .264/.329/.375, but he's been hitting the ball hard and often without seeing much in the way of results. Castellanos has put the ball in play in 71 percent of his at-bats, owns an incredible hard hit rate of 51.8 percent, and has posted a healthy GB/FB ratio of 0.65, so his .339 BABIP is near its expected value. Castellanos had yet to hit a home run and has posted a career low 7.6 percent extra base hit percentage so far this season though, which should improve considering his propensity to hit for power and put the ball in the air. Castellanos found a great deal of success on Saturday, going 3-5 with his first home run of the season and three RBIs, and it could be the start of a hot streak for the 26-year-old.
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