Mike Clevinger, SP (CLE)
Clevinger delivered his fourth straight strong start, limiting Toronto to three runs in seven innings while striking out seven. It was his longest start since his season debut on April 1 and he is actually adding to his velocity, touching the high 90's on a regular basis. That is setting his offspeed pitches up for success. His changeup was solid on Monday while his elite slider induced six swinging strikes. If you take out two awful starts in June, Clevinger's allowed five runs in 36 innings. He has 56 strikeouts in those six starts. He has the lowest xFIP among starting pitchers and his swinging strike rate is second only to Blake Snell. Clevinger is 28 years old and could legitimately provide the top starting pitcher fantasy production over the rest of the season and beyond.
Austin Meadows, DH (TB)
Meadows extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an 8th-inning double off Nathan Eovaldi. While his numbers have regressed from his MVP-caliber start to the season, the young slugger is still producing across the board, and it is supported by excellent peripheral statistics. His contact rate is steady, hard hit rate is strong, line drive rate is elite and swinging strike rate, while up from last year, is still in the single digits. Meadows is one of the rare hitters that features the advanced metrics to support a power profile while owning excellent athleticism. His Spd score on Fangraphs is 5.9, which ranks in the top 20 of all MLB hitters. While that doesn't explain everything, it supports a player with great athleticism, the ability to steal bases (Meadows has nine), the ability to extend singles to doubles, score more runs and could support a higher BABIP (Meadows' is .359). The other players that show that power/speed dynamic are those guys getting MVP votes. Meadows is only 24. He could get there before everyone notices.
Ryan Borucki, SP (TOR)
In his first start of the season, Borucki walked four and gave up seven hits in less than five innings, ultimately allowing four runs (two earned) as the Blue Jays fell to the Indians. For the first half of the season, Borucki was recovering from elbow soreness that developed in spring training. This came after an encouraging rookie season. In two AAA rehab starts, Borucki disappointed to a 5.55 xFIP but did display high strikeout potential with a 12.9% swinging strike rate. That did not translate to his 2019 MLB debut where his swinging strike rate was under eight percent. The important thing is his fastball velocity was slightly above last year's average and he appears healthy so the young left-hander is worth a look as a streaming option in deeper mixed leagues.
Nathan Eovaldi, RP (BOS)
The Red Sox' "new" power arm out of the bullpen did not have the late-inning debut Boston fans hoped for. Returning from a three-month stay on the injured list, the hard-throwing right-hander gave up three runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. His two recorded outs were strikeouts and his velocity peaked around 100-mph, but the Rays were handling the velocity with relative ease. The appearance came in a low-leverage situation (Boston led by eight runs when Eovaldi entered the game) so it was more about getting Eovaldi some work after only appearing in one minor league game before his activation. Still, it's a sign that Eovaldi could be a long way from claiming the closer role and contributing saves for fantasy owners.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B (NYY)
LeMaieu is showing no signs of slowing down in his magical first season in pinstripes. The multi-position stud hit a home run for the second straight game, finishing Monday's contest with three hits in five plate appearances. He had a homer, a double, a walk and two RBIs. He has a strong lead in the race for the American League batting title, but his 2019 power surge is what elevates LeMahieu into top-3 round ADP company. He gradually diminished his groundball rate over the last several years while adding some pop to his swing. LeMahieu wasn't left out of the "Launch Angle Generation", adding a bump to his lift last year and increasing that further in 2019. That led to a jump in barrel rate and therefore the highest ISO and XWOBACON of his career.
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