Christian Vazquez (C - BOS)
Vazquez went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against the Blue Jays on Friday. Vazquez has been off to a hot start this season, but fantasy players should expect a sharp decline in his performance over the rest of the season. Vazquez's early-season performance has largely been buoyed by a 10% home run rate and a corresponding 36.4% HR/FB ratio. Those numbers are unsustainable as-is, but even more concerning is that those jumps have come without any increases in Vazquez's batted-ball quality, with his 85.7 mph and 34.4% hard-hit rate at unimpressive levels. As a result, fantasy players should not expect Vazquez's strong performance to continue much longer and continue selling high on the 29-year-old.
Blake Snell (SP - TB)
Although limited to only 59 pitches, Snell looked good on Friday, striking out five over three shutout innings. Snell is still being stretched out for longer workloads this season, but the Rays appear to be taking it slowly with the 27-year-old. Although that approach can be frustrating for fantasy players, it should keep Snell's injury risk down. Snell has been as deadly as ever when it comes to generating strikeouts this year with a strikeout rate north of 30%, and his primary weakness so far this season has been an 8% home run rate built on an unsustainable 25% HR/FB ratio. As a result, fantasy players should expect Snell to get his ERA down below 3.50 with a strikeout rate around 33% for the season, and his lack of innings is the primary factor holding him back from being a fantasy ace again this year.
Jose Ramirez (3B - CLE)
Ramirez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout against the White Sox on Friday. One of very few Indians hitters producing at the plate so far this season, Ramirez has gotten off to a hot start with a 1.015 OPS over his first 14 games. Interestingly, though, Ramirez's production has come with a relatively high 20% strikeout rate and uncharacteristically high .452 xwOBA on contact. It's still early and these trends could very easily revert over the rest of the season, but Ramirez looks like more of a power hitter than ever this season, with a career-high 60% pull rate and a career-low 0.33 GB/FB ratio. If that transition is real, then it may make Ramirez slightly less attractive from a fantasy perspective, likely costing him stolen bases for added home runs, extra-base hits, and strikeouts. Fantasy players should expect Ramirez to rebound from last season's performance regardless of whether or not these trends continue, but the 27-year-old's potential shift in approach is worth monitoring, especially for fantasy owners relying on Ramirez for stolen bases.
Trevor Rosenthal (RP - KC)
Rosenthal got his second save of the season with a two strikeout scoreless inning against the Twins on Friday. Reunited with former Cardinals manager Mike Matheney, Rosenthal has looked great so far this season with one run allowed over his first six appearances. Despite struggling last season, Rosenthal still boasts a fastball that can touch triple-digits, and his control appears to be back after he posted a career-low 38.8% zone rate last season. Rosenthal hasn't taken complete ownership of the closer role for the Royals yet, but he very well may over the past few weeks. As a result, fantasy players in need of relief pitching should add Rosenthal, and expect him to continue pitching well over the rest of the season.
Carlos Correa (SS - HOU)
Correa went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout against the A's on Friday. Correa has enjoyed a strong start to the season with a stellar .471 OBP and 1.084 OPS coming into Friday's game, but luck has played a significant role in the shortstop's early-season success. Nearly all of Correa's OBP gains this season can be attributed to an unsustainable .484 BABIP. Concerningly, Correa's elevated BABIP has come without an elevated xwOBA on contact, suggesting that his BABIP will likely fall towards his .318 career average over the rest of the season. That being said, Correa has increased his average launch angle to a career-high 17.3 degrees so far this season, giving him a career-low 0.43 GB/FB ratio. Even more encouraging is that Correa's added fly balls have been reasonably productive with only 4% have stayed in the infield. Still, Correa's 92.3 mph average exit velocity on fly-balls and line drives is unexceptional, and fantasy players should expect significant negative regression from Correa over the rest of the season. That doesn't mean that Correa won't be valuable as he's likely to post an OPS north of .850, but it does mean that fantasy players should consider selling high on the 25-year-old.
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