With a full season of at-bats, Salvador Perez may have displaced Billy Butler as the hometown All-Star. More on him, a scorching Hall-of-Famer, a rare Rays mistake, two of the best K/BB ratios in baseball and more, right now.
The Blue Jays look comfortable running Lind out there every day after bringing him back to the bigs in Week 13, and he’s provided four HRs in 42 at-bats in his short time back with the club, putting him back on fantasy radars everywhere. This comes after homering just three times in 118 at-bats before the demotion. He’s not going to get our nod over Moss though, as the Oakland player now has 10 HRs in 84 at-bats after smacking another two bombs last week. His .391 isolated slugging percentage is tops in baseball for all batters with at least 20 plate appearances (Moss has 95). Garrett Jones, last week’s runner-up, is still making a lot of noise, so check him out as well if you need 1B help.
1B of the Week: Brandon Moss, OAK
Amarista followed up his big Week 13 performance with another solid line, adding a homer and a steal to six RBIs and four runs while hitting .296. If you own him and can sell high, now’s the time. The Padres are at the Dodgers before a seven-game homestand and a trip to San Francisco. It’s likely the entire offense is going to struggle throughout the rest of July. We’re bouncing back to Espinosa, who returns to barely-eligible territory and is coming off one of his best weeks of the season. He had just one homer and one steal through the season’s first five weeks, but he now has a shot at a 15/30 season after entering the break with seven bombs and 14 swipes.
2B of the Week: Danny Espinosa, WAS
Our time with Simmons has come to an end after a broken finger put him on the DL for at least a month. He was definitely in the midst of a droppable week, but I think he had shown enough to deserve to be held until the injury occurred. Fortunately for us, Scutaro is back after a terrible week that featured nothing in the run and RBI columns. He had been hitting well for five weeks prior to this stinker though. He gets to flex his nice home splits (.311/.374/.445) after the break, as the Rockies play five of their first seven series in Colorado, including their first two. Count on Scutaro to bounce right back during that stretch.
SS of the Week: Marco Scutaro, COL
Perhaps no one is on fire more than Chipper Jones right now, at least from a batting average perspective. He’s an amazing 17-for-35 with seven walks in the last two weeks, good for a .571 OBP. Six of those hits went for extra bases (five doubles and a HR). Should we really think about replacing this guy with Frazier? Absolutely. The Red has nine bombs in 180 at-bats and is seeing regular playing time even with Scott Rolen back. Jones obviously gets the nod for average-needy teams, but if you’re looking for a more well-rounded 3B, consider Frazier. For this week, we’re going to stick with Jones. Don’t be surprised if we revisit this in seven days though.
3B of the Week: Chipper Jones, ATL
We took Rosario over Perez last week (after all, Rosario has one of the best HR totals of all catchers this year), but Perez made us look silly, hitting over .400 and picking up a couple HRs. He’s now hitting .383 with four HRs in 47 at-bats, and though he hasn’t walked yet in his two-plus weeks of play, he’s struck out just twice. Putting the ball in play is a great thing for Perez, and he’s forced us to abandon Rosario for him. In fact, I picked him up in a weekly league and was all ready to use him over Brian McCann this week until McCann found his setting stuck on “homer” last week. Yasmani Grandal has also done enough to draw consideration, but as with Amarista above, a brutal schedule puts the ka-bosh on any high expectations for the Padre.
C of the Week: Salvador Perez, KC
Another week, another three steals for Revere, who has 18 swipes since joining the starting lineup in Week 7. He’s most definitely a three-category guy (runs, average, steals), but he’s been an elite guy in two of those category, which makes up for the lack of power and RBIs. Usually players take off after joining the Rays (seriously, that organization knows how to find talent), but Ruggiano reversed the trend by mashing in Miami this year, posting a .390/.457/.714 line in 93 plate appearances. We know he’ll regress, but is this all luck driven? I picked him up in a couple leagues, and he’s worth riding for as long as he’s putting up monstrous lines, especially with the team starting him every day. You can certainly make a great argument that Young should hit more HRs over the rest of the season than Ruggiano (and he matched his four bombs last week), but I don’t care; I’m staying with him. If I have a third OF to champion, it’s Aoki, who has a .301/.360/.450 line with five HRs and 11 SBs heading into the break.
OFs of the Week: Ben Revere, MIN and Justin Ruggiano, MIA
Blanton enters the break on a low note after getting knocked around by the Braves, but note that his 95/16 K/BB ratio is still the second best in baseball among qualified leaders behind Colby Lewis. In fact, his 5.94 K/BB ratio is over a full point better than that of Matt Cain, in third with a 4.92 mark. I’m still in his corner despite a 4.98 ERA. Estrada has seen his ownership numbers more than double after a week a nice six-inning start and a three-inning no-hit relief appearance. For players with at least 50 IP, Estrada is now third in K/BB, sandwiched right between Blanton and Cain. And you wonder why I like these guys.
I nabbed Smyly in a dynasty-league midway through his 10-K performance this week, and the Tigers rookie now has an impressive 75/21 K/BB ratio in 79.1 innings this season. He’d been brutal after a great start, and this last gem could be an indication he’s ready for another hot streak. Pomeranz was a notable prospect heading into this year, and though he’s had control issues during his time in the majors, he seems to be putting things together. In his two starts since re-joining the Rockies rotation, Pomeranz has allowed just three hits in 12.1 innings, striking out seven and surrendering no earned runs despite his five walks allowed. He’s definitely one to watch, and if you see the wildness start to disappear, jump all over him, even with his terrifying home park. If you’re not hurting for Ks, feel free to give Clayton Richard a look.
SPs of the Week: Joe Blanton, PHI and Marco Estrada, MIL
Parnell also added a win to his line last week, striking out two Phillies in a perfect inning on July 5. He hasn’t walked a batter since June 7, and he has a 34/8 K/BB ratio on the year. It’s quite a step forward for a guy that struggled at times in 2011, and Parnell could be well on his way to convincing upper management that there’s no need to trade for a closer in the next few weeks. According to Ozzie Guillen, the Marlins are moving to a committee in the ninth inning, with Cishek as the best bet for immediate saves. He was phenomenal last week, pitching five games without giving up a walk and allowing just one hit in 4.2 innings. The smart money is on Juan Carlos Oviedo having the most saves in this bullpen for the rest of the year if Heath Bell doesn’t re-discover his stuff.
RP of the Week: Bobby Parnell, NYM
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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