This is the first installment of “Sweetbob’s Fantasy Baseball F*ck, Marry, Kill” of the young baseball season. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer all of them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to “Sweetbob’s Fantasy F*ck, Marry, Kill”…
Before I begin, let’s go over the F/M/K terminology. The guys I list under “F*ck” are guys that are currently hot and you need to pick them up. “Marry”, are guys that you need to stick with, even if they are struggling a bit. “Kill”, are guys that you need to think about dropping for better players in the free agent pool.
SP Jason Vargas – Kansas City Royals – 45.7% owned – Vargas has done a fantastic job for his new team. The lefty continued to dominated with seven shutout innings against Minnesota on Friday. He currently has a 1.24 ERA in his first four starts. He’s definitely worth a pickup while he’s hot.
C Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds – 38.2% owned – Mesoraco no longer has to split time with Ryan Hanigan, so he’s playing nearly every day since returning from injury. He has hit safely in all eight games he’s played. He is currently batting .480 with three homers in only 29 at-bats.
OF Eric Young Jr. – New York Mets – 52.2% owned – He won’t hit for power or drive in runs, but you’ll be picking up Young for his stolen base and run total. He’s batting lead-off and has played in every game the last two weeks. He already has nine stolen bases and scored 12 times. If you need speed, Young will be a great source of stolen bases.
3B Yangervis Solarte – New York Yankees – 53.8% owned – Pick up Solarte while you can. He has been fantastic so far, but his playing time could be cut when Mark Teixeira returns from DL. Kelly Johnson was expected to be the starting third baseman at the start of the season, but he moved over to cover first. Solarte is batting .370 and has been a doubles machine. He could be worth a fill-in spot or just stash him on the bench to see how the whole lineup shakes out.
SP Martin Perez – Texas Rangers – 25.0% owned – Perez is playing his way from a streaming candidate to possibly being a full-time fantasy baseball roster pitcher. He shut out the White Sox and Astros in his last two games. He will be a nice source of wins if he can keep his ERA low. Texas has a high-octane offense, so he’ll get plenty of run support.
1B Chris Colabello – Minnesota Twins – 52.7% owned – Colabello came out of nowhere this season. He spent nine seasons in the minors and the Twins might have found themselves a diamond in the rough. He is batting .350 and has driven in 19 runs. He clearly can’t keep up this pace, but pick him up while he’s hot.
2B Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates – 66.2% owned – I’ve been a big fan of Walker for awhile. He’s been on my fantasy teams for the last 3-4 years. He’s solid and he always out-produces his projected totals. His batting average isn’t great at the moment (.224), but that will come around. He has already hit five home runs and scored ten times. Second base is a position that’s very shallow. Pick him up while you can.
SP Aaron Harang – Atlanta Braves – 70.2% owned – Harang is having an incredible start to the season. He has only allowed two runs in 25 2/3 innings. He will fall back down to Earth at some point, but ride him while he’s hot…it may not last long.
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff – Texas Rangers – 8.6% owned – When Kouzmanoff began to start in place of injured Adrian Beltre, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to say, “Whoa, Kouzmanoff is still in the league?” Well, not only is he playing in the Majors, he’s raking. He’s batting .412 and has already driven in eight runs in only 35 at-bats. If you need a short-term corner infielder, pick up Kouz.
OF Marcell Ozuna – Miami Marlins – 16.4% owned – Ozuna is an under-the-radar guy who hit for power in the minors. He’s currently on a hot streak batting over .500 in his last four games. Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich get all the fantasy buzz, but Ozuna will surprise many this year.
C/1B Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians – 99.6% owned – Fantasy owners are starting to get restless. Santana is only batting .164 with a homer, but he’s a notorious slow-starter. You need to be patient and not overreact.
DH Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals – 80.1% owned – Butler is a stud, but he’s struggling at the moment. I have no doubt that he will turn the season around. I still think he hits 30 homers and drives in 90 RBI. He’s a nice buy-low candidate.
3B Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners – 79.1% owned – Seager might be having the worst season of any everyday player. He’s batting .170, scored three times and only has two RBI. He will turn it around and be a good fantasy player moving forward. Don’y give up hope on him just yet.
SP Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox – 86.3% owned – He had a horrible first start, but has held his own the last two games by only surrendering two runs in each contest. He was 100% owned before the season and shouldn’t already be down to 86% three weeks into the season. Give him at least two more starts before you drop him from your team.
RP Joakim Soria – Texas Rangers – 88.4% owned – Soria was named the closer at the beginning of the season, but hasn’t pitched in back-to-back games since he’s coming back from Tommy John surgery. He has only blown one save so far and even though Neftali Feliz is looking good in the minors and Alexi Ogando has filled in as closer a few games, Soria should still be owned in 100% of leagues.
SP Justin Masterson – Cleveland Indians – 88.2% owned – This one baffles me. I know he currently has a 4.98 ERA, but he’s a great source of strikeouts. He will turn it around. He’s having an issue with walks, but I believe that is a short-term issue. Masterson will have 200+ strikeouts and he’s worth being owned in every league…even if his ERA and WHIP will hurt you a little right now.
SS J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles – 96.6% owned – Hardy is notorious for being a streaky player. He’s clearly in a slump, but I guarantee he will go off by the middle of May. You knew what you were getting into by drafting Hardy, so stick with him.
2B Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres – 71.9% owned – Gyorko had a great rookie season and has hit a sophomore slump. He has power which is hard to find at the middle infield position. Put him on your bench until he figures it out. You will thank me later.
OF Will Venable – San Diego Padres – 64.5% owned – I know Venable isn’t a ‘sexy’ guy to have in your lineup, but he had a great second-half in 2013. You need to stick with him. If you drop him, someone else may pick him up by the time his bats heats up.
OF Curtis Granderson – New York Mets – 87.0% owned – I was down on Granderson at the beginning of the year. I never like players going from Yankees Stadium to a pitcher’s park. He has lost a step and will not duplicate the power numbers that elevated his fantasy stock.
OF Khris Davis – Milwaukee Brewers – 73.1% owned – Davis was a surprise second-half player in 2013. People were mixed on him coming into the season, but most thought he could put up very good numbers. He hasn’t looked very good and currently looks like he’s stuck in a platoon with Logan Schafer. He’s not worth starting at the moment and is a candidate to be cut in standard mixed leagues.
SP Rick Porcello – Detroit Tigers – 69.7% owned – I’ve never been a huge fan of Porcello. He had a nice 2013 season, but doesn’t strike out enough guys to waste a roster spot. He didn’t look good in his last start. I would drop him and see how he does in a few starts.
3B Ryan Zimmerman – Washing Nationals – 97.4% owned – Zimmerman is slowly falling apart. He has an arthritic shoulder and then he broke his thumb. He will be out 4-6 weeks and I don’t like him when he returns. I hate thumb and wrist injuries for power hitters. He will struggle this year at the plate and I would consider cutting him if there is a better 3B option on the waiver wire.
OF Carl Crawford – Los Angeles Dodgers – 97.2% owned – Crawford is currently in a 1 for 15 slump and has been benched a few times when the Dodgers have faced a lefty. The outfield is crowded and owning him will drive you crazy. He will be in your starting lineup and won’t start that day or be on your bench on a day he starts. It’s not worth the trouble at this point.
2B/OF Emilio Bonifacio – Chicago Cubs – 91.2% owned – Bonifacio got off to an insane start and fantasy owners were quick to pick him up. He will always be a decent source of stolen bases, but he lacks power and in Chicago’s anemic offense, his other numbers won’t be very high. He is a sell-high candidate.
RP Jose Veras – Chicago Cubs – 31.8% owned – Why is he still owned in ANY leagues? He has been horrible and I don’t see him regaining the Cubs closer role. I think he’s more likely to be cut than to get that job back. Drop him immediately.
SP Bartolo Colon – New York Mets– 42.9% owned – Colon is finally showing his age…and weight. He has not transitioned well to the National League. He was great on Oakland the last two seasons, but the Mets will regret signing him to a multi-year deal. I think they are already regretting it.
SP Ubaldo Jimenez – Baltimore Orioles – 18.2% owned – I’m a sucker. I drafted Ubaldo in a couple leagues I’m in, but he has stunk. He was fantastic down the stretch for the Indians in 2013, but the AL East is much better than the AL Central last season. He might turn it around later this season, but right now, he’s not worth starting or owning in mixed leagues.
3B Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays – 85.1% owned – If you look up the word ‘overrated’ in the dictionary, you will find Lawrie’s picture. He had a great second-half a few years ago and fantasy owners are still drunk on him. He never produced big numbers in the minors and will never duplicate those numbers in the Majors. Drop him for a better corner infield option…possibly Chris Colabello or Trevor Plouffe.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.