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Yonder Alonso, OF, Reds
For some reason the Washington Nationals acquired Jonny Gomes this week. They could not provide the Reds with a greater favor. Without Gomes, who was barely batting above the Mendoza line, the Reds were able to bring up 24-year-old rookie Yonder Alonso. The Havana, Cuba native was batting .296 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI. The Reds would like to see him add more power, but he is a patient batter now joining a fine lineup.
Javy Guerra, RP, Dodgers
A 26-year-old rookie with absolutely no fantasy expectations entering the season has turned into a fantasy steal. Guerra is the closer for the Dodgers who has allowed just one run over his last 13 appearances. On the season, Guerra is now 2-0 with eight saves and a 1.93 ERA. Though he originally looked like a short-term option while Jonathan Broxton was on the DL, however, with Broxton taking an indefinite stay on the DL, it looks like Guerra will hold down the fort and may end up being the closer for next season.
Cory Luebke, SP, Padres
At 26-years old Cory Luebke is making his case for the NL Rookie of the Year award. There is no way he’ll earn it based on the Padres losing ways and his low profile city, but the Ohio State alumnus has been splendid with a 2.65 ERA and a sensational 0.91 WHIP. Impressed by his stuff, the Padres have put the southpaw into the starting rotation and he has allowed just six earned runs through five starts. His best outing came on July 16 when he limited the Giants to four hits and two runs through seven innings, clinching his third win of the season. I guess we could have seen the success coming, as Luebke went 21-5 over the last two seasons in the Minor Leagues.
Eduardo Nunez, SS/3B, Yankees
One of the biggest surprise rookies this season has been Eduardo Sanchez. Sure, we could have seen it coming considering the age of the Yankees infielders, but still the rookie has played at a high level with three home runs, 10 doubles, 14 steals, and a .273 average. Nunez has earned himself a key role for the Yankees as he should be able to average 300 at bats the next few seasons before potentially taking over for Mr. Jeter at shortstop in 2014.
Alex Cobb, SP, Rays
A fourth round pick by the Rays out of high school in 2006, Alex Cobb is another one of those top prospects developed in the team’s farm system. He has been electric so far in spot-start duties, boasting a 3-0 record and 2.57 ERA in seven starts. Cobb can still improve on his control, but with the opposition hitting just .220 off him this season, it’s clear that the Rays have struck gold yet again.