Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw offers four players who can have a major impact on your fantasy baseball team.
Last year only two players in baseball had 30 or more doubles, 15 or more triples, 5 or more home runs, and 10 or more saves. One is Jose Reyes, who signed a monster deal with the Marlins. The other is Dexter Fowler, an outfielder that had been considered a bust in fantasy circles for a few years. It turns out that our focus should have been more on the extra base hits than the steals. Fowler is a power guy, who slowly but surely was growing into his 6’4 frame. This year the doubles have turned into home runs and he is now on pace for 30 round-trippers. Fowler reminds me a little of Rickie Weeks. The average won’t flirt with .300 much, but he does draw walks and the power is legit.
A strikeout machine who cranks the ball up to 100 MPH, Stephen Pryor is likely a future closer who at just 22 years old will get a look in the Mariners bullpen. Pryor has had some control issues in the past, but this year he has been in control, which explains the 0.64 ERA through 28 innings split between the higher levels of the minor leagues. With Brandon League out temporarily as the closer and with his future in doubt as a free agent this summer, it makes a lot of sense for Pryor to get a look in some high pressure situations..
The long swing of Colby Rasmus is starting to make some great contact for the Toronto Blue Jays. Rasmus is riding a seven game hit streak with three home runs and six RBI over that span. In a killer lineup and a great ballpark, Rasmus has every chance to succeed in Toronto. After early struggles in spring training and then to open the season, Rasmus is finally showing the potential that made the Blue Jays a buyer last season after he wore out his welcome with the Cardinals.
Scott Feldman, SP, Rangers (at Oakland and San Francisco)
Feldman is not one of the sexier fantasy picks. He does not get many K’s, his ERA and WHIP are only alright since he calls home to the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, and then there is his lack of job security as a spot starter. On the other hand, Feldman does offer the Rangers a chance to win every time he takes the hill, which explains how he won 17 games just a few years ago. Now he gets favorable starts against the A’s and Giants on the road. This is as good as it gets for the Rangers veteran who should have plenty of run support and much friendly pitching backdrops.
If in Texas everything is big, Rangers veteran hurler Scott Feldman fits right in at 6’7”. Despite the imposing figure, Feldman is actually something of a soft-tosser who gets by with finesse. In 2009, Feldman did more than just get by. He was sensational in the franchise’s transition into one of the league’s better pitching rotations. He finished with a 17-8 record and a 4.08 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
Since then, the journey has been a bit rockier for Feldman despite the team’s good fortune, reaching back-to-back World Series. He struggled in 2010 and then last season was only healthy enough to contribute 32 innings, though he was solid with a 3.94 ERA and stellar 1.09 WHIP.
Now 29 years old, Feldman has regained his health and has assumed a role as a spot-starter for the Rangers. He performed admirably on Monday, pitching 4.2 innings while surrendering no earned runs. His ERA is down to 3.00 through 15 innings of work.
Never much of a strikeout artist, Feldman does offer some solid control and keeps the ball in the park, which isn’t easy pitching in Arlington. If he can somehow stick in the rotation, Feldman has a shot at enjoying fantasy value with plenty of wins and a respectable ERA and WHIP. However, for now he is a fantasy afterthought with greater value in reality.
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