The key to winning in Fantasy Baseball is being able to adapt in the middle of a season. Lance Berkman goes down with an injury? Albert Pujols unexpectedly can’t produce? You better be able to find a replacement, and fast. The easier choice is going with the veteran, but the best play is sometimes the one with the most upside. Choosing a rookie is a dangerous Fantasy Baseball tactic, but it can also be the most rewarding. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the best rookies in the American League.
OF Mike Trout – There’s no chance he’s available in your league, but how can we talk about the best rookies in the AL without mentioning Trout? In his second tour of duty, Trout has lived up to his billing as a 5 tool player. He’s hitting 333 with 4 HR, 12 RBI, 12 runs and 6 steals in just under 100 at bats. He’s just scratching the surface of his potential, and he could be one of the best Fantasy Baseball players during his prime.
SP Drew Smyly – I recommended him as an asset for your Fantasy Baseball team before the season began, so hopefully you picked him up. But if you haven’t, you should get him ASAP. The southpaw throws in the low 90′s, and has managed to strike out more than a batter an inning. He’s got a 2.89 ERA, and even though he’s only got one win on the season he’s bound to start winning games soon.
SP Scott Diamond: The Minnesota Twins don’t have a lot going for them right now, but right now they’ve found their Diamond in the rough. At 89 MPH, he doesn’t throw very hard, but he’s got outstanding control and over his first 3 starts he’s managed to fool hitters. He’s not going to continue stranding 90% of his base runners, but in the short term he could be a valuable pitcher.
SP Yu Darvish – Every start is an adventure with Darvish, but he’s managed to be a productive player for Fantasy Baseball. He’s 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA, and you couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. He’s the new Ricky Vaughn, an effectively wild strikeout king who walks over 5 batters per inning. It’ll be interesting to see if Darvish’s control comes back to haunt him as the season continues.
IF Yan Gomes – The versatile Gomes is a man without a position at the moment. But if he keeps hitting like he has over the past week the Toronto Blue Jays will be forced to play him everyday. Gomes has hit 357 in 5 games hitting 2 homers and driving in 4. He should play against all lefties, and there’s a chance the Jays could give him a shot against right handers in the near future. Keep an eye on him.
SP Wei-Yin Chen – It seems the American League is doing a much better job of producing pitchers this season. Chen is no exception, as the lefty’s surprising results are one reason the Baltimore Orioles are one of the best teams in baseball. Using a fastball/change up combo, Chen has kept the runs off the board and his team in the game. He’s a solid source of wins and ERA, and any Fantasy Baseball team could use a guy like that.
Next time we’ll take a look at some of the best rookies in the National League for your Fantasy Baseball team.