It may be early, but a handful of players are already in mid-season form. These guys are absolutely raking through Opening Week and are helping fantasy owners win their Week 1 matchups. And to that, I say thank you. Thank you for making our faith in you on draft day look good.
But of course, there are also some bigger names who are off to a very slow start, worrying fantasy owners a tiny bit. Who are these players, you might ask? Well, let’s take a look in this week’s edition of “Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?”.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles: Are you kidding me, Chris? No player in baseball is off to the same red hot start as Davis. Through three games, he already has three homers, a whopping 11 RBI and is batting a ridiculous .636. No, this isn’t a video game either. To put it lightly, the 27-year old is absolutely raking right now, and at that age, is just about to hit the prime of his career. He is batting in the heart of an Orioles’ lineup that has some great hitters, consisting of guys such as Adam Jones. Davis’ opponent during the season’s first series, Evan Longoria is impressed. “I’ve seen a lot of guys hit the ball well against us in a three-game series. That’s the most locked in I’ve ever seen anybody.” (Baltimore Sun). It’s no secret that Davis is a bit of a streaky player and certainly won’t keep this up for too long. Fantasy owners have the option of either riding the hot streak or trying to use Davis as a sell-high candidate.
Michael Morse, Seattle Mariners: Morse led every player in baseball in home runs (9) during the Spring. It appears he is carrying that power over to the regular season, having already hit four home runs , which ranks first in baseball again. The power is legit, as Morse did mash 31 homers back in 2011, before getting hurt last season. Many worry that he must hit at Safeco Field for half of the season, but it clearly hasn’t hindered his power yet this season. Plus the dimensions of the ballpark have slightly been altered. Of course, the Mariners lineup isn’t anything to write home about, so the runs and RBI could ultimately be a concern, but if the power stays, Morse will remain very fantasy relevant.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: No home runs? Only two RBI? Why is McCutchen red hot? Well, first of all, he’s my favorite active player in baseball, so back off. Secondly, it’s the little things. While he hasn’t gone yard yet, McCutchen’s bat is working fine, batting .300 through three contests. Also, after stealing 20 bases in all of 2012, Cutch has already swiped four bags early on in 2013. McCutchen stated he would steal more bases this season and certainly isn’t disappointing. If he continues on this pace, the 26-year old stud will certainly be a 30/30 candidate.
Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers: Weeks was one of my favorite fantasy second basemen heading into 2013 and he is making me look good early on. Through three games, he is sporting a batting average of .545, a very positive sign considering a batted a dismal .230 a season ago. He only has one home run and one RBI, but Weeks is getting on base, ranking first in the NL in OBP (.643). He’s also crossing home plate a lot, ranking 1st in the NL in runs scored (5). As long as he continues to get on base, he will steal bags and hitters behind him like Ryan Braun will continue to drive him home.
Matt Kemp/ Robinson Cano/Joey Votto: These guys are studs. Don’t worry about them. Kemp’s power (or lack there of) may be a bit of a concern, but it’s so ridiculously early in the year that you cannot overreact about these proven stars. Keep them in your lineup every day without hesitation.
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies: One of the biggest stories in fantasy and real life baseball is the collapse of Halladay. Issues with his velocity and control throughout the Spring had people slightly worried, but after his poor outing on Wednesday night, the worry meter skyrocketed. During the loss to the Braves, Halladay allowed five runs off of six hits in just 3.1 innings of work. While he did strike out nine batters, Halladay’s arm just simply didn’t look like the elite self. There is some serious concern surrounding Halladay and if I owned him, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting him unless the matchup is more than favorable. The location isn’t there, the mechanics aren’t right. Perhaps this is just the sign of age catching up to the 35-year old.
B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves: We all knew going into every season that Upton is a batting average risk, but my goodness has 2013 been rough for him thus far. In 11 at-bats, Upton has yet to record a hit and has struck out a whopping seven times. The power is definitely there, having hit over 20 in each of the last two seasons. Granted, he has gone against a very solid array of pitchers from Philadelphia, but the fact that he has yet to even get on base this year is a bit alarming. Proceed with caution, but I think he turns it around. I mean, he can’t possibly get any worse, right?
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.