Fantasy Baseball: 5 Early Strong 2014 Performances You Should Be Buying Into

Fantasy Baseball: 5 Early Strong 2014 Performances You Should Be Buying Into

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Every season, there are players who start off hot. Some of these players go on to have career-best seasons while most of them regress to their career averages. Here are five players who I believe are capable of extending their hot starts to career-best seasons in 2014.

5. Scott Kazmir

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5. Scott Kazmir

scott kazmir oakland athletics
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Kazmir has gotten off to a phenomenal start in 2014, posting a 1.40 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 8.84 K/9 through three starts. His swinging strike rate is the highest it's been since 2007, he's inducing ground balls at a career-high rate, his fastball velocity is right where it needs to be in the 91-92 mph range and he pitches in one of the friendliest pitcher parks in MLB. I'm buying as much Kazmir stock as I can.

4. Rajai Davis

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4. Rajai Davis

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Do I expect him to hit .345 all season? No. Do I expect him to keep stealing bases at the rate he's currently swiping them at? Yes. Davis should continue to see an ample amount of playing time in the Tigers outfield and he's already proven he can be an elite base stealer with limited at-bats. Davis should be atop the stolen base leaderboard once again at the end of 2014.

3. Andrew Cashner

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3. Andrew Cashner

andrew cashner san diego padres
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Since the All-Star break last season, Cashner has pitched 96.2 innings and over that span, he's racked up 83 strikeouts to go with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. Cashner is attacking the strike zone -- his 67.5 percent first pitch strike percentage is the highest of his career by a significant amount -- and he's inducing ground balls at the highest rate of his career. Oh yeah, he also pitches in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in MLB.

2. Melky Cabrera

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2. Melky Cabrera

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Melky had a terrible 2013, but he had a tumor on his back that had to be surgically removed. Speaking from personal experience, that’s an operation that seriously affects your ability to swing a bat. I don't expect Melky to hit 50 home runs like he's currently on pace for, but I do believe he will finish 2014 no worse than a top-50 outfielder and that he has the ability to finish in the top 25. His 2011 season is very repeatable.

1. Yordano Ventura

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1. Yordano Ventura

yordano ventura kansas city royals
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He's only had one start, but it was the most impressive performance I've seen so far in 2014. Ventura is going to be an ace for years to come. He throws his fastball in the high 90s with ease and he can dial it up to the low 100s pretty much whenever he wants. He also throws a plus changeup and plus curveball both with above-average control. Ventura could have a Jose Fernandez-esque impact in 2014.


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