Early Stock Risers
Normally we’d wait a few weeks to take notice of player production, but with the shortened season, it makes sense to pay close attention from the get go. Here are a few position players and pitchers who have looked better than most expected over the first of couple games. If they can continue to produce is the real question, but so far these guys have been great.
Didi Gregorius SS
Many expected a fall off after leaving New York, but not this expert. Like I said in other posts, Didi may not hit for the best average, but he does have a ton of pop and has shown it early in Philadelphia.
Matt Shoemaker SP
I loved Shoemaker coming into the season and in his opener, he didn’t let me down. Shoemaker went 6 strong innings allowing 1 run, on 3 hits, and 2 walks against a tough Rays lineup. Picking up where he left off from over a year ago, this type of performance has become the norm for him since joining Toronto. After only pitching in 5 games last year, many were down on Shoemaker, some forgetting about him entirely. The evidence was clear though, he still had plenty left in the tank after throwing nearly 7 perfect innings in early spring training. If his health permits, he should form a strong 1,2 with Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Jays and will be useful in all fantasy formats.
Kyle Seager 3B
After missing the first half of the season last year, Seager claimed he had changed his approach at the plate and his HR/PA shot up dramatically. He had a great spring, has become the leader of the clubhouse for the young Mariners, and is so far 4 for 10 with a home run versus the skilled Astros pitching squad.
Eric Hosmer 1B
My guy, Eric Hosmer. I told you guys to hold out at first base and to draft Hosmer late. A 20th round draft pick who would easily reach 100 RBI with a full year of Tatis Jr. and Tommy Pham in the lineup, already had 6 RBI opening day. Then, after missing day 2 with an illness (not COVID-19), he walked twice and hit a homer in the third game of the season. Said to try and lift the ball more this season, Hosmer could perform like a top 12 first baseman all season long. That's right, top 12!
Kyle Lewis OF
Lewis is batting in the middle of the order for Seattle and has already hit two home runs over his first three games. Lewis, who hit 6 homers in 18 games last year, should continue the trend, adding a good source of power to fantasy teams in all formats.
Yoenis Cespedes OF
With the valid health concerns coming into the season, Cespedes was left to the last few rounds of drafts, where he could end up being a major asset. Playing in all three opening games, Cespedes has already proven he can continue to get it done, launching a mammoth, game winning home run on opening day. If you drafted him, consider yourself lucky. It's also not a bad time to consider trading him with his stock and hype being so high.
Tommy Pham OF
Pham, after testing positive for COVID-19, was sent down many draft boards to start the season. After a quick recovery though, he was able to return to the Padres lineup where he stole an impressive 4 bags in two games! If he comes anywhere close to keeping up his aggressiveness on the basepaths, he could end up a top 20 player.
Giancarlo Stanton OF
Every year some injury seems to plague Stanton and this season was no different. With the delay however, he was able to get back to full health and had a ridiculous opening series against the defending world champs. He went 4 for 9, with 4 RBI, and hit two monstrous home runs. The first one coming off of Washington ace, Max Scherzer, traveling almost 480 feet, while the second flew 483 feet, and shot off his bat at an astounding 121 mph. Batting in the middle of the Yankees order, Stanton could produce top 10 hitting numbers.
Ramon Laureano OF
Entering the season I was high on Laureano and so far he’s looked the part. Judging by last years performance and metrics, I thought he would perform like a 5 tool star and as of right now he’s 5 for 8, with 4 R’s, 2 RBI, and a home run. The steals will come, hold on to this guy, unless offered something extraordinary in return.
Paul DeJong SS
The power has always been there for DeJong, but he was awful with runners in scoring position last year. Returning to the cleanup spot once again in 2020, DeJong vowed to take a simpler approach and so far its paid off. Over the first three games, he's produced a .400 BA, with 1 HR and 4 RBI. DeJong should be a nice source of power and RBI's all season long.
Cavan Biggio 2B/OF
If Biggio continues to hit like he did in his opening series vs the Rays, all worries of his low BA will evaporate. The nice power/speed combo Biggio possesses had him going in the early- middle rounds, but his exceptionally low BA kept him from cracking the top 150 (or there abouts). He went 5 for 13 against one of the best pitching staffs in the league to start the season, so if that’s an indication of what’s to come, Biggio could end up an enormous steal.
Ross Stripling SP/RP
When David Price chose to opt out for the season, it was Stripling who was called upon to replace him. Stripling's always pitched well in the past, so it was surprising to not see him going earlier in the draft. Likely to stick in the rotation all year, Stripling could produce like a top 25 SP.
Jackie Bradley Jr. OF
There was plenty of discussion in the early spring about Bradley Jr. finally changing his approach at the plate. The few owners who were willing to take a flier on him in the late rounds are more than pleased at the moment. It was against the Orioles, but Bradley Jr. went a ridiculous 7 for 11 in the opening series and could finally return to being a valuable fantasy asset all season long.
Sandy Alcantra SP
Sandy Alcantra showed glimpses of what he was capable of last season, especially during the second half. Considered the Marlins ace, he shut down the Phillies lineup over 6 and 2/3 innings on the road in Philadelphia, earning his first victory of the season. Likely to average close to a K per inning, if he can keep the free passes to a minimum, he should produce fine numbers across the board. I would sit him vs the Yankees and Red Sox however.
Dylan Bundy SP
At first glance, I was extremely skeptical about drafting Bundy. Mainly because he’s been the type of pitcher in previous seasons I would activate my bench hitters (in daily leagues) to face. Looking closer at the metrics however, and considering the move to the AL West, I started to have second thoughts. Bundy was always capable of striking out opposing hitters, he just gave up a ton of home runs, ruining his value. This season however, with a new coaching staff and finally getting out of Baltimore, Bundy could have the resurgence everyone’s been waiting for. In his first game for the Halos, Bundy went 6 and 2/3’s, while only allowing 3 hits, no walks, with 7 K's. If he’s still somehow available in your league, grab him now. Just sit him vs the Astros, Dodgers, and Colorado.
Jesus Aguilar 1B
Most had counted out the slugging first baseman after a terrible 2019 that saw him traded out of Milwaukee and then going unsigned by the Rays. He’s only 2 years removed from hitting 35 home runs and driving in 108, while hitting for a .274 AVG however, and batting in the middle of the Marlins lineup everyday he could once again become a valuable fantasy asset. Aguilar already has 2 home runs, 3 RBI, 3 R’s over his first three games, all against right handed starting pitching.
Yoshi Tsutsugo 3B/OF
Tsutsugo, earning a spot in the opening day lineup, started with a bang, clubbing a home run in his MLB debut. He may not play everyday, but averaging over 30 home runs over the last three years in Japan, he could be helpful in daily leagues vs the right matchup.