Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch

Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch
May 31, 2012, 6:47 pm
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By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies: Here's how it works with Fowler this year - he's Mickey Mantle at home (.337.433.723) and Mickey Rooney on the road (.178.260.311). Now is a perfect time to buy in, with Colorado playing 10 of its next 13 games at home. Fowler is healthy again and batting lead-off again, and maybe he'll do something on the road in June, too, when the Rockies visit Arizona and Texas.

Carlos Quentin, OF, Padres: In a lot of ways he's the opposite of Fowler; this is a hitter who should mash on the road but struggle at home. Quentin's first week back has been a smash (7-for-12, three homers), but the Padres return to Petco Park on Friday, where fly balls go to die. Can you sell Quentin off his fast start? I'd certainly try.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, Dodgers: He's never going to be a special player and you get absolutely no pop here, but Gwynn does have a .291 average this month with four steals and the Dodgers will use him near the top of the lineup more often than not. Gwynn is needed for the here and now with Matt Kemp hurt again, and a tasty weekend in Colorado is on the way.
Dayan Viciedo, OF, White Sox: He'll swing at anything and he's constantly swinging for the downs, let's establish that up front. Viciedo has just two doubles and three walks this month. But with a .351 average and eighth homers in May - and a hot summer of Chicago fun just around the corner - why worry? The average will come crashing down, but this should be a 30-homer source, and he's tied to a sneaky-good offense (fourth in the AL in runs).

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Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox:  He's going to try to play through his thumb problem, but how productive will he be? Pedroia's slash line is down in all three columns, and he's only stolen three bases this year (the bags might completely dry up if the thumb isn't right). You'll still get a solid player here and the ultimate gamer, but if someone is willing to pay for 90 percent of Pedroia's name value, make that deal.
Bryan LaHair, 1B, Cubs: He's hitting just .136 against lefties and obviously that .398 BABIP isn't going to stick around very long (it's been in free-fall all month). And LaHair's contact rate is an issue as well, as he strikes out 29 percent of the time. He's still a reasonable player even in mixed leagues, but don't start assuming this late bloomer is the new Nelson Cruz.

Holding Steady
Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves: A week of eye problems had roto owners panicking, but Freeman emerged with new goggles Wednesday and produced a get-well line: single, double, homer. Back to work for one of the NL's most underrated hitters: we expect 25 homers and 100 RBIs when the year is complete, along with an average somewhere in the .270-.280 range.
Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants: His 13-steal display in spring training got the attention of some, and Blanco hasn't looked out of place as San Francisco's lead-off man (.398 OPB, six steals, 22 runs in 27 games). You'll have to supply your power elsewhere - that's common with this sort of player - but it seems like the Giants are giving Blanco free reign to do his own thing, taking pitches and running liberally.