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Pickups of the Week: Hitters

In addition to Monday's nine featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offers a Wednesday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues. On Friday, we'll offer the same drill for pitchers.

Dustin Ackley

After starting off on the wrong foot, Ackley is squared away for a second-half run

Dustin Ackley (2B) Seattle Mariners
Ackley's Yahoo! ownership has recently dipped below the 50 percent threshold. That's what a .236 batting average will do to you. But if you are a jilted former Ackley owner, or just someone who has turned their nose at his availability on the waiver wire, now is probably a good time to make a move for his services. Though it's a small sample size, there's reason to be excited about Ackley's four hits in his past two games. After his 2-for-4, 1-HR effort on Monday at Kansas City, Ackley announced he has finally found his comfort level at the plate. Said Ackley, "I know what I've been doing wrong – getting too far out on my front foot, not waiting for the pitch to get to me." Ackley went on to say that Monday was the best he's felt at the plate all season. Even with his struggles, Ackley has still been a better fantasy commodity than 2B-eligibles Michael Young and Howie Kendrick, both owned in more than 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues. This is one player where a leap of faith could really pay off.

  • Y! %47%
  • LW rank82
  • AVG.278
  • HR1
  • RBI3
  • R5
  • SB0
Anthony Gose

This Gose is a blur on the base paths

Anthony Gose (OF) Toronto Blue Jays
Gose was the beneficiary of Jose Bautista's wrist injury. Shortly after Bautista landed on the 15-day DL, Gose was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he posted a .292 batting average and 29 steals in 92 PCL games. As Andy Behrens explained on Tuesday, there's some concern about his hitting profile (.265 career minor league hitter with a lot of strikeouts to go with), but there's no denying he can fly around the bases. He has two minor league campaign on the books in which he stole 70-plus bases in less than 140 games. Gose went 1-for-2 after pinch-hitting for Ben Francisco in his MLB debut on Tuesday. But the lefty is expected to get regular starts in right field against right-handed hitting and, if he holds his own, he should get plenty of at bats in the leadoff spot for the No. 3 offense in the league. If you have a speed need, take a flyer on Gose.

  • Y! %5%
  • LW rank875
  • AVG.500
  • HR0
  • RBI0
  • R0
  • SB0
Josh Rutledge

Rutledge took the Rocky Mountain express lane to Colorado

Josh Rutledge (SS) Colorado Rockies
A 2010 draft pick, Rutledge, the preseason No. 10 Rockies prospect according to Baseball America, has taken the fast track to Colorado, arriving less than a week ago. Rutledge was in Double-A when he got the call. For the Texas League Tulsa Drillers, Rutledge was hitting .306 with 13 home runs and 14 steals in 87 games. Baseball America lauded him for his hand-eye coordination and his compact stroke, which has been evident in his career .319 minor league batting average. The 23-year-old former University of Alabama product clearly has the confidence of his parent club, as the Rockies have allowed him to skip over Low-A and Triple-A levels en route to the show. And with Troy Tulowitzki still out for roughly a month, Rutledge has a big opportunity to prove himself. And he gets the ripest hitting environment to do it in (half of the time, anyway). With his pop/speed combo, Rutledge is exactly the kind of player that deep leaguers should be rolling the dice on.

  • Y! %1%
  • LW rank101
  • AVG .250
  • HR0
  • RBI4
  • R2
  • SB2
Peter Bourjos

Too many Angels in the outfield could mean a new home for Bourjos is coming soon

Peter Bourjos (OF) Los Angeles Angels
If you have the roster room, it's a good time to stash Bourjos on the bench. The Angels are eager to add a pitcher(s) before the trade deadline, and Bourjos is the team's top bargaining chip. Bourjos has posted a solid .265/15/61/87/24 line in his past 623 at bats with the Angels, but playing time has been tough to come by since Mike Trout took the league by storm in early May. Also coveted for his defense, it's not inconceivable to think Bourjos could be playing regularly atop a lineup like the Phillies or Brewers for the final two months of the season if those teams can't work out long-term deals with Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke, respectively.

  • Y! %23%
  • LW rank736
  • AVG.400
  • HR0
  • RBI1
  • R1
  • SB0
Ryan Doumit

For those desperately seeking a catcher, just Doumit!

Ryan Doumit (C/O) Minnesota Twins
In his past 50 games, going back to May 6, Doumit is the No. 9 catcher in the fantasy game, batting .318 in that span. In terms of Yahoo! ownership, however, there are 16 catchers currently sitting on more rosters than Doumit. He's particularly hot at the moment, having tallied at least two hits in eight of his past 12 games. If you are an owner that is playing the catcher shuffle, jumping from one streaking catcher to the next, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option at the moment than Doumit.

  • Y! %29%
  • LW rank123
  • AVG.333
  • HR0
  • RBI5
  • R3
  • SB0

LW Rank denotes a player's ranking in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past week

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