In addition to Monday's eight featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offers a Friday 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 Fridays, we also do the same drill for pitchers.
Brew Crew's leadoff man has been a consistent fire starter
Norichika Aoki (OF) Milwaukee Brewers
Aoki is sizzling at the moment, riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he's posted a .395/1/6/12/4 roto line. Even when he hasn't been on fire, he hasn't been that bad, recording a .707 OPS or better each month and consistently stealing bases and scoring runs. Aoki is a nice three-category speed option (BA/R/SB) that isn't a complete power non-factor (7 HR).
Twins rookie brings hot Triple-A bat with him in return to Minnesota
Chris Parmelee (1B/OF) Minnesota Twins
After flirting with the Mendoza Line during the first half of the season, Parmelee was shipped back to Triple-A Rochester. With the Red Wings, he found his groove, hitting .341 and drilling 13 home runs in 45 games after the break. That heat wave earned him a return trip to Minnesota in late August, and he hasn't missed a beat since his recall, recording a hit in each of his first eight games back in Minnesota – .406, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 6 R in that span.
Rizzo not lost in translation in his second MLB tour
Anthony Rizzo (1B) Chicago Cubs
After teasing us with a seven-HR July, Rizzo's power is starting to re-emerge – three doubles, three home runs in his past eight games. Well known for his ability to crush PCL pitching, Rizzo, in his second tour in the big leagues, isn't losing much in the translation from Triple-A to MLB. His .826 OPS trumps that of other brand name first basemen like Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzalez and Freddie Freeman.
Senior circuit starting to agree with former A's backstop
Kurt Suzuki (C) Washington Nationals
Suzuki started his Nats career in a 9-for-50 funk. But the light has clicked on in his past nine games, as he's hit .414 with three home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs in that span. Suzuki has averaged 14 home runs and 68 RBIs over the past three years. And he's getting steady playing time with the Nats. If you need catching help, here's a proven commodity that's swinging a hot stick for one of MLB's top 10 offenses.
"Macho" kid has more than held his own during first month in the big leagues
Manny Machado (3B/SS) Baltimore Orioles
Considered by some to be the top shortstop prospect in baseball heading into the '12 season, Machado has backed up the hype with a .749 OPS in his first 26 games in Baltimore despite being just 20 years of age. Machado is coming out of an August slump, hitting .379 over his past seven games (11-for-29). The couting stat production hasn't been anything to write home about of late but, given Machado's upside and the fact that he's been a quick study, it's only a matter of time before his power/speed skills come online. He's a potential strike-it-rich dice roll down the stretch for those with shortstop needs.
• LW Rank denotes a player's ranking in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past week