In addition to Monday's nine featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offered a Wednesday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. And on Friday, Brad Evans goes through the same drill for pitchers. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.
Converted reliever finally get his chance in rotation
Kris Medlen (SP, RP) Atlanta Braves
Medlen was well on his way to fantasy stardom before Tommy John surgery dashed that dream two years ago. Now back at full-strength and pitching better than ever, he’s a versatile, must-grab commodity in mixers. In his first start of the season Tuesday versus the recently imploded Marlins, he tossed five strong in the win, allowing one earned run with three strikeouts. With Tommy Hanson sidelined, additional turns are forthcoming. Long-term, it’s hard to say if he’ll stick. Paul Maholm’s acquisition from the Cubs and Mike Minor’s sudden revival crowds the Atlanta rotation. Still, with the pathetic ‘Stros on the docket next, Medlen could be a sensational short-term rental.
- Y! %7%
- L14 rank56
Former middle man blessing for injury-marred Jays rotation
Carlos Villanueva (SP, RP) Toronto Blue Jays
The righty has performed admirably since being inserted into the Jays rotation in late June. During that stretch, he’s surrendered a laudable 11 runs over 34.1 innings (2.90 ERA) with 30 strikeouts and four wins. His last outing in Seattle was a bit rocky, but his stellar 6:0 K:BB rate could foreshadow successes to come, provided he keeps the ball in the park – the long-ball has plagued him at times this year (1.20 GB/FB). Still, his 9-plus K/9 rate, RP eligibility and every fifth day gig labels him a quality rotation caboose in 12-team and deeper mixed leagues.
- Y! %27%
- L14 rank 222
Little known prospect on verge of making big impact
Dan Straily (SP) Oakland A’s
Promoted Thursday from Triple-A Sacramento,Straily could be the A’s’ latest rookie sensation. As discussed in this space last week, he’s more than ready. Over 138.1 minor league innings, he’s totaled a 2.60 ERA and 11.38 K/9. No, that last number isn’t a typo. Equipped with a nearly untouchable mid-90s fastball along with an adequate slider and change, he has the stuff to develop into a difference-maker down the stretch. If he owns Toronto in his MLB debut Friday night, spend that top waiver claim you’ve hoarded for months.
- Y! %0%
- L14 rank--
Wham! Bam! Thank you, Sam.
Samuel Deduno (SP) Minnesota Twins
Effectively wild in his first four starts with the Twinkies, the former Rockies/Padres farmhand has made a splash on the major league scene. Through 29 innings, he’s amassed a respectable 2.48 ERA and three wins. As his deplorable 6.20 BB/9 suggests, free passes are a problem, but because he coaxes abundant ground-ball outs (51.6 GB%) and has a favorable home environment, he’s a hurler to watch. Prior to his promotion in early July, Deduno notched a 9.86 K/9 and 2.14 ERA for Triple-A Rochester. Monitor his progress, deep leaguers.
- Y! %1%
- L14 rank 100
Derek Lowe’s banishment is the youngster’s gain
Corey Kluber (SP) Cleveland Indians
In leagues where pitching commodities are very scarce, owners need to get a Klube. The Stetson product, recalled from Triple-A Columbus Thursday, will be given every opportunity to stick with the senior club down the straightaway. In 21 starts with the Clippers, he performed well, tallying a 3.59 ERA and 9.21 K/9. He may not posses the strongest of pedigrees, but he generates plenty of weak contact. His debut against Kansas City was rocky (6 ER in the first inning), but blame jitters. The Tribe appears committed to him, for now.
- Y! %1%
- L14 rank--
"L14 rank" denotes the ranking of the player in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past 14 days.