Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
OF Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres
Maybin we're amazed
Maybin is 5-for-18 with a home run and four stolen bases since returning last week from the DL, where he spent a month and a half for a wrist impingement that has given him problems on and off for some time. Surgery wasn't required, so it's unclear if he's past the issue for good, but that shouldn't matter at this juncture.
A healthy Maybin is simply a must-own. The center fielder with budding power swiped 40 bases in 2011 and 26 last season. A pain-free right wrist will certainly aid his efforts to raise his average, something he shouldn't have much trouble doing in the short term.
SP Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers
In spring training, the big breakout looked like it was just around the corner, didn't it? So what happened? This right-hander sports a 4.86 ERA through 12 starts (63 innings).
Take a closer look. After a dreadful performance at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 20 (nine earned runs, only two outs recorded), Porcello has been that breakthrough pitcher. In eight games (50 stanzas), he's generated a 3.24 ERA, struck out 51 and walked 10. One of those outings was a clunker, but the rest were quality starts, save one, which was still a proud outing at the Texas Rangers last month.
Porcello has teased fantasy owners before, but never like this. The K's are coming along like the rate at which he registered them in ST by relying on his changeup and an Uncle Charlie breaking ball more often. His ERA should continue to decline, even if it's slowly.
1B/OF Kyle Blanks, San Diego Padres
It's not often that two Friars batters make a list of good pickups for fantasy owners. Maybin was expected to cut off Blanks' avenue to PT, but San Diego realized that Yonder Alonso was going to need plenty more time to recover from what they initially believed was a bruise in his hand but later found out was a fractured bone.
Luckily, Blanks is a former first baseman. He's been a somewhat hot pickup because of his recent performance (13 for his last 32, with three home runs), which really picked up once he learned that the Padres still had room for him.
Blanks' control of the strike zone has improved considerably at the MLB level, but he hasn't sacrificed power in order to achieve it, as his six bombs in 114 at-bats attest. Health is great. There's a chance that Blanks proves he's too good to sit, with a shot at regular at-bats for the next month-plus.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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