It's back...! No, I'm not talking about the MLB season (however, that is also true). I'm talking about the FNH MCM column. The baseball season is up and running, and at a pretty high level, so I figured it was probably time for me to be also. The same rules apply to the MLB version as for the NFL version - players that are low owned in fantasy leagues and have had great weeks.
This week's column will probably be youth heavy, but that's who I seem to crush on. Now on to Man Crush Monday!
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C, Det).
The nice thing about Salty (besides the fact he was a Braves farmhand) is that he will be getting fairly regular playing time for the foreseeable future. James McCann, the starting catcher to open the season, had a nasty collision running out a ball at first and is now on the DL with an ankle thing. That means more playing time for Salty. He's been doing the best with it also; over the past week he has had 3HR and 7RBI. Those are impressive power numbers from a player that is owned in 10% of leagues. He's not going to be a mainstay, but if you can afford to ride the hot hand, his is the hottest at the catcher position
John Jaso (1B, Pit).
Jaso might have the worst hair I have EVER seen in a baseball game! However, if that hair is helping him hit, I say, keep it. Jaso is hitting leadoff for a pretty good offense in Pittsburgh. Over the last week, Jaso is hitting .417. He really doesn't give you a ton of power, and, hitting leadoff, he won't get too many RBI opportunities either. His run production should be good (3, last week), and he has very good OBP skills. He's still only a deep league or OBP league add at this point, but keep your eyes on him.
Enrique (Kike) Hernandez (2B/OF, LAD).
I'm in a group text with "The Nicks," and it seemed like at least a few times last week I would get multiple texts that simply said "KIKE." He was very good and single handedly beat MadBum. 2HR and 2 2B might not be in the cards for a part time player every week, but if they play a slew of lefties, it could be for Kike again. He's the latest of the "Super Utility Players."
Trevor Plouffe (3B, Min).
To say that Plouffe is anyone's crush seems a little drastic. However, he's been hitting on a team that hasn't. Minnesota has been pretty bad offensively, but Plouffe, over the past week, was 10/23 with 5 extra base hits and 5 RBI. Those are not exactly "blow you away" type of numbers, but they are definitely worth owning. I also believe that Plouffe is worth owning at a relatively weak position.
Marcus Semien (SS, Oak).
Semien was everyone's sweetheart last season. He then started 2015 like gangbusters, giving everyone the confirmation bias they wanted. He hit a snag in 2015, fielding. He seemingly had an error every time the ball was hit to him (that's obviously not true); but Ron Washington started working with him on his defense, and subsequently his offense went down the potty. Looks like that pop didn't stay gone for long. This past week he belted 3 HR. We all knew he had power. What I liked to see is that his SO/Walk was 4/3. He's in the mix for a SS1 now. If you have a Ketel Marte type, pick up Semien.
Nick Markakis (OF, Atl).
I had my homer pick of Saltalamacchia (former Braves farm system player) and now for the current Braves player. Markakis is nothing flashy, he went 2 years without a HR for heavens sake. He didn't this past week either. He did however accumulate 5 doubles and 8 RBI. If you're in an OBP league, he should definitely be on your radar. Points league players, he has 5 walks and 2 strikeouts over the past week. Time to start looking at the Atlanta RF.
Matt Moore (SP, TB).
I drafted Moore wherever I could. So you can call this confirmation bias if you'd like. Last week, a 2-start week, he logged 13.1 IP, 15Ks, 2 QS and most importantly for Moore, 1 walk. Moore was a top prospect not that long ago. He's a must add in all leagues.
Kevin Jepsen (RP, Min).
Jepsen is the closer for a team that will win 75-80 games. He recorded 2 saves over the weekend. There is no reason that he shouldn't be added in around 80% of leagues, he is currently at 23%. Don't expect Perkins to be back anytime soon. If you're save needy, you should already have Jepsen on your team.
I hope everyone is as excited as I am about the start of the 2016 season. Where I live, in West Texas, we have numerous signs with the mantra "Pray for Rain." In a baseball sense, it's exactly the opposite, the game must go on! Enjoy this week of the MLB season!