The nature of baseball suggests that peaks and valleys are inevitable for all players throughout the marathon of a season. With one week in the books, it is still far too early to make a conclusive evaluation on a fantasy roster, but a small sample size can still be a strong enough example of what is to come. This baseball season has been entertaining so far and these handful of players have been the ones who stood out in positive and negative ways.
Giancarlo Stanton: The Miami Marlins slugger is off to a fantastic start in his fourth full season. Many expected a breakout campaign and a possible 45-50 homer season if the lineup can finally protect him. Stanton had 12 RBI’s and a couple of homers in the first week, one of which was a titanic 484-foot moonshot. Expect Stanton to keep up his pace if he can finally stay on the field and if newcomers Casey McGehee and Jarrod Saltalamacchia can continue to hit behind him. Owners who took a chance on him in the first few rounds are looking pretty good right now.
Mark Trumbo: The Diamondbacks have gotten off to a poor start in losing seven of their first eight games, but Trumbo has come out of the gate on fire with five homers already. He has adapted rather well in his first season in the National League and should continue to be one of the most prolific power bats in baseball. Owners just have to keep fingers crossed that he can keep up his average and not fall back into old habits of racking up strikeouts.
Emilio Bonifacio: Bonifacio joined the Cubs as a castoff this offseason and so far has made for a very happy group of fantasy owners who took a flyer on him towards the end of their drafts. Bonifacio hit .500 through week one with four steals. He has proven he can be a dynamic player before and should remain an everyday player due to his ability to play multiple positions. The odds of him hitting .500 all year are rather slim, but he could prove to be one of the biggest steals in fantasy this season.
Scott Feldman: The de facto ace of the Houston Astros went 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in two starts during the opening week. Feldman is still available in most leagues and will be worth a pickup if he can continue to pitch well. Houston also hit five homers for him in his second start, so a revamped Astros offense only increases his value.
Francisco Rodriguez: His status as closer was up in the air heading into the season, but so far Rodriguez has erased any possibility of a switch to Jim Henderson for the Brewers. K-Rod’s successes have been well documented and still has the ability to be one of the best closers in baseball. In a league where guys have already been blowing saves left and right, Rodriguez has made owners very happy thus far.
Josh Reddick: The Oakland A’s have endured another brutal start from Josh Reddick, who is just 2-for-20 so far with no RBI’s. Reddick hit just 12 homers last year, which was even worse considering that five of them came in a two-day span. His breakout 32-homer campaign of 2011 is starting to look more like an aberration, and owners should give Reddick maybe one or two more weeks before considering dropping him. There are a number of options worthy of being picked up in a deep outfield crop.
Bryce Harper: Harper has begun the season just 3-for-21 with no RBI’s and ten strikeouts compared to just one walk. Owners continue to draft Harper in the first two rounds expecting him to explode, but it just has not happened yet for the 21-year-old. It is much too early to panic, but it is concerning.
Jedd Gyorko: The Padres second baseman was highly touted this season coming off a 23-homer rookie season. He was typically finding himself drafted amongst the top five second baseman in fantasy, but so far has gone just 2-for-21 with one RBI. Again, it is much to early to panic and Gyorko is a very talented player, but owners must hold their breath hoping to a void a sophomore slump.
Ricky Nolasco: The Twins new No. 1 starter has gotten shelled in his first two starts allowing 17 hits and 10 runs through ten innings. Nolasco has been a reliable starter for years in the National League and was supposed to benefit from pitching in the cavernous Target Field, but early results are very bad.
CC Sabathia: The Yankees ace is coming off the worst year of his career and has not looked any better through two starts this year. Sabathia has a 7.50 ERA through two starts and is boasting a fastball that now tops out around 91 mph. Owners who took a shot on him expecting a bounce back season have to be second-guessing themselves at this juncture.
Commentary by Justin Hussong
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer for the Los Angeles Dodgers