Last week I told you it was time to add Buster Posey and Stephen Strasburg to your roster.
Less than a week later Posey collects three hits and three RBIs for the big league club in a 12-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
If you listened to The Hot 8 last week you already had Posey on your roster causing the rest of your league to search for him and witness that you indeed already had the coveted backstop.
That is what The Hot 8 is all about, being ahead of the curve and especially your league.
This week’s list is no different as I’ve got a few more players that will soon be household names and leave your fellow owners cursing your name.
Long Term Investments
Carlos Santana – Catcher – Indians
As good of a hitter as Buster Posey is, Carlos Santana is probably a bit better.
His defense may not rival that of the Giants prospect but in fantasy baseball who cares about defense?
Santana can flat out hit and do so from both sides of the plate with plus power.
He has shown no ill effects from a broken bone in his hand that he suffered this winter and is hitting a robust .319/.448/.577 with 10 HR, 42 RBI, 32 runs, 10 doubles, and even 6 steals for AAA Columbus.
Perhaps even more impressive is that he has walked (37) more times than he’s struck out (32) this season.
Santana is ready and if you missed out on the Posey derby fear not.
This is your chance to make good on grabbing a very good hitting catcher right in time to make a run in your fantasy league.
Mike Stanton – OF – Marlins
Stanton has all of the skill and desire to be a superstar major league player.
He is tremendously athletic having been a three sport star in high school and highly recruited by former USC coach Pete Carrol as a wide receiver.
Stanton has been a man amongst boys while playing for AA Jacksonville this season.
He’s slugged 18 homers and drove in 47 runs already this season and is just biding time until the first week of June when the Marlins are likely to promote him south.
While Stanton’s power is well documented, his speed is usually underestimated.
Stanton will be a regular 20/20 player in a full major league season.
Corey Hart – OF – Brewers
Nobody is as hot right now as Milwaukee OF Corey Hart.
With 5 HR and 12 RBI in his last ten games, Hart is a welcome blessing for the suddenly hot Brewers.
Hart is another athletic outfielder who has good power but also can swipe a base here and there.
He’s a streaky player but also one that I believe will continue to have an impact in the Brewers lineup for the remainder of this season.
Seth Smith – OF – Rockies
The Rockies wealth of outfielders is nothing short of ridiculous.
This week the player with the highest upside, Dexter Fowler finds himself odd man out as Seth Smith has started earning more starts in left field.
Smith is one of those player who never stops hitting.
He produces while in the lineup, in platoon roles and off the bench as a pinch hitter.
He offers good power and run producing ability in a lineup full of on base percentage.
For as long as he’s seeing regular time in the Rockies lineup, Smith is worth occupying the fourth or fifth OF spot on your fantasy team.
John Axford – RHP – Brewers
Axford shot through the Brewers organizational ranks last season as he went from mediocre starter to a dominant relief pitcher in one season.
He is basically a two pitch pitcher with a fastball that clocks in around 95 MPH and a sharp breaking curve that he changes speed and plane on regularly.
Axford has assumed the role of closer for the Brewers and will hold this job until Trevor Hoffman is ready to give it another go.
While I would normally suggest staying away from any closer situation that may change again in the coming weeks, the Brewers are finally playing good ball and there is a real opportunity to collect saves here by picking up Axford.
Just know that whatever you get out of him in the next week or two it may not last if the aging Trevor Hoffman can regain prior form.
One Week Wonders
Gio Gonzalez – LHP – Athletics
Gonzalez is finally pitching like the guy we were promised a couple of years ago.
Much of the credit should go to the A’s coaching staff that have ironed out Gonzalez’s delivery and have gotten him to repeat it consistently.
This has allowed him to pound the strikezone more often and cut down dramatically on his free passes.
This week Gonzalez will take on John Lackey and the Red Sox in his first start and Nick Blackburn and the division leading Twins on his second.
Still, I expect good numbers to come out of these matchups and for Gonzalez to collect at least one win and plenty of strikeouts.
Hisanori Takahashi – LHP – Mets
Takahashi’s performance against two of the best hitting teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Phillies, has gotten the attention of the Mets coaching staff.
Jerry Manuel announced that Takahashi will remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future and that is good news for fantasy owners in need of a starting pitcher.
Takahashi is a two start pitcher this week drawing Kevin Correia and the Padres on Monday and Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins on Saturday.
Keep An Eye On
Michael Brantley – OF – Indians
With Grady Sizemore out for what could be the rest of the season, the Indians are in desperate need of some offense.
Brantley was demoted after just 32 AB’s this season but has caught fire for AAA Columbus of late.
He will definitely be recalled soon and should see plenty of AB’s this time around.
Brantley has very good discipline and patience at the plate and has always hit for a good batting average.
I fully expect this kid to develop some power somewhere along the line as he is a big athletic guy and should learn how to hammer pitches while in favorable counts.
Keep him on your watch lists for now but there should be some opportunity for Brantley in the near future.
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That is The Hot 8 for this week. What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Post your comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .