As poorly as the Twins started one could be excused for ignoring their offensive players.Â The season rolls on, the numbers begin to even out, and two sleepers are emerging.Â Interleague play is forcing some hitters to the bench and owners are not hesitating to drop them.
Trevor Plouffe:Â His .154 ISO in 2011 was high for a shortstop-eligible hitter, but in 2012 he is blowing the roof off at .322, good for third in baseball.Â At some point he will cool off, but do not dismiss him as a flash in the pan.Â He is more selective this season and making contact more often.Â He could easily end up with numbers comparable to J.J Hardyâ€™s.
Drop for him:Â Rafael Furcal, Jhonny Peralta, Marco Scutaro
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Jed Lowrie, Jimmy Rollins, Mike Aviles
Ben Revere:Â He was called up on May 17 and while he does not play every day he is running enough to justify ownership for steals-needy teams.Â He is only striking out in 5.7% of plate appearances and a .350 BABIP is helping him to a .328 average.Â His contact rate will keep his average up even if the BABIP slips.Â He is delivering as expected when labeled a pre-season sleeper.
Drop for him:Â Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Brett Gardner
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Michael Brantley, Torii Hunter, Emilio Bonifacio
Clay Buchholz:Â In four consecutive starts he lasted at least seven innings, allowed two runs or less, and struck out at least six.Â Overall he threw 31 IP with six walks and 28 strikeouts.Â There is no sudden velocity spike but he is controlling his secondary pitches far more effectively.Â He has enough success on his record to take a leap of faith.
Drop for him:Â Matt Harrison, Ivan Nova, Bud Norris
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Max Scherzer, Mat Latos, Vance Worley
Ivan Nova:Â Once again the Win Fairy is making frequent visits his way, including in his last five starts.Â He has a higher ERA than in 2011 but also an elevated BABIP and HR/FB.Â His xFIP has improved, dipping under 4.00.Â His K/BB rose from 1.72 to 3.17, and anytime that ratio is over 3.00 the pitcher is worth considering.
Drop for him:Â Daniel Hudson, Tim Hudson, Jeremy Hellickson
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett, Ervin Santana
Kevin Youkilis:Â A quick stay on the DL did nothing to get his bat going.Â He has career lows in nearly every category and trade rumors are swirling.Â There are 37 third basemen with 130 or more PAâ€™s.Â Youkilis is 31st in wRC+.Â Will Middlebrooks is clearly outplaying him.
Drop him for:Â Chipper Jones, Ryan Roberts, Ty Wigginton
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Brandon Inge, Danny Valencia, Chone Figgins
Dayan Viciedo:Â Sore hamstrings cost him a couple of games, as did playing in National League parks and losing the DH.Â He cooled off in June, currently with a .209 OBP and 32.6% K%.Â Expect severe hot and cold streaks from any hitter with a 0.12 BB/K.
Drop him for:Â Michael Saunders, Brennan Boesch, Colby Rasmus
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Logan Morrison, Brandon Belt, Carl Crawford
Jeff Samardzija:Â Three straight starts have been of the non-quality variety.Â He has a 8.36 ERA and 5.79 BB/9 in June.Â His velocity is holding and the metrics indicate some misfortune.Â His 9.0 K/9 is valuable enough in most leagues to put up with his inconsistency.
Drop him for:Â Chad Billingsley, Matt Moore, Matt Garza
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Mark Buehrle, Scott Diamond, Wade Miley
Dexter Fowler:Â He is hitting .204/.310/.306 in June and suffering a major power drop in comparison to May.Â He features a 1.067 OPS at Coors Field with a .524 mark on the road.Â We are still waiting for him to apply his speed and steal some bases.
Drop him for:Â Cameron Maybin, Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Jordan Schafer, Coco Crisp, Denard Span
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