Players just getting their feet wet in the majors tend to experience adversity.Â Progress is not often linear and some valleys must be visited before the peaks are seen.Â Three young players who slumped earlier in the year are turning things around and fantasy owners are taking notice.Â A slugging rookie third baseman is beginning to lose value and is being dropped.
Paul Goldschmidt:Â A seventeen game hitting streak has wiped out a cold April from the stat sheets, he is on pace with last yearâ€™s impressive numbers.Â He is swinging more but also making contact more often.Â His batting average could be at a high point considering his 25.1% strikeout rate but he demonstrated real power in his first one hundred big league games.
Drop for him:Â Chris Davis, Bryan LaHair, Justin Morneau
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Kendrys Morales, Eric Hosmer, Michael Morse
Michael Saunders:Â He is hitting .406/.457/.688 in June and is Seattleâ€™s leader in OBP.Â His ISO jumped over 100 points despite a large increase in GB/FB ratio.Â The home run pace may slow but he offers 15 HR / 20 SB potential.Â He appears to finally be finding some footing.
Drop for him:Â Logan Morrison, Jeff Francoeur, Brett Gardner
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Jason Kubel, Cameron Maybin, Denard Span
Gordon Beckham:Â Every so often he goes on a hot streak but he has generally disappointed in the last 2+ seasons.Â This year’s monthly splits show strikeouts decreasing while power increases.Â He is fantasyâ€™s #6 2B over the last 30 days.Â Teams needing help in the middle infield can sign him up, but should be ready to bail too.
Drop for him:Â Jemile Weeks, Darwin Barney, Sean Rodriguez
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Danny Espinosa, Rickie Weeks, Neil Walker
A.J. Burnett:Â Changing scenery has been extremely beneficial to Burnett.Â There is not much apparent change in his pitches but he is cutting down on walks and generating a ton of ground balls.Â Since a May 2 blowup in St. Louis he pitched 46.2 innings allowing nine earned runs and winning five of the seven starts.
Drop for him:Â Carlos Zambrano, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza, Felix Doubront
Will Middlebrooks:Â His playing time is less consistent as Boston attempts to squeeze Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis into the same lineup.Â Middlebrooks is also slowing down, his OPS was .922 in May, it is .628 in June.Â HisÂ .372 BABIP is still high and a 0.22 BB/K hints at more struggles ahead.
Drop him for:Â Kyle Seager, Chase Headley, Chipper Jones
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Daniel Murphy, Mark Reynolds, Pedro Alvarez
Alex Avila:Â He is on the DL with a hamstring strain and many owners are deciding to cut the underachieving catcher rather than wait it out.Â BABIP regression is the main force behind his diminished production.Â He is 18th on the Player Rater at his position and may struggle to get much higher.
Drop him for:Â Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A.J. Ellis, Wilin Rosario
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Kurt Suzuki, John Buck , Josh Thole
Luke Scott:Â He will not start in National League parks because he is a defensive liability.Â He is also hitting .186 over his last twelve games.Â He belongs on the waiver wire in standard mixed leagues, aside from when he catches fire for a month or so.
Drop him for:Â Ty Wigginton, Delmon Young, Gregor Blanco
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Brandon Belt, Mike Carp, Yonder Alonso
Scott Downs:Â He owns a 0.42 ERA and converted a save Sunday but the last two went to Ernesto Frieri.Â Downsâ€™ skills are worth owning even if saves coneÂ sporadically.Â He does not suffer from a large platoon split but history suggests he will end up in the eighth inning.
Drop him for:Â Casey Janssen, Addison Reed, Huston Street
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Heath Bell, Brian Fuentes, Carlos Marmol