In 2011 and 2012 Jeremy Hellickson posted solid surface stats, but sabermetrically inclined players had plenty to find fault with him.Â This year his ERA shot up and most assumed his luck simply turned.Â A peek under the hood shows that may not be the whole story.Â In the wave of new call-ups a young veteran like Hellickson can get lost, but the may outperform all of them.
Jeremy Hellickson:Â He is riding a string of four straight quality starts, the last one a 7 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K effort against the White Sox.Â His 3.42 K/BB is by far his best as a Raysâ€™ starter.Â While his 4.67 ERA is unsightly this is the first year his indicators are under 4.00.Â His 67.0% strand rate is 86th out of 93 qualified starters.Â That is the biggest factor bloating his ERA, and he can do better over the balance of the season.
Drop for him:Â Travis Wood, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Tillman
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Kyle Lohse, John Lackey, Ervin Santana
Rajai Davis:Â He is starting with Melky Cabrera on the shelf.Â He has 22 steals in 55 games, already swiping more bags than full time players like Ben Revere, Coco Crisp, and Brett Gardner.Â He makes few contributions outside of speed, but Cabrera has disappointed this year and Davis may have earned himself a greater role.
Drop for him:Â B.J. Upton, Brandon Moss, Ichiro Suzuki
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Gerardo Parra, Colby Rasmus, Alfonso Soriano
Brian McCann:Â Owners shied away this year as he was coming off shoulder surgery.Â That procedure often saps power but a career high 19.2% HR/FB is fueling McCannâ€™s power surge.Â He is not showing any slippage in his other skills either.Â He is fantasyâ€™s top catcher the last two weeks and is second in wRC+ among those with at least 150 plate appearances.
Drop for him:Â Salvador Perez, Matt Wieters, A.J. Pierzynski,
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Victor Martinez, Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli
Stephen Fife:Â He limited the opposition to three earned runs or less in seven straight starts, but might lose his rotation spot to the incoming Ricky Nolasco.Â His 2.76 ERA is at least a run better than all his indicators and his strand rate is pushing 80%.Â The last time he struck out more than 7.0/9 was 2009 at the High-A level.Â That makes him a limited fantasy option.
Drop for him:Â Phil Hughes, Kyle Kendrick, Jason Marquis
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Jake Westbrook, Jacob Turner, Andrew Cashner
Zack Wheeler:Â Since shutting Atlanta out in his debut he has thrown fifteen innings allowing ten runs with eight walks and nine strikeouts.Â Despite using his fastball on 71.2% of his pitches he only gets first pitch strikes on 44.8% of hitters.Â The league average is 60.4%.Â Wheeler needs to improve his control. This is a common problem among rookie pitchers.
Drop him for:Â Ian Kennedy, Jorge De La Rosa, Corey Kluber
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Edwin Jackson, Andy Pettitte, Eric Stults
Kyle Blanks:Â He sat twice in the last four games to rest a sore heel and has not hit a home run since June 16.Â Hopefully the issue is not serious, but considering Blanksâ€™ size and his injury history owners would be wise to worry.Â He currently has a 120 wRC+, the same as Austin Jackson, Matt Joyce, and Jayson Werth entering Sundayâ€™s action.
Drop him for:Â Logan Morrison, Marcell Ozuna, Matt Joyce
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Lorenzo Cain, Vernon Wells, Mike Carp
Gregor Blanco:Â Angel Pagan appears done for the year so Blanco is locked into playing time.Â That is important in deep leagues, but as the whole Giantsâ€™ offense is in a funk he is not producing much.Â He displayed good speed in the past, but with nine steals in fourteen attempts he is not providing value there either.
Drop him for:Â Carlos Quentin, Oswaldo Arcia, Denard Span
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Delmon Young, Juan Pierre, Seth Smith
Jim Henderson:Â Mikwaukee appears committed to Francisco Rodriguez as their closer, but a deadline deal remains possible.Â Hendersonâ€™s numbers are strong, but his K/BB is deteriorating by month:Â 5.00, 4.00, 2.00, 1.00.Â In leagues where all closers are owned he should be too, but owners should have a close eye on his control stats.
Drop him for:Â Heath Bell, Mark Melancon, Tom Wilhelmsen
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Andrew Bailey, Luke Gregerson, Bruce Rondon