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Jose Lopez, Colorado Rockies
A sleeper who was tough to get a read on at draft time, Lopez is starting to appear in a more legible font. He has started in four straight and is 5-for-13 with a double in those contests.
Lopez escaping Rocky start?
That doesn't seem like much, but Lopez studied tape of his swing in his super 2009 campaign and has made some adjustments to get back to that approach. He said that he felt a difference immediately in the way the ball reacted when he made contact.
Jim Tracy seems pretty fervent in his faith in Lopez, obviously in strong contrast to the skipper's support for Ian Stewart. Ty Wigginton was expected to play most of the time at the hot corner once he returned from the DL, and he's still in the picture. If Lopez produces and continues to improve, he may also wrest time away from Jonathan Herrera, who has been solid but doesn't offer the upside that Lopez does. Coors Field is a great place to rediscover 20-homer power and a solid average.
Lopez has spent the large majority of his recent time at third base. He isn't far from earning keystone eligibility in most fantasy baseball leagues (he might already be in yours), either, although it's uncertain how soon he'll get more opportunities to work toward that.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
John Mayberry Jr., Philadelphia Phillies
Mayberry has undoubtedly received his recent opportunity because of Shane Victorino's absence for what the club hopes is a minor hamstring strain. Mayberry has started in four straight. He's 2-for-13, with a homer and three stolen bases (although at least one of them came on a poor call), in those games. Not inspiring numbers, but he's making things happen.
The question is whether Charlie Manuel is willing to expose him for an extended period. On Wednesday, the skipper opted for Mayberry instead of Ben Francisco against the Colorado Rockies' southpaw starter, Jorge De La Rosa. Or, more accurately, Manuel chose Raul Ibanez, the lefty swinger with issues of his own, instead of Francisco, who has struggled mightily this month, for that matchup.
It's clear that it's not fun to be an owner of any Phillies outfielder besides Victorino (or Domonic Brown, for those who plan ahead). Wednesday's lineup may be of little consequence, and Mayberry doesn't have a great BA profile. The ball unquestionably jumps off his bat, though, and Manuel may be inclined to ride him if he continues to provide some kind of (weak) spark, even after Victorino returns. Mayberry has 20-20 ability, so it's a matter of discovering whether he has the patience to tap into it in the majors.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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