Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees
This right-hander's 3.60 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in six starts (35 frames) aren't doing him anything close to justice. Hughes may, in fact, be taking the step that seemed to be just over the horizon after his 2010 campaign (4.19 ERA) and which he revisited in 2012 (4.23 ERA) after a miserable 2011 fueled by his complacence.
Hughes has been huuuuuge
Hughes has registered a 8.74 K/9 and 1.80 BB/9 in 2013. A .343 BABIP against him is cracking his WHIP. His first two outings (a combined seven frames, with eight earned runs and four K's against two walks) of this campaign were borderline rehab starts. ST back problems were expected to delay Hughes' availability and likely to require a minor league outing or two.
In his last four games, Hughes has gone at least six innings, allowed no more than two earned runs and fanned at least six. He has a 1.93 ERA with 30 punch-outs and only five free passes in 28 stanzas in that stretch. His opponents haven't exactly been the dregs of the league, either: He shut out the Oakland Athletics for eight innings on Saturday.
Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Jay seems to have -- or, perhaps more accurately, the Milwaukee Brewers may have -- fixed whatever ailed his laborious swing and awful outcomes to open the season. In a four-game set at Miller Park, the left-handed hitter was 8-for-14 with a home run, six RBIs, three runs and two walks. He raised his average from .204 to .252 with that showing.
Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Jay made some serious adjustments not too long ago. They have, in a short span, achieved the desired effect. Jay, who's definitely more of a .300 rapper than a .200 crapper, has more room to improve and should do so -- as well as become a fixture at leadoff again for suddenly hot St. Louis.
Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox
The ChiSox's regular left fielder has missed about three weeks because of an oblique strain, but he's scheduled to begin a rehab assignment today. He should rejoin the parent club by sometime this weekend.
Viciedo, 24, had hit a mere .229 with two home runs in 48 at-bats and hadn't drawn a walk, so perhaps it was easy for mixed leaguers to discard him. Tank slugged 25 home runs in 2012 and is still a pretty good bet to reach that total before this season draws to a close, though.
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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