Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
1B Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners
McCarthy plays with numbers
With a 3-for-4 effort through eight innings Monday, Morales has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games, over which he's hitting .333 with two homers and eight RBIs. Both taters came after he was moved to cleanup on May 12.
Though an increased slugging percentage in May has corrupted his walk-rate and strikeout-rate improvements, Morales' fly-ball rate is at its highest pace since 2009. Lineup position doesn't always matter, but he boasts extensive experience hitting in slots four through six. Comfort should help him regain power that'll play in all environments, even Safeco Field.
SP Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks
During a May 4 interview with AZCentral.com's Nick Piecoro (a sabermetrically inclined MLB beat reporter), the statistically analytical McCarthy explained that poor luck and execution were contributing to his poor start to the season. He said he needed to pitch lower in the strike zone and refine the grip on his two-seamer.
In three outings since that chat, he's posted a 1.16 ERA with 13 K's and three walks in 23 1/3 frames. Surely he didn't mind facing the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins, who hold three of the lowest OPS ratings in the bigs.
Still, in May, he's eliciting fewer dangerous flies, and on the year, the control artist has walked just 1.26 batters per nine. Much of his profile relies on his defense, but he's looking more likely to trend toward his FIP (3.57) than to keep slipping in ERA (4.74). Your competitors may not notice.
OF Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres
Between his eight-game mound-charging suspension and various absences (injuries, paternity leave), Quentin has been left off many mixed rosters. His .184/.298/.391 line hasn't urged fantasy owners to target him, either.
Whenever he plays, however, he's a legit threat to leave the park, even his home digs, which despite their overall rep for pitcher-friendliness often ease up on righty bats. He's had issues with infield flies over the last few seasons, and this year's percentage of 26.5 in a small sample says not much has changed. Turning more of those into productive bombs could only require a slight tweak to his swing, or just getting comfort back without frequent pauses to his season.
Continuity may be paying off: He's hit two homers with five RBIs in his last six contests. Five-outfielder players cycling low-end filler could do worse than hop on board before he heats up even more.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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