Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
1B/OF Mike Carp, Boston Red Sox
Catch Carp while you can
A frustrating 2012 season for Carp with the Seattle Mariners was marred by injuries. Throw last year out the window. After an 0-for-21 stretch early this year, Carp has rebounded to hit .324 with eight long balls and 25 RBIs in only 105 at-bats.
It's been tough for John Farrell to get him in the lineup consistently, but a recent illness to Mike Napoli has allowed Carp to settle in. In June, Carp has a ridiculous slash line of .405/.469/.833 with five homers and 12 RBIs, reminding us all of the power he possesses when healthy.
With an improved plate approach, Carp can be deadly, because his power isn't going away anytime soon. Playing time will continue to be his problem, especially with Napoli expected back sometime this week. It'll be hard for Farrell to completely ignore Carp the way he's swinging, though, making him worth owning in deep mixed leagues if he can get over his reportedly minor hamstring injury, which he's supposed to in time for tomorrow.
SP Hector Santiago, Chicago White Sox
Santiago is quietly becoming one of the team's most reliable starters behind Chris Sale. Jake Peavy's non-displaced rib fracture could keep him out for another four weeks or so, too, so Santiago will remain in the rotation for at least the next month.
His experiment as closer ended last year, and he proved to be much more effective in a starting role late last season. That's carried over into 2013, where he's gone 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 45 K's to 20 walks in 39 innings (seven starts).
Santiago's dominance (9.4 K/9) can't be ignored as long as he's starting. His innings total will likely become a factor in the second half, though. He's currently at 57 1/3 frames after throwing a career-high 70 1/3 innings last year. Worry about that later. For now, he deserves your attention.
C Jason Castro, Houston Astros
The former first-rounder is finally healthy and is putting up solid numbers for a backstop. He currently ranks first in slugging percentage (.486) and second in doubles (18) and home runs (10) in the American League among catchers. Castro's solid plate approach gives him upside as a BA contributor at a position that rarely yields production in that area.
Although he's struggled against southpaws early in his career (.182 in 44 at-bats), he homered on back-to-back days against lefties over the weekend and is becoming a threat at his position, even if he does play for the Astros. He should be owned in all two-catcher formats.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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