Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
SP Jacob Turner, Miami Marlins
Turnering things around
His peripherals aren't overly impressive, beginning with his 5.93 K/9 in six starts (41 innings) since his call-up. Turner has walked 2.63 per nine frames and, thanks to the fact that he's allowed only one home run since his promotion, has registered a 1.76 ERA, however, so he's quickly become difficult to ignore.
Is this right-hander really one of the best pitchers available? He's produced grounders on more than half of the batted balls against him, a positive that wasn't on display in previous trips to the majors despite his reliance on a heavy sinker. Perhaps it's because, in South Florida, that sinker is a little heavier: its average velocity has risen by more than a 1 mph.
This past spring, Turner was a mess, residual no doubt from his last two seasons as a member of the Detroit Tigers' organization. His command was awful, and his confidence shattered. Under his original franchise, he never exhibited a high-K profile, but dips in his velocity and questions about his health eroded his prospect stock.
Perhaps the Marlins cast their line at just the right time. They pushed him to the farm to begin this campaign in order to reshape his mechanics. On Saturday, Turner fired the first complete game registered by the Fish this season, putting an exclamation point on what has been a triumphant month for the 22-year-old.
Will his ERA remain below 2.00? Of course not. Will he fan 100-plus men in the season's final three months? Extremely doubtful. But Miami may have unlocked the potential that made Turner a favorite of scouts high and low because of his hard, heavy stuff that should produce a pretty low WHIP and ERA.
2B Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
Unless your league features unlimited DL space, it's virtually impossible to make a case for keeping Roberts on your roster once he sustains an injury. When he's healthy -- for however long that'll be -- however, there's not much of an excuse to leave him in the free-agent pool.
The O's activated him from the DL on Sunday, when he played his first game since the season's opening series. Roberts missed nearly two months -- twice as long as expected -- because he sustained a ruptured tendon in the club's third contest and it required surgery.
This season -- four games, anyway -- the switch hitter is 6-for-14 with a stolen base. Buck Showalter will likely continue to give him breaks by batting him at DH and giving him occasional days off. Baltimore no longer has to rely on Roberts in the top spot, but their lineup is good enough that the player in the nine-hole will contribute often. That's especially true if it's Roberts, who still has solid on-base skills and decent speed.
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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