Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
OF Ryan Ludwick, Cincinnati Reds
It turns out that there have been no lingering effects of the separated right shoulder that sidelined Ludwick for more than four months this season. Of course, he was a little rusty, having gone hitless in his first five games (four of them starts). Since, he's batted .346 with a pair of round-trippers and seven RBIs in 16 games (13 starts).
Ludwick is no threat to win a batting title, of course, but he did hit .275 with 26 jonrones in 125 games last season. Given that fantasy baseball has slowly inched closer to "devoid of power," the right-handed hitter with the backward platoon splits deserves immediate attention.
SP Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota Twins
Bear with Diamond Market here, for just a minute. Naturally, Pelfrey's 4.86 ERA and 3.11 BB/9 don't exactly invite fantasy owners to give him a test run -- especially not when rotisserie standings or head-to-head matchups are on the line. From the looks of his portfolio, the right-hander hasn't made it a habit of being fantasy useful.
This is Pelfrey's first season since he had Tommy John surgery, early last season, it should be noted. Minnesota continues to observe positives for the 29-year-old as the season has progressed, the latest being his noticeably increased velocity.
Don't take Pelfrey's numbers at face value, at least in deep leagues. He's recorded a 3.45 ERA in his last 11 starts, and that's against the backdrop of a .292 BABIP against. Control remains a bit of an issue, and his K/9 will probably never be very good, but it has been on the rise (6.18 for those 11 outings). His rate of ground-ball inducement has slowly increased, too -- an important development for his sinker-heavy repertoire.
Pelfrey won't save your season. He might not even be the best starter available. He's at least someone to keep in mind for 2014, when most folks will probably continue to dismiss him.
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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