Who are the hottest pickups in fantasy baseball leagues? Can you trust them on your fantasy baseball teams?
ATL not Medlen with success
Manny Machado, 3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles
- Last 7: .308 BA, 5 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI in 27 PA
He's two for his last 10, chilling a bit since a raucous start to his career. But that's not preventing picker-uppers from trying the super-prospect for the second consecutive week, and expecting that pace was a dream anyway despite the big pop he holds. Can the 20-year-old show the beyond-his-years plate discipline that helped him surge up the farm ladder? Or will he suffer more because of his weak walk work so far?
Either way, wouldn't you rather control his fate - even with trade offers - in your league so others don't have the potentially immense pleasure?
Kris Medlen, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Last 4: 3 W, 1.05 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 22 K in 25 2/3 IP
All he needed was a chance. The highly skilled pitcher has had a highly favorable schedule in this quartet: Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, at New York Mets, San Diego Padres (his first career shutout Thursday), but this merely was an exaggeration of his talents.
The Bravos will use a six-man rotation during their ongoing run of 19 straight days with a game, so Medlen will stick even though Tommy Hanson (back) returned Friday. Expect more earthbound numbers than what Medlen has shown so far, but that shouldn't discourage you from owning him. His long-awaited upside is finally starting to materialize.
Todd Frazier, 1B/3B/OF, Cincinnati Reds
- Last 40: .310 BA, 22 R, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB in 155 PA
Joey Votto's DL stay has opened another avenue for the versatile Frazier to display his pop. Even when "Vottomatic" returns (which might happen further down the road than initially expected), Frazier should frequently, if not permanently, kick Scott Rolen out of the hot corner.
Frazier made hard contact in most of his minors duration, but the late-blooming 26-year-old has displayed more lift - a promising development for a dweller of Great American Ball Park that has actually clubbed eight of his 15 taters on the road this year.
For frozen-ropers like him, high BABIPs (.333) are justified, to a degree. Because he still strikes out a tad too much, expect some cooling as September comes, but there's still plenty to like about his skills that act as a foil for his sweet positional eligibility.
Eric Young Jr., OF, Colorado Rockies
- Last 12: .469 BA, 12 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB in 54 PA
When speed finds a lineup spot while also learning how to hit, the waiver-wire dash begins. Young should keep his role even with Michael Cuddyer back from the DL; EYJ has provided too much of a card-topping spark to sit. His outfield defense has improved, too. Even when he quiets down, Young could serve as a pivotal swipes compiler down the stretch.
Dale Thayer, RP, San Diego Padres
- Last 14: 1 SV, 1.17 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 8 K in 15 1/3 IP
Thayer has staked his claim for Round 2 of replacing Huston Street (strained quadriceps), who'll stay out of MLB action until at least early September. With Street's penchant for dragging recoveries, it could easily last longer. Though he's had a decent run of late, too, Luke Gregerson isn't a clear and present danger.
Another SP with an uncertain future, plus another raking Red....
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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