Diamond Stocks: Eduardo Escobar Doubling Down For Twins
When he’s not trying to pick up opposing baserunners, Eduardo Escobar (5) has excelled for Minny. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
Every week in Diamond Stocks, we will examine five players whose Fantasy stock is soaring and five players whose trends appear to be pointing downward.
Eduardo Escobar, SS, Minnesota Twins: Now an everyday player with the demotion of Pedro Florimon, Escobar is making the most of his opportunity. Escobar is second on the Twins with 15 doubles, including 12 this month, while his .347 average and 904 OPS for the season doesn’t look too shabby either. He has also been a very alert runner on the basepaths (see video below). So why is Escobar owned in only 5.2 per cent of ESPN leagues and 8 per cent of CBS leagues? We would imagine that should change pretty soon — especially now that we’ve let the cat out of the bag.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Miami Marlins: Eovaldi doesn’t stand out in any way. He isn’t flashy, the Marlins get no national pub, and his name is kind of hard to pronounce. But with Jose Fernandez gone for the year, Eovaldi will be counted on even more, and his recent track record has been solid for a guy owned by just 38.9 per cent of ESPN users (down 13.8 percentage points) and by 82 per cent of CBS leagues. He’s 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA, and has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last eight starts despite the fact that he averages just over six innings per start. Eovaldi has a respectable 57 strikeouts in 67 innings.
Brock Holt, 3B, Boston Red Sox: Holt will not starting in Boston forever (see: Drew, Stephen and Middlebrooks, Will), but why is this guy virtually completely unowned (0.1 per cent ESPN, 4 per cent CBS)? Holt batted leadoff on Monday and is 17-for-54 (.315) in 15 games since his call-up. Consider him as a stop-gap, as the lefty-swinging Holt also has six RBI, two steals, and a 768 OPS.
Junior Lake, LF, Chicago Cubs: It was opined that Lake could be a breakout player this season, and at times we have seen flashes of that. In ESPN leagues, Lake is owned by just 11.5 per cent of the Fantasy world (up 4.6 percentage points), and 30 per cent in CBS. He has hit in six of his last seven games and is batting .324 with four homers and 14 RBI in May. We like his 773 OPS and suspect that he could steal some more bases down the road as well (five so far).
Chris Young, SP, Seattle Mariners: A couple of weeks ago we recommended Young as a waiver wire pickup, and it’s definitely time to start looking more closely at his comeback saga. The Princeton graduate took an Albert Pujols line drive to the face in 2008, and last year was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, failing to make the Washington Nationals out of Spring Training. Yet here he is, effective and of course, underowned at just 2.4 per cent (ESPN) and 18 per cent (CBS). Young is no ace and far from overpowering, but he has been consistent in 2014, and in his last seven starts, he has turned in four quality starts, going at least seven innings in three of those. He is 2-2 with a 3.95 ERA for the season, and though not a strikeout pitcher (just 24 in 57 1/3 IP), he has a very respectable 1.15 WHIP.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers: Mr. Kate Upton on the downslide? Could it be? No, it’s not time to wave goodbye to Mr. Cy, but take a look at his recent numbers and tell us that he hasn’t sorely disappointed his entire nation of ESPN owners and 98 per cent of the CBS Fantasy nation. In JV’s last three starts, he has been rocked to the tune of 16 earned runs in 17 1/3 IP for an 8.31 ERA with nine walks and seven strikeouts. At 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA on the season, he isn’t reminding anyone of the guy that some consider baseball’s most dominant pitcher.
Wil Myers, RF, Tampa Bay Rays: He’s got the fro, but no flow. Myers’ 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign seems like a distant memory when you check his 2014 stats. All but 0.3 per cent of ESPN-ers own Myers, and 97 per cent of CBS players have him, but he has a .211 batting average in May and is homerless since May 4, with just three RBI in that span.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals: This one pains us a bit to write, considering we had Rendon pegged as one of our breakout players to watch this season. He’s still having a solid year, but May has not been kind to the sixth overall pick of the 2011 Draft. Rendon is just 4-for-31 in his last nine games to lower his average from .312 after April 30 to its current .258. He hit three bombs with 16 RBI in April. In May? One dinger and six ribbies. At least Rendon is getting some walks (eight in seven games), but is that enough to warrant him being owned by 100 per cent of ESPN players and 98 per cent of the CBS tribe?
Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles: More than anything, the walks have been the biggest red flag on Tillman’s stats in 2014, as he’s issued 27 in 63 1/3 IP, with nearly half (13) coming in his last four starts alone. He has been especially roughed up in his last two starts, getting bombed for 14 runs (12 earned) in just 6 2/3 IP, walking seven and fanning eight. Tillman is owned in 71.4 per cent of ESPN leagues, down 16.1 percentage points in the past week, and 84 per cent of CBS leagues.
Coco Crisp, CF, Oakland Athletics: Forgive us for not being cuckoo for Coco Crisp. In May, he has seen his production drop big time, including some time missed due to a neck injury. Crisp is owned by 89.2 per cent of ESPN users and 81 per cent of CBS users, but this month he is hitting just .189 without a homer and just two RBI. To boot, he has only two steals after swiping seven bags in April.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which player has been flying under the radar lately, or has not been living up to his expectations.
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