Will Middlebrooks, Bos, 3B
You might think he’ll only be in the lineup as long as Kevin Youkilis is on the DL, but if this kid keeps hitting the way he has, Bobby Valentine will be forced to keep him in the lineup. He’s only 46% owned and over the past two weeks, has hit 15-of-50 for a .300 average, 9 runs, 4 home runs, 14 RBIs and 2 stolen bases to boot. If you’re in any league with any depth whatsoever, it’s past the time to take a flyer on this kid.
Daniel Nava, Bos, OF
Stayin’ in Boston for the time being, Nava is an unlikely hero who only finds playing time because Jacoby Ellsbury is on the DL, and, well, no one else has produced in the outfield for the Sox. Nava, who once didn’t even make his college team as a Freshman and was signed to a minor league deal for $1 years later, is ranked #11 on the player rater in the last seven days. He’s only 9% owned, and has gone 8-for-15 with 7 runs, 1 home run, 6 RBIs and a swipe in his first week in the big’s in 2012. He had a brief unsuccessful stint with the Sox in ’11, but if you have room on your roster and are looking for a hot fill-in, Nava could be your guy. Crazier things have happened.
Yonder Alonso, SD, 1B, OF
I’ve been praising this guy since Christmas. How is he only 24% owned? Now is the time to jump on board friends. Once the top prospect in the Reds organization, he was shipped out of town in the Mat Latos trade this past off-season. He got off to a brutally slow start this year, but in the past two weeks, he’s hit .375 with 5 runs, a homer, 7 RBIs and a stolen base. He’s not going to hit for a ton of power, but he’s going to boost your batting average and could knock in some runs hitting in the heart of the order.
Jonathan Lucroy, Mil, C
He had a solid campaign last year, and so far he seems as if he only keeps improving. He’s only 32% owned, and has hit .413 in the past two weeks – good for the #5 ranked catcher in baseball during that time.
A.J. Ellis, LAD, C
This guy is too old to be legit (31-years-old, only 5 career home runs), but that being said, I don’t think it’s a total fluke either. He’s been hitting the ball hard, and in the past week he’s hit .471 with a home run and 4 RBIs. If he finished the year hitting around .290 with a few home runs, I wouldn’t be completely shocked. Catcher is a scarce position. He needs to be owned.
Tony Campana, CHC, OF
Talk about another guy that’s taking advantage of his second stint in the Bigs. Although he only hit .259 in 155 plate appearances last year, he did steal 24 bags during that time. He’s already swiped 9 so far this year while hitting .333. He’s only 12% owned, and with the way the Cubs have been producing on offense (or lack there of), Dale Sveum will want to keep Campana in the lineup. He's a smally scrappy dude that could hit around .275 with 40 stolen bases come years-end.
Alcides Escobar, KC, SS
Anyone that’s been playing fantasy baseball for more than a week probably knows the history of Escobar. But trust me, this is the new Alcides. He’s going to hit for a decent average with some good speed, and by playing at a scarce position, he holds more value. He’s only 31% owned, even after hitting .400 in the past week. Get him while he’s hot.
John Mayberry, Phi, OF, 1B
Another guy that got off to an abysmal start this season, after finishing ’11 extremely well. He got benched a few weeks ago, but seems to be finding his stroke again. In the past week, he’s hit .318 with a HR, 3 RBIs and 2 doubles. And he’s only 5% owned. He hit .273 with 15 homers in only half of a season last year; I have faith he’s going to bounce back and have a great summer. The Phillies definitely need him to.
Photo Credit: AP
Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports and has won the League Of Champions Fantasy Baseball League four out of six years. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.