2012 in Fantasy Baseball may be remembered as the year of the call-up. Already this season Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and to a lesser degree Will Middlebrooks, Anthony Rizzo, and Jarrod Parker have emerged as legitimate fantasy baseball regulars and look to remain that way for years to come after starting this season in the minor leagues. Last night there were two more big-name prospect arrivals and both got off to great starts to their MLB careers. If you were late on the above players, now may be your chance if you can act fast to grab Matt Harvey the starting pitcher for the Mets or Starling Marte the rookie outfielder who got the call for the Pirates last night.
In today’s Sleeper Central (archive here) we’ll feature both of these players with more of a focus on Marte since Harvey will get a deeper look in our spot starter segment. Here’s our look back at the eight MLB games yesterday highlighting players who produced numbers who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues (ownership percentages included in parentheses).
Starling Marte – OF – Pittsburgh Pirates: Marte’s ownership is already up from 3.2% last night to 16.6% this morning. He connected on a home run on the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues and finished last night 2-4 with a single later in the game. It looks like he will play virtually everyday barring a major acquisition by Pittsburgh and was in the leadoff spot last night. With Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Garrett Jones behind him, Marte should be able to score plenty of runs if he can get on base with regularity. Before his recall, Marte played 99 games at Triple-A Indianapolis and was hitting .286 with a .347 OBP, 21 stolen bases, 12 home runs, and 62 RBI. He may not be Mike Trout right away, but he’s in line for a long look at the top of the Pirate lineup and deserves a look to see if he fits in your lineup as well.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jeff Mathis – Tor: (0.0%) 2-4, 2B, RBI. With J.P. Arencibia shelved with a broken hand, Mathis will be the Jays starting catch for the next several weeks. He is hitting .264 with five home runs in 87 at-bats on the year, but his career average is just .198 so don’t expect too much offensively. If you need a starting catcher in a good lineup, you may find him useful in deep leagues.
1B- Matt Carpenter – Stl: (1.5%) 3-5, RBI. Carpenter has played a little of everywhere hitting .288 with 22 RBI and 24 runs scored in 63 games for the Cards this year. His OPS is an above-average .813. Watch his playing time, but when he’s in the lineup there is value there.
2B- Stephen Lombardozzi – Was: (2.9%) 1-5, 3 RBI, 3B. Lombardozzi is hitting leadoff and starting at 2B everyday for the Nats while Ian Desmond is out and Danny Espinosa slides to SS. He had a key three-run triple to open up the game early against Milwaukee yesterday.
3B- Chris Johnson – Hou: (10.2%) 2-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB. Johnson is the only bright spot in the black hole that is the Astros lineup. He has hit in six of his last seven games going 12-24 with four doubles and last night’s home run. He has seven long balls on the year while hitting .276.
SS- Ruben Tejada – NYM: (22.3%) 2-4, R, BB. Tejada gives you batting average/OBP and runs scored. He doesn’t give you much else.
OF- Starling Marte – Pit: (16.6%) 2-4, R, RBI, HR. See Above. Act fast.
OF- Travis Snider – Tor: (5.5%) 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B. A much less-heralded call-up, Snider has hit .304 in his six games back in the Bigs. He has six RBI, two home runs, and four runs scored and looks to be in the LF spot in the Jays lineup for the foreseeable future.
OF- Sam Fuld – TB: (0.1%) 3-4, 2 RBI, 2B. Fuld is back after wrist surgery and will be the Rays substitue outfielder and pinch-runner for the rest of the year. If you need speed he’s an option having already stolen a base in his first three games played and going 5-9 so far this season.
AL Starting Pitcher- Chris Tillman – Bal: (4.3%) 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K, W. In a solid outing, Tillman’s ERA actually went up a big to 1.66. He’s 3-1 and has a nice 17:9 K:BB ratio.
NL Starting Pitcher- Matt Harvey – NYM: (5.5%) 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 11 K, W. Harvey opened some eyes last night dominating the D-Backs and causing his ownership to skyrocket. He’ll need to work on limiting his pitches to get deeper into games but looked great in his MLB debut.