The young MLB season has thrown up some new faces as well as some old reliables that are taking centre stage right now. So here is a brief look at 6 players you should stay tuned to over the summer on your TV's and Fantasy leagues:
1. Jose Fernandez (Pitcher) - The Cuban 21 year old Ace is all the rage right now, and so far the young star has lived up to it. Currently he leads the entire MLB in strikeouts with 47 in this young season. His 4 Seam Fastball is masterful but it's his control and aggressiveness in the strike zone that makes him so deadly. If he stays consistent and healthy like this, expect him to be a Top 5 pitcher very, very soon.
2. Charlie Blackmon (Right Fielder) - Who is Charlie Blackmon? I expect many of you may be asking this question right now. So let me give you a brief history because in its entirety it is just that, brief. Blackmon made his debut in 2011 and since then became a minor league All-Star at Tri-City. Toss in a couple player of the week awards and that's it. Not even his physique would strike as mind blowing, 6 foot 3, 210 pounds. But nothing can deny the tear he has been in since starting the 2014 season with the Colorado Rockies. In 22 games, he's batting a .410 average to lead the MLB along with 16 RBIs and 5 Home Runs. Is this premature? Sure but see if you can find him in your fantasy leagues NOW.
3. Troy Tulowitzki (Short Stop) - Anyone who has watched a good amount of baseball has heard of Tulo. I mean, we ARE talking about a 2-Time Gold Glove winner here. But once again a healthy Troy Tulo has shown us that he is MVP level talent. But that is the key word, "HEALTHY", like Jose Reyes, another really good short stop when healthy, Tulo can only be great when he is playing consistently. But fingers crossed, this is what he has done so far this year; a batting average of .388 and 16 RBIs to go with 4 Homers. Sound familiar? That's because he and Blackmon both play for the Rockies and have been tearing it up right now along with another Rocky, Carlos "CarGo" Gonzalez who unfortunately is off my list.
4. Masahiro Tanaka (Pitcher) - Tanaka is a very interesting prospect for baseball fans to sink their teeth into for a number of reasons. He went 24-0 in his last year as a Japanese professional starter. His Splitter (Split-Finger Fastball) his the stuff of legend, easily among the best if not the best in baseball right now. And to top this all off he is only 25 years old! Not to mention that he is in the Top 15 for strikeouts in the MLB. The Yankees seemed to have not only found a gem but the biggest of them all. Tanaka also currently sits at a MLB record of 3-0 and is especially deadly for the simple fact that no one has seen this kid before. I for one believe that his stuff is good enough that he will be a number one ace in the coming years but time will tell.
5. Johnny Cueto (Pitcher) and Jose Abreu (First Baseman) - It's a tough tie here, but I couldn't choose here so your getting a 2 for 1 type deal. In all seriousness though, Cueto is pitching the best that I and many other analysts have ever seen him pitch right now. With his last two starts being complete games and one being an amazing shutout with 12 strikeouts, he is truly in midseason form right now. To put it in perspective, Cueto only started 11 games last year in which he had an ERA (Earned Run Average) of 2.82; so far this year in Cueto's first 5 starts it's dropped to 1.38. Will that stick? Nobody truly knows but if he stays healthy we might be looking at his best career year so far especially with his 39 strikeouts so far.
Now onto Jose Abreu, he absolutely reeks of potential. As we are watching the rebirth of the Chicago Whit Sox after a tough 2013 season, we are also seeing the growth of a 27 year old stud. He is 4th in the entire MLB in RBIs with 21 and a cool 7 Home Runs. He is only batting .244 but expect that to go up as he gets into form after all we are still in April. While a lot of fans are gaga over Yasiel Puig and Giancarlo Stanton, see if Abreu is still available in your fantasy league along with any of the players mentioned earlier.
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