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Surprising Top Performers to Start the Season

Apr 13, 2016

Tyler White

Tyler White is one of several surprising top performers in the early going

There are some surprising names among the top performers in each position over the last seven days. For ease of comparison, we have used the CBS points scoring system.

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Catcher: Trevor Brown (C – SF)
Over the last seven days, only Brian McCann has scored more points than the Giants’ backup catcher. Trevor Brown has hit three home runs in seven at-bats to lead all catchers in long balls. Despite the hot stretch, it is difficult to see how Brown can get enough at-bats to make him fantasy relevant. An injury in the outfield could shift Brandon Belt from first base or of course, Buster Posey’s foot issue could linger. Trevor Brown is a 24-year-old right-hander who hit .231 in 13 games with the Giants last year.

First Base: Tyler White (1B, 3B – HOU)
With 37 points, the Astros’ rookie is the easily the top scoring first baseman over the last seven days, eclipsing Chris Davis in second place on 27.5 points. The 25-year-old has hit three home runs with 10 RBI. Neither his .520 AVG nor .588 BABIP are sustainable but he slashed .362/.467/.559 in Triple-A last season, so the patience and power are legit. He is owned in 86% (CBS), 79% (Yahoo) and 70% (EPSN), so check your waiver wire.

Second Base: Brock Holt (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF – BOS)
No second baseman has scored more points than the versatile Brock Holt over the last seven days. The 27-year-old has seen time in left field and at third base, while slugging .812. As long as Rusney Castillo fails to live up to expectations, there should be sufficient playing time for Brock Holt to have mixed league value. His multi-position eligibility alone should mean that he is owned in more than 80% of leagues.

Third Base: Eugenio Suarez (3B, SS – CIN)
The Reds’ third baseman may have been a sleeper for many coming into the season but few could have predicted a seven day stretch which sees him as the top scoring hitter, having accumulated as many points as Maikel Franco and Matt Carpenter combined. The 24-year-old is expected to be a permanent feature in the hot corner for the Reds and is only 73% owned in ESPN leagues, despite this four home runs and one stolen base hot-streak.

Shortstop: Aledmys Diaz (2B, SS – STL)
The Cardinals’ shortstop has only struck out once over the last seven days whilst hitting .583. This is one of the reasons why he has scored as many fantasy points as the headline-grabbing Trevor Story. With Jhonny Peralta on the DL and with Diaz getting on-base in more than half of his plate appearances, the rookie should expect to see the bulk of the playing time at shortstop. He is owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues but less than 15% in CBS/ESPN.

Outfield: Jeremy Hazelbaker (RF, CF – STL)
With less than 40% ownership in CBS/ESPN leagues (61% Yahoo), Jeremy Hazelbaker is one of the least likely fantasy players you would expect to top the outfield scoring chart over the last seven days. In fact, he has tied first place with the more familiar names of Starling Marte and Colby Rasmus. Hazelbaker has an RBI and a run in each of his last five appearances. He has been hitting second in the batting order and although not likely to feature in the Cardinals’ first choice lineup, the 28-year-old can spell Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk, as well as Matt Holliday when he is shifted over to first base.

Starting Pitcher: Kenta Maeda (SP – LAD)
Two starts, 12 innings, eight strikeouts and no runs is enough to put the Dodgers’ new signing on top of the list of starting pitchers over the last seven days. If the bullpen had not capitulated in the last game, then Maeda could have distanced second place even further with the credit of another win. The 28-year-old has exceeded the hype that surrounded his arrival and his four-pitch mix looks to be legit to stick in the big leagues. Whether you should sell high is a question that you should probably be considering.

Relief Pitcher: Jeanmar Gomez (RP – PHI)
The speculative picks of David Hernandez, Andrew Bailey or Dalier Hinojosa to be the Phillies closer look to have been in vain with Jeanmar Gomez securing three saves and one hold in his four outings. The 28-year-old may not be the most exciting name to own and he may play on a team not expected to win many games, but Jeanmar Gomez does have as many saves this season as Craig Kimbrel, Cody Allen, Jeurys Familia and Glen Perkins combined.

Gavin Tramps is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Gavin, check out his archive or find him @_tramps.

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