Charlie Furbush| Detroit| SP/RP| 2 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 3.08 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 7.52 K/9, 3.42 BB/9, 37.1 percent GB
Oliver ROS: 5.28 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 7.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
Furbush was lights out in Triple-A this year, and has shown signs of being a potential fantasy contributor in his brief time in the majors. Most of his time has come in the bullpen, so it remains to be seen how his stuff will fare against hitters as a starter, but he was able to strike out five in four-and-two-thirds innings in his first start Monday.
He was not a particularly highly touted prospect coming into the year, so I’m a bit bearish on his lon-term viability. Working in his favor is that he’s not a soft-tossing southpaw (91.3 mph average velocity on his fastball), and he features three other pitches. He’s also getting hitters to swing through pitches at a higher rate than the league average, which helps support his useful strikeout rate, while pouring first pitch strikes with great regularity.
Those hoping to get another look at him as a starter will have their chance on Saturday when he faces the Kansas City Royals. Even in deep leagues, he’s no more than a pitch-and-ditch until he gets a bit more work under his belt. If he had a greater pedigree, I’d suggest being more proactive, but in this case I’m unwilling. That said, his minor league results warrant that he at least be acknowledged and placed on watch lists. Those in AL-only leagues have less leeway, and probably would be wise to jump on him now.
Recommendation: Should be monitored in large mixed-leagues and owned in some AL-only leagues.
Brandon McCarthy| Oakland| SP| 5 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 3.33 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 5.37 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, 48.4 percent GB
Oliver ROS: 3.94 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 5.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9
A somewhat surprising early season contributor, the revamped Brandon McCarthy was ditched by many teams when he went to the disabled list with a stress reaction in his throwing shoulder. Prior to his start on Monday, he hadn’t pitched in a game since May 18, but you’d never know it by the results. He threw six-and-two-thirds innings of two earned run baseball, walking just two and striking out five. He didn’t miss many bats in the early going, but he made up for it by sporting a dental floss-thin walk rate and keeping the ball on the ground.
If he’s able to stay healthy, a big if for a player who has missed as much time as he has in his career, he should be a solid source of ratios. He’ll need to be supported by a group of starters with above average strikeout rates or offset by a high-strikeout reliever, but that’s no reason for him to be available in as many leagues as he currently is.
Recommendation: Should be owned in some medium sized mixed-leagues, most large mixed-leagues, and all AL-only formats.
Scott Sizemore| Oakland| 2B/3B| 3 percent Yahoo! ownership
Oliver ROS: .270/.340/.418
Clearly all Scott Sizemore needed to flourish was a change of scenery!
Okay, so not so fast—small sample size warning is in order—but he has been rock solid since the A’s acquired him. Armed with second base and third base eligibility, having a pulse and flashing any signs of success is all one needs to pique the interest of owners in leagues using middle infield and corner infield roster spots. His BABIP and HR/FB are both unsustainable and due for regression, but he should be a solid reserve who can be plugged in at the hot corner, keystone position or middle infield spot.
Those wondering what to expect from him going forward could use his 2010 MLE as a starting point—a .295/.376/.471 slash with high teens pop and a handful of stolen bases with regular playing time. Kevin Kouzmanoff could eventually press him for playing time, so keep an eye on his play in the Pacific Coast League, but for now ride the hot hand.
Recommendation: Should be owned in some medium sized mixed-leagues using a middle infield position, all large mixed-leagues using a middle infield position and all AL-only formats.
Ben Revere| Minnesota| OF| 3 percent Yahoo! ownership
Oliver ROS: .278/.322/.337
Revere has showcased his speed in Minnesota, stealing 10 bases, but his average lags far behind his minor league marks. His upside in the average category makes him potentially more than a one-trick pony speedster, but he’s a non-contributor in the power department. Recognizing his strengths, and weaknesses (in this case literally a “weakness”) he doesn’t chase many pitches and takes a high contact approach pounding the ball into the ground and spraying line drives.
Filling in for injured center fielder Denard Span, Revere may find himself on the pine shortly after the All-Star break. Considering the uncertain timetable associated with concussions, it is anyone’s guess when Span he will return, though. With speed always in demand to some degree, it is a bit perplexing to see Revere available in so many leagues. He’s not flashy, but those in need of stolen bases could do a lot worse than turning to him for a boost.
Recommendation: Should be owned by owners in need of stolen bases in large mixed-leagues and AL-only formats.