In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
Eric Hosmer has been a fantasy sleeper from the moment he got called up to the majors. A first baseman with a good eye and the ability to steal a base -- it wasn't unreasonable to think he could one day be the American League's equivalent to Joey Votto. But in the three years since his promotion, he's still carrying around that sleeper label. He's good, but not great.
Right now, Hosmer is hitting .286, and outside of a disastrous sophomore season where he regressed to hit .232, that's more or less in line with what he's done throughout his career. The real question is whether or not he'll ever get his power numbers up. This was the same question that circulated around Billy Butler for a few years, but Butler at least was hitting doubles at a high enough clip that an eventual power surge could be expected. Hosmer, though, has shown that he's mostly just a singles hitter. He has 50 home runs through three-plus seasons and has hit over 30 doubles just once. At the moment, he has no home runs and only three RBI.
Even if Hosmer doesn't take his game to the next level, he's still a worthwhile commodity, given that he and Paul Goldschmidt are practically the only first baseman capable of getting double-digit steals in a season. Plus, he's only 24 years old, so it could take him a few years to fully break out. However there is something of a trade-off with owning him. For his solid average and steals, his numbers in the power department is quite low; at a position like first base, it's not hard to find someone on the waiver wire who, for the price of a low average, can net you 25-30 homers.
If an owner can afford to lose a few in the steals category, it may be worth putting him on the trading block. He's a novelty player for sure, but owners shouldn't overcommit to him.
For your consideration
• Eric Young stole a pair of bases last night and now has nine on the season. Young, like fellow speedster Emilio Bonifacio, is a player you should own with a certain amount of skepticism, as he hasn't proven that he can sustain a solid average over the course of a full season. Still, the Mets lineup is something of a barren wasteland, so it's possible Young can hold on to the leadoff spot even if he falters a little bit. And so long as he's taking bases at such a high clip, he's worth being rostered in most leagues.
• Kole Calhoun will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a strained ligament, which is a shame given that that he'd gone 3-6 with a homer just the previous day. Calhoun has a bright future, but given how large the talent pool is in baseball, owners may find it difficult to keep rostered unless he represents their lone DL-eligible player. In the meantime, Mike Scioscia looks like he's going to try to keep the Angels' lineup as it was, Calhoun aside. Last night, J.B. Shuck started at leadoff for the Angels, and while it's tempting to add a hitter who's batting in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, Shuck has one hit in his last 14 at-bats and really isn't worth your time.
• Jose Valverde had his second straight horrendous outing, this time allowing back-to-back solo home runs to the Diamondbacks in the ninth inning. Luckily it didn't cost the Mets the game, but Valverde, who's ERA is up to 6.14, likely won't be the team's closer in a month. The Mets bullpen is something of a trainwreck, but Gonzalez Germen, who has an ERA and WHIP of 0.87 and 0.48, is simply a better pitcher at this point. The other future candidates in the pen are Kyle Farnsworth and Carlos Torres, who picked up an eight-out save just a few days ago. Torres has starter eligibility, so it'd be pretty intriguing if he could somehow came away with the job.