Some of the best players in baseball (and some of the highest-drafted players in fantasy) are off to pretty slow starts, and we're inclined to think it's just an aberration, a momentary dry spell in what should be an excellent season for them. Let's review a few of these guys. (An alternative title for this list would be: "A list of players to buy low.")
• Prince Fielder: He's hitting .164 and has only one home run. His best days may be behind him, but I still like his chances to be productive in an active Rangers lineup. Plus, he now plays in a cushy stadium that's conducive to left-handed power hitters.
• Miguel Cabrera: Need I say more?
• Edwin Encarnacion: He's 7-15 from the plate in his last four games and starting to look like his old self. The power should come eventually.
• Allen Craig: Please disregard his hideous .158 average. Last year, he was hitting .218 through the first 14 games last year, and it took him 28 games just to hit his first home run. He wound up hitting .315 and had 97 RBI.
• Wil Myers: He's hitting .192 without a homer. He might not be a fantasy beast just yet, but he has way too much talent to be mired in this slump for too much longer.
• Pablo Sandoval: The panda's batting average isn't so hot these days, but he has hit a couple homers.
• Carlos Santana: He has no homers, one RBI and is batting .157. Still, he's an everyday player with catcher eligibility, so a little leniency is warranted.
• Billy Butler: His stats are almost identical to Santana's. Butler is an extremely streaky hitter, and at some point this year, he'll probably hit five or six homers in a single week and render his start relatively meaningless.
• Curtis Granderson: His propensity to strike out is concerning, but he's locked in as the Mets' cleanup hitter when he's healthy (a result of his ritzy offseason contract), and he should still be able to provide a decent combination of speed and power.
• Jedd Gyorko: Give him some time. His power, at a slim position like second base, is worth investing in.
• Kyle Seager: His average may not come up very far, but he can still be a 20-and-10 man hitting near the top of the Mariners' lineup.
For your consideration
• Chris Colabello went 5-7 with four RBI in yesterday's doubleheader. After assessing him with what I felt was a justifiable dose of cynicism earlier in the year, Colabello and his league-leading 19 RBI are still proving to be quite useful. He doesn't have much power, but with Joe Mauer hitting in front of him, he's frequently going to come to the plate with guys on base. That .357 average will come back down earth at some point (and keep in mind that he was hitless in four of his previous six games), but for now, you're within your right to use him in a utility slot if you're so inclined.
• R.A. Dickey had yet another horrendous start, this time allowing five runs and five walks to the Twins in 4.1 innings. Dickey turns 40 years old this year and his 6.26 ERA really shouldn't come as a surprise at this point. That sound you hear is the sound of his owners barrell-rolling off the Dickey bandwagon, which hasn't been running properly since he switched to the American League.
• Shane Victorino will begin a minor league rehab over the weekend. Victorino is constantly hurt these days, but his numbers were excellent in 122 games last year: 15 homers, 22 steals, 82 runs and 61 RBI. He's slated to be the Red Sox' everyday leadoff hitter and is a terrific player to target, if you can live with his inability to remain uninjured for longer than a month.
• Carlos Martinez could make a few starts for the Cardinals now that Joe Kelly is on the disabled list with a hamstring ailment. Martinez has an electric fastball and was damn near unhittable in spring training; he'll be a must-start pitcher for however long it'd be that he'd be in the starting rotation.