I told ya'll Belt was gonna be something special...didn't I?
With the first week of fantasy baseball in—dare I say it, full swing—it’s time to take a look at who got off to the hottest start thus far, and who's still mute.
Obviously we are just a couple of days into the season, so as time goes on, this list will be far more extensive.
But for now, we’ll just focus on some of the week’s best, as well as, who made their mark by laying big fat fantasy baseball goose eggs.
And when you're done here, make sure to hop on over to our Upcoming key pitching matchups.
Carlos Quentin, RF, CWS: Quentin picked up in the regular season where he left off in the spring’s Cactus League, completing the series in Cleveland with 6 hits, a solo shot, 7 RBI, three runs scored and three doubles.
Quentin hit five homers and 13 RBI this spring, and is swinging the bat a little better tis year. He will hurt you in BA, but will more than make up for it in power.
Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI: Slow start no more? For a guy who is ridiculously bad in April, Ryan Howard sure did put that monkey on a shelf this past weekend against Houston.
Howard drove in 6 runs, knocked a solo shot out of Citizen’s Bank Park (rumor has it the ball hit the top of the main arch of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge…but that’s just speculation, honest) had seven total hits, one double and more importantly, only three strikeouts in 13 AB.
He was also the victim of a really bad call, but that’s beside the point.
It should only get better against the Mets this week.
Nelson Cruz, RF, TEX: Did you know that Texas, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia (all division winners in 2010) swept their competition this past weekend?
Well who cares about that, right?
Did you also know that Nelson freaking Cruz hit three taters, drove in four and grabbed a total of 13 bases in their duel with Boston?
Last year I said this guy was a Top 10 outfielder, worthy of a first round pick, and had it not been for injury I would’ve been right. So as long as health is on his side in the 2011 fantasy baseball season, expect Cruz to be among the fantasy baseball elite .
He and the Rangers face the bottom portion of the Mariners' rotation in Texas, so more of this kind of production is sure to come.
Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA: Two straight games of extra-base hits, 3 home runs (he hit just 10 all season last year) three RBI and a .368 average is how Howie Kendrick starts off the season.
Not bad for a guy with a ADP near the 200s.
Kendrick isn't a great option at second base, but he isn't a bad one either...especially for those of you looking for a quality replacement.
J. P. Arencibia, C, TOR: After a dismal spring, many felt the grim outlook on Arencibia was a matter of truth just waiting to take shape.
Then this weekend happened.
JPA and Associates (You guys like that? You heard it here first!) finished their series with a .313 team average, seven home runs, and 20 RBI (two of those homers and five of those RBI belonged to Arencibia).
Think about something for a second: The Blue Jays Consultant is ex-manager Cito Gaston…ya know the guy who taught his players to swing for the fences and the guy who also led them to four division titles.
Well Coach Luis Rivera, Manager John Farrell and Batting Coach Dwayne Murphy are all preaching the same thing. So while some of the power bats out of Toronto will hurt you in BA, they will absolutely make up for it in overall power.
From the sunny side of baseball, we go to the frigid side which is chock filled with underachievers, slow starters, and horrible performers, but for the sake of the season being only 4 days old, we'll take a sneak peak only.
Some mentionable names out of the gate who are currently struggling: Fausto Carmona, John Lackey, Carlos Pena, Dan Uggla and Carl Crawford.
Don't worry, everything will be alright with these guys, as this slow start is just the product of Opening Day rust.
As stated above, once the season kicks in, we'll get more extensive in the overall coverage which will include the coldest players, and which players are trending towards a decline.
Martin Prado, click for position qualifications, ATL:
Ya know I took this guy thinking I was getting a bargain basement dual-qualifier threat, and so far, all I got was an early Easter basket.
Prado garnered a .214 average with a basket full of goose eggs—right in time for Easter, might I add—in 14 AB.
And he is apparently playing with a chip on his shoulder since being moved to LF.
Prado gets another risky series against the Brewers this week which begins with Chris Narveson who garnered 12 wins and 137 SO in 2010.
Marco Scutaro, SS, BOS:
He played two games, had eight AB and did absolutely nothing—zilch—nada!
The Red Sox are currently licking their wounds after the drubbing Texas unexpectedly put on them as they take flight toward Cleveland, Ohio.
The Indians are much more favorable than Texas, so don’t give up on Scutaro just yet. But if he flops against the tribe, he’ll become the fastest bench worthy short stop in recent memory.
Albert Pujols, 1B, STL:
Say it ain’t so Albert!
Albert Pujols grabbed just two hits—but did hit a solo shot—in 13 slow AB against San Diego this past weekend; much to the chagrin of his faithful owners.
OK everyone just relax, take a deep breath…good, now exhale because Pujols is perfectly fine.
Remember, Pujols is playing for a contract and does begin a three game set against the bottom of the Pirates' rotation starting Tuesday. So uh, yeah…he’ll be just fine.
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, MIL:
Man what is it with the short stops this week?
The 29 year old portly member of the Brew Crew is 0 for his last 11 with only a SO to speak of, which isn’t all that surprising, but still noteworthy to mention.
Betancourt hit .375 this spring and surprisingly hit 16 home runs last year which is why many felt he was a nice grab on the back end of most drafts.
I wouldn’t take a chance on him this week against the Braves, and if you were thinking on picking him up off of waivers, I wouldn’t do that either.