With nearly a full week of baseball under our belt it’s about that time where all begin paying attention to the weekly trends.
To explain—for those of you who don’t understand—it’s as simple as riding a bike: ya get on, and ya jump off before you fall.
Riding a hot bat or arm, often gives your team that weekly boost it may need to catapult you ahead of the competition.
And considering the law of averages suggest that every roster has 1.5 roster spots available for change out, utilizing trending players becomes a wonderful way to add additional points; unless you’re in a weekly league, of course.
Let’s take a sneak peak at this week’s Top Five Trending Players, and how they can help your team, and when you're done come check out this week's waiver wire breakdown.
Wasn’t this guy supposed to be horrible in April? Wasn’t Ryan Howard supposed to be even worse in April?
On Monday of this week, Francisco hit a three run shot off of Astros' pitcher Bud Norris which is where this all began. Last night he continued his hot streak by hitting his second home run of the year, knocking in his fifth RBI, and raising his average up to .333.
Wanna know a secret?
This is actually normal for Francisco. This is a guy who is at his worst when hit plays sporadically in any one given lineup, but when he plays regularly, he is a player that can hit over .300, and is good for 20 homeruns.
In 2008, when Francisco was given 449 AB in Cleveland, the guy hit 15 dingers. In 2009 he hit 10 before coming to Philly and knocking five more into orbit, so he is a legit hitter.
His ownership percent is averaging out at around at around 30%, but he has seen a +24% increase in the last 48 hours, so grab him while you can if you’re in the market.
Next three matchups: versus NYM, @ATL, @ATL
Talk about a debut!
Zach Britton came in on his first starting gig of the year and threw a three hitter with six Ks against the Rays offense in Baltimore’s 5-1 win over Tampa.
Britton ran with a 3.09 ERA and a 7.3 K/9 rate in the minors, so we all know he can pitch, but what you should keep a close eye on—should you pick him up—is the shear fact he pitches in the AL East…the most brutal division in the American League for a pitcher...especially a rookie.
Still, he’s worth the immediate ride and will get his second start Friday as the O’s open a three game set against the Rangers in Camden Yards where the Orioles have been surprisingly good thus far.
Jordan Walden, RP, Angels:
Guess who’s the talk of LA? No it’s not any member of the Dodgers and it isn’t Vernon Wells. It’s youngster Jordan Walden. The Angels recently made Walden their new closer, and in his first day on the job he went and threw 10 of 13 pitches for strikes.
Some people were sort of waiting for this to happen, so it’s not all that unexpected. But if you’re in the market for an upgrade at closer, and want to take Walden for a test drive, act now because he is flying off the waivers.
Remember, this kids plays for a great offense that should give him plenty of chances to earn strikes.
Next three matchups: Begins a three game set against Toronto in L.A. Friday.
Willie Bloomquist, OF, Diamondbacks:
Well looky here, what’s all this then? Stephen Drew goes down, and Bloomquist comes in and hit .348, steals five bags, knocks a solo shot and drives in four.
The important thing to note here is that if you’re hitting in Arizona, manager Kirk Gibson will find a way to keep you in the lineup, so keep a fast eye on Ol’ Willie. His ownership spiked from literally nothing to 11%, so grab him now if you’re in the market.
Next three matchups: Begins a three game set against Cincinnati in the desert on Friday.
Joel Hanrahan, RP, Pirates:
He has literally taken his new job as a closer and made the most of it by grabbing 4 saves and five whiffs. While his ownership has escalated a whopping 18.1%, you can still find him on some waiver wires in deeper leagues. If you’re in the market for even an interim closer, I would definitely ride the Hanrahan wave.
Next three matchups: Begins a three game set against Colorado today.