The San Diego Padres dug themselves out of an entrenched battle with the formidable St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, in a thrilling 11 inning 5-3 win. But what fantasy owners should be all giddy about isn’t how Matt Holiday or Colby Rasmus had a nice outing, but rather how two not-so-well-known Padres players—Tim Stauffer and Nick Hundley—helped paved the road to victory.
The 28 year old Stauffer got his first Opening Day assignment when fellow pitcher Mat Latos when down with an injury. In his “debut” Stauffer scattered nine (almost all ground balls) in six innings of two run ball, despite getting the ND.
Our own Joey Declercq first talked about why Stauffer is among a group of young pitchers who may surprise you this season.
Stauffer constantly pitched himself out of trouble against one of the most formidable hitting squads in all of baseball, and had the type of defensive backing the Padres were hoping to get when they acquired Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson (three double plays were turned) this past off-season.
This should come as great news for fantasy owners who are looking to immediately build a formidable watch list.
Keep in mind one important aspect if you’re the gambling type: Stauffer’s next two starts are at home in the pitcher friendly confines of PETCO Park (Dodgers and Reds) before heading to Chicago to face the Cubs.
Kinda enticing isn't it? Well if you have room, scoop him up, because another quality start and this kid will be all the rage.
Catcher Nick Hundley was the other member of the Padres roster who helped in the victory, and should be added to your watch list.
Hundley went 2 for 4 with two RBI in the win.
Nick Hundley played the majority of the 2010 season behind Yorvit Torrealba, but still managed to put up respectable numbers: .249/.308/.418 with 8 HR, 43 RBI, 18 DBL, 2 TRPL, 68 H, and 33 runs scored in 273 AB.
And half of his games were played in PETCO, mind you.
Hundley is slated to see more playing time in 2011 which means he could be in line for a much better fantasy season than 2010.
For the interim, we can assume that this duo’s performance is a sign of things to come which is the perfect reason to add these two to your watch list.
If this assumption becomes reality, and you wisely jump on their train before May, you’ll look like a genius!