Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
It's time to add Stroman. The 23-year-old is only two starts into his major-league career, but the results have been fantastic. Ignore his overall pitching line, which includes five bumpy relief appearances. I'm only interested in what the short-statured starter is going to give me every five days. In two starts since being recalled, Stroman is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings. This is not a bullpen arm -- if the final rotation spot comes down to Stroman or J.A. Happ, it shouldn't be a contest. Stroman's impressive repertoire includes five pitches: a see-you-later slider, a four-seamer that sits in the mid 90s, a cutter with late movement, and a major-league change and curve. Stroman absolutely embarrassed Triple-A batters this season, striking out 30.8 percent and walking 6.2. Stroman should be owned in all 12-teamers, with only the slightest coddling depending on the matchup; the AL East is no longer a juggernaut, with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays ranking in the middle of the pack offensively. The 5-foot-9 righty should be a positive contributor in strikeouts, with the only caveat coming in terms of WHIP. There will be ups and downs, but this is one arm to add and hold on to.
Corey Dickerson, Rockies
I'm not sure what Dickerson has to do to get your attention. Now that Carlos Gonzalez is on the disabled list with a left index finger injury that will keep him on the shelf for about two weeks, Dickerson should be added in 12-14 team leagues. Drew Stubbs is another option worth considering left for deeper leagues, but the left-handed Dickerson should receive the majority of playing time against right-handers in the absences of CarGo. The Rockies outfielder carries a .324/.376/.600 slash line in 117 plate appearances, including seven long balls, 18 runs, 18 RBIs and three steals. He's a candidate for 15 home runs and 10 steals, with a ceiling of 20 and 10-15, respectively. Who knows if CarGo comes back and stays healthy, and Michael Cuddyer, who was recently activated from the DL, is having more trouble with a sore shoulder. My prediction: Dickerson puts up north of 400 plate appearances and 110 runs/RBI; invest now for the biggest bang.
Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks
I drafted Hill for $6 in a 12-team auction league and thought I got a steal. The second baseman has a 36-home run season and two 26-home run seasons on his resume (as recently as 2012). Hill had a down year in 2013 thanks to injury, but had a very respectable .291/.356/.462 slash with 11 home runs in just over half a season. He's been healthy this season, playing in 61 of 65 games, but the production hasn't been there. Through 244 plate appearances, Hill is stuck on five home runs, 19 runs, 28 RBIs and one steal with a sluggish .253/.302/.393 batting line. His slump has sent him to the sixth spot in the batting order, and that's without slugger Mark Trumbo in the lineup. Hill's isolated power is down from .176 to .142, and it hasn't been this low since he was traded from the Blue Jays to the Diamondbacks in 2011. Hill's strikeout rate is up (13.3 percent in 2013, 18.0 in 2014), and he's only walking at a 5.7 percent clip. In addition, he's no longer a threat on the base paths, with only two thefts since the start of 2013 (he had 35 steals between 2011 and 2012). There have been 20 better second basemen, according to the ESPN Player Rater, including Mike Aviles and D.J. LeMahieu. Yeah, it's been that bad. Without 20-home run power, Hill simply isn't a second base option in standard leagues.
Jenrry Mejia, Mets
I recently traded away Mejia and Rajai Davis for Angel Pagan in my FSWA league. I really wanted the everyday player (Pagan), and I'm not 100 percent on board with Mejia holding onto the ninth-inning job in New York. Since I made the trade, Mejia has given up four runs on four hits and two walks, including a loss/blown save against the Giants on Saturday. Mejia couldn't cut it as a starter, and he's not exactly proving himself as a closer to manager Terry Collins, either. He definitely has the stuff to close, but the next step could be a relief role with lower leverage situations. His stats as a reliever are deceiving; he owns a 3.55 ERA (OK), but a 1.66 WHIP (not OK). Yes, it's a very small sample size (12 2/3 innings), but even the Mets can't stand by a closer who is allowing an opposing line of of .283/.362/.442 (as a reliever). I fear his time as closer will be up soon, with Jeurys Familia or Vic Black next in line.