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April 23, 2015

Fantasy Freestyle

Preaching Patience

by Nick Shlain

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When it’s this early in the season, it can be tough to get a good read on your fantasy team, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to know what you’re holding. It can be even more difficult to judge young players early on as we don’t have the benefit of looking back at a sizable track record. I’ll look at a few young players I believe deserve the patience of fantasy owners and one that you can likely move on from.

Micah JohnsonChicago White Sox

With two hits against Indians starter Corey Kluber on Wednesday, Johnson has his AVG up to .273 after a shaky start to the season at the plate. In his first week in the majors, Johnson appeared to be overmatched at times with some not so pretty at-bats ending in a strikeout. While Johnson’s bat has come around to some degree as of late, owners should be patient with him anyway because of his stolen base potential. He has stolen two bases already and been caught twice as well, which is a positive as long as your league doesn’t penalize being caught stealing because, hey, at least he’s running. While Johnson is a rookie and therefore an unproven base stealer at the big league level, he has game changing speed and could rack up stolen bags in bunches. He’s more or less worth hanging on to for the stolen-base potential alone.

Rougned OdorTexas Rangers

The Rangers aren’t a lineup that you want to have many shares of this year. Entering play Wednesday, only two of their regulars (Leonys Martin and Prince Fielder) had AVGs above the Mendoza line. On top of being in a bad lineup and hitting .128, Odor is also batting eighth in the order, which is not that inspiring. Still, I remain a believer in Odor’s ability to turn it around and not just because he’s struggled in a small sample. His .143 BABIP is a pretty good sign that his luck will eventually turn. Odor has also displayed some of the sneaky power he showed last year, as he already has a home run and three doubles. It’s likely just a matter of time before he turns it around, so take advantage if his owner is already getting frustrated by the box scores.

Brad MillerSeattle Mariners

Not a whole lot about Miller’s April surprises me, which is why my infatuation with him has already waned in a big way. Miller is hitting .273 and he has a home run and two steals, but he’s still striking out around 23 percent of the time, just as he did last year. Unless he’s somehow able to maintain his current .333 BABIP (.284 career BABIP), then his AVG is going to come crashing down. He’s not in a good lineup spot as he bats eighth in the Seattle order and will face competition as the season goes along from Chris Taylor, who completed a rehabilitation assignment recently and is playing with Triple-A. He’s not someone I’d let stand in the way of making a trade or even a waiver claim at this point.

Related Content:  Fantasy,  Brad Miller,  Rougned Odor,  Micah Johnson

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The Lineup Card: Nine ... (04/22)
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