With Yasiel Puig, Anthony Rendon, Tyler Skaggs, and Chris Archer all being called up this week, the league continues the 2013 trend of getting younger. Much younger. In many cases, as with Puig and Rendon, teams are more open to calling up guys with less than 100 minor league games under their belt and no experience above Double-A. With the league getting younger, it’s time for your fantasy roster to shed some age as well. Let’s take a look at some young guns to add to your roster and some old timers to send on their way.
Tony Cingrani: Strong Buy. With Johnny Cueto returning to the DL, Cingrani is ready to be recalled once again. Cingrani looked good in his first six starts this season, going 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 41 K/9 BB in 33 IP. In the minors, Cingrani is 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 49 K in 31.1 IP. He’s a strikeout machine who has a career 1.65 ERA in the minors, pick him up now.
Hector Santiago: Strong Buy. With Jake Peavy out four-to-six weeks, Santiago is back in the rotation and is well worth a pick up. As good as he has been out of the bullpen, he has a 2.96 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 31 K in 27.1 IP as a starter this season. The White Sox are stacked on good young arms right now and Santiago may be the best of them.
Julio Teheran: Strong Buy. No-hit bid aside, Teheran has really blossomed over the last month or so and should be owned universally. Over his last eight starts, Teheran is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA and 43 K/8 BB in 55 IP. There is a slight chance that he is sent to the pen when Brandon Beachy returns since the other options are Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm, and Mike Minor but he is making that highly unlikely having given up just five runs over his last four starts.
Nick Tepesch: Solid Buy. The Rangers’ rookie had a few tough games early on but he’s been excellent over the last month and is worth a pick up in most leagues. In his last four starts, Tepesch is 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA and 17 K/5 BB in 23 IP. He’s not a great pitcher but he’s very solid all around and is a good option with so many starters injured or struggling.
Anthony Rendon: Solid Buy. With Danny Espinosa landing on the DL with a torn rotator cuff, the Nats’ top third base prospect is moving to second. Rendon has looked great in the minors this season, putting up a .307/.452/.575 line with six homers and 24 RBI in 36 games. He has good pop and ability to hit for average but with just 79 minors games and nine games in the bigs there is not a large sample size for the 28th top prospect in the country.
Jason Castro: Solid Buy. Castro has made the best of a tough situation in Houston and has really turned it on of late. In his last 15 games, Castro is batting .358 with five homers, nine runs batted in, 12 runs, and a steal. On the season he now owns a very respectable .271/.329/.479 line with eight home runs, 19 RBI, and 26 R.
Marcell Ozuna: Solid Buy. I’ve been a big Ozuna fan since he was called up and while the power he showed in the minors hasn’t quite translated, he is killing it in every other way. Over his last 11 games, Ozuna is batting .390 with seven runs batted in, two steals, six extra-base hits, and 10 runs. On the season, the 22-year-old now owns a .326/.370/.473 line with a home run, 16 RBI, 17 R, 15 extra-base hits, and two steals in 129 at-bats.
Jimmy Rollins: Rollins’ time as a fantasy producer seems to have come to an end. Through the first two months, Rollins is batting .261 with four home runs, 20 RBI, 24 R, and six steals. It’s not terrible, but there are significantly better shortstops available. Over the last two weeks, Rollins is batting .250 with one home run, three runs batted in, and five runs. Jump on the opportunity if you can find a better shortstop.
Paul Konerko: Konerko’s production dropped from 39 HR to 31 in 2011 and 26 in 2012. It looks like his decline is continuing as he currently owns a .233/.296/.347 line with just five home runs, 21 RBI, and 17 R. Over his last 37 games, he is batting just .225 with a mere two home runs, 10 RBI, and 10 R. I’d give up waiting for him to come around and invest in a fantasy relevant first baseman.
Yovani Gallardo: I’ve been waiting, like most people, for Gallardo to come out of his slump but he just continues to hemorrhage runs. He has now given up four or more runs in six of his starts and owns a 8.04 ERA over his last three. His strikeouts are way down from 9.0 to 7.3/9 and he’s giving up a completely unsustainable 9.9 H/9 which has ballooned his WHIP to 1.47. He doesn’t seem to be getting any better, only worse.