SS Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays
Beckham was the first overall pick in the 2008 draft. He has done very little to this point in his career. Beckham is playing every day due to some injuries and he's performing well. Beckham is batting .278 with 14 runs, six home runs, 15 RBIs, one stolen base and an .847 OPS. He has eligibility at second base and shortstop in some formats. At 27 years old, has Beckham figured it out? While there are some good indicators, I am not convinced yet. Beckham is hitting a lot of line drives with a 27 percent rate and a hard hit rate of 52.3 percent. He's pulling the ball way more than he has in the past. Beckham has a 31.7 percent fly ball rate and a 30 percent HR/FB rate so there's not a power surge all of a sudden. The plate discipline hasn't changed. He is striking out 32.7 percent of the time and that's above his career average of 30.9 percent. Beckham is never one to draw a walk and the 4.8 percent walk rate is below his career mark of 5.8 percent. He has a .311 on-base percentage. This is a hot streak to me. You can add Beckham and hope it's more than a hot streak, but there are no indicators to suggest he has figured things out.
SP Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays
Estrada gets undervalued every season and all he does is put up good stats. Estrada doesn't throw hard, averaging 89 miles per hour with his fastball, but he has an excellent changeup and a 12 miles per hour disparity compared to the fastball. While Estrada is a fly ball pitcher, he induces a lot of weak contact and few line drives with a 17.6 percent career mark. Estrada has a 2.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a 38:10 K:BB ratio in 37 innings. Since he gets a lot of fly balls, he has a low BABIP. His career average BABIP is .257 and he's at .293 this season. The strand rate is high at 85.1 percent, but Estrada is getting more swings and misses with a 12.4 percent swinging strike rate. Estrada had a 3.13 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 2015 and a 3.48 ERA and 1.12 WHIP last season. Expect similar number by the end of the season. He's good and many still don't believe. He's not a big name and can be acquired cheaply.
SP Trevor Cahill, San Diego Padres
I drafted Cahill in a couple of draft champions leagues since I knew he would get a shot to start for Dan Diego and he showed good skills pitching out of the bullpen last year. Cahill got off to a rough start and a bad start in Arizona in which he allowed nine hits, four walks and five runs in 5.2 innings have inflated his stats. Cahill is coming off a good start at home against the Rockies. He pitched six innings and allowed three hits, no earned runs, no walks and struck out seven. Cahill is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 11.1 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. Cahill has a 57.3 percent ground ball rate and a 13.2 percent swinging strike rate. He's been cheap in DFS and is a really good SP2 on DraftKings in the right matchup and an add in deeper formats.
C Jonathan Lucroy, Texas Rangers
Lucroy has been awful and has been dropped to ninth in the batting order recently. He is batting .222 with seven runs, two home runs and six RBIs. Taken as a Top 3 catchers in most drafts, this isn't what his owners wanted. Lucroy is hitting more grounders than usual with a 49.3 percent rate, which is above his career mark of 41.3 percent. Lucroy is hitting less line drives than usual with a 16.4 percent mark when he has been at least 24.2 percent the last two seasons. For the last five seasons, Lucroy's hard hit rate has been at least 34.7 percent and is currently at 25.4 percent. Lucroy is barely striking out at all with a 6.5 percent mark. He has been unlucky considering a .215 BABIP. His career average is .309. Lucroy had a similar slump last season to begin the year. He's an excellent buy low.
3B Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
It hasn't been a good start for Seager. He is batting .250 with eight runs, one home run, 16 RBIs and a .710 OPS. Seager's strikeout rate is in line with what it has been the last few seasons and his walk rate is a career-high 12.5 percent. Seager isn't hitting the ball hard or hitting line drives. The hard hit rate is 27 percent and it has been at least 37 percent in two of the last three seasons. Seager has a 13.7 percent line drive rate, well below his career average of 22.3 percent. Seager is hitting a lot of fly balls at 45.2 percent. Seager has hit at least 25 home runs in three straight seasons and has at least 96 RBIs in two of the last three seasons. Seager did miss a few games with a hip injury and that might be a factor in the slow start. As long as he's past that injury, he will be fine. Buy low.
OF Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
Schwarber is not hitting at all. He's batting .189 with 14 runs, four home runs, 12 RBIs and a .652 OPS. He hasn't been catching much either as many hopes he would get catcher eligibility early in the season. He has appeared in one game as a catcher and it wasn't a start. Schwarber has immense power and it led people to overrating him. He played 69 games in 2015 and tore his ACL in the second game of the season last year. He made a quick recovery and played well in the World Series. Still, he had flaws that many looked over. Schwarber still struggles against left-handers and he has a 31.2 percent strikeout rate. While he does walk 13.6 percent of the time, he has a 13.6 percent line drive rate and a 28.4 percent hard hit rate. Schwarber only has 342 at-bats in the majors. He is still adjusting and while he will get better, he won't live up to the lofty expectations some had for him.