OF Keon Broxton, Milwaukee Brewers
Broxton got off to an awful start and was hitting .119 on April 19. He was heading in the direction of potentially getting sent down to the minor leagues or losing playing time. A similar situation happened last season Broxton was sent to the minors before finishing the season with the Brewers on a tear. This time the Brewers stayed patient and it has paid off. Broxton ended April with a .191 average and a .600 OPS. In May, Broxton is batting .433 (13-for-30) with seven runs, two home runs, six RBIs, two stolen bases and a 1.318 OPS. Broxton will strike out a lot, but he's going to help in steals with eight in 12 attempts and he has some power. If someone dropped Broxton, get him.
OF Aaron Altherr, Philadelphia Phillies
I liked Altherr a lot last season and drafted him in many leagues. A wrist injury ended his season after 57 games. Then the Phillies added Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders in the off-season and Altherr was a fourth outfielder to open the season. Kendrick landed on the DL and Altherr soared. Altherr is one of the hottest hitters in baseball and he's not going to sit when Kendrick returns. Kendrick has been working out at first base. Altherr is batting .351 with 19 runs, seven home runs, 21 RBIs, three stolen bases and a 1.179 OPS. The average is being boosted by a .413 BABIP, but a 24.7 percent strikeout rate and 11.8 percent walk rate are fine. Altherr is hitting the ball hard consistently with a 43.4 percent hard hit rate. He's legit and I wish I had him on all my teams.
SP Charlie Morton, Houston Astros
Morton has teased before, but hasn't been able to stay healthy. He pitched four games for the Phillies last season before a hamstring injury ended his year. Morton never had high strikeout numbers and he's getting them now. The velocity increased last season and it's held steady this season with an average fastball of 95.3 miles per hour. Morton is 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. Morton has a 9.98 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, 50.5 percent ground ball rate and a 9.7 percent swinging strike rate. Morton has a .336 BABIP, but he's getting hit hard with a 37.5 percent hard hit rate. He's on a good team and will get run support. He didn't cost much at all and the key for him is health.
C Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
If you need another example on why not to invest in catchers early in drafts, here's one. Contreras was taken as a Top 5 catcher in most drafts and he's failed to deliver. Contreras batted .282 with 33 runs, 12 home runs, and 35 RBIs with an .845 OPS in 76 games. Many tend to double those numbers over a full season and it doesn't work that way. Pitchers make adjustments. Contreras is batting .216 with 10 runs, two home runs, 13 RBIs and a .630 OPS. Contreras is striking out more with a 28 percent strikeout rate and the walk rate is down slightly from last season to 8.4 percent. The hard hit rate has declined 5.4 percent to 26.9 percent. Contreras has a 57 percent ground ball rate. Contreras has a .292 BABIP, so it's not all bad luck. He's also losing some playing time to Miguel Montero, who has hit well. Contreras will not live up to his draft day expectations.
SP Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
Salazar had a great matchup against a deplete Blue Jays lineup on Wednesday and failed to capitalize. He only went 2.2 innings and allowed five hits, five runs, two walks and struck out four. Salazar is 2-3 with a 5.20 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. While he has a 13.1 K/9, he's getting hurt by a 4.46 BB/9 and a .395 BABIP, which is well above his career mark of 3.10. Salazar isn't helping with the walks and his ground ball percentage is down from 47.8 percent last year to 36 percent this year. Salazar an extremely high amount of line drives at 27 percent. His career average is 20.5 percent. Salazar's hard hit rate isn't high at 30.8 percent. Salazar has a 16.4 percent swinging strike rate. There are a lot of positive signs here, but it comes down to Salazar throwing more strikes. Stay patient if you have Salazar and he's worth buying low.
OF Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are playing well and Gonzalez hasn't been a part of it. It has been an abysmal start. Gonzalez is hitting .198 with 12 runs, two home runs, 10 RBIs and a .571 OPS. Gonzalez has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, which is right in line with recent seasons. The walk rate of 9.2 percent is higher than recent seasons. A .239 BABIP is well below his career average of .333, so bad luck is playing a part. Gonzalez is hitting more grounders than usual with a 53.3 percent rate. The hard hit rate of 34.4 percent is in line with his career average of 35.2 percent. Gonzalez tends to be streaky and unless he's playing through injury, he will turn it around. Be patient and attempt to buy low.