This week, I will be filling in for John Arias as we break down 10 potential pickups for your fantasy squad in Week 11. Let's see who we have in store.
Starting Pitchers in Focus
Although San Francisco prospect Madison Bumgarner has not found his way to the pros just yet, all signs are pointing to a debut sometime in Week 11. At Triple-A Fresno, Bumgarner is 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 47 Ks. Looking towards next week, that debut of his appears to be more and more likely with each passing day, and the only reason why he will not be debuting this upcoming Thursday is due to rest issues.The youngster is only owned in 31 percent of CBS leagues, giving you a simple understanding of how available he is throughout the fantasy world. If I were you, I would grab him and monitor his progress over the course of the weekend. He made my "Top 10 Rookies to Watch" list for a reason, and I'm sure he will not disappoint as the season wears on.
Formerly known as a relief pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization, youngster Kris Medlen has turned some heads from the starter's role. Taking the place of Jair Jurrjens in the rotation, Medlen is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 36 Ks. He is coming off of a two-start performance in Week 10, so this should provide you with an idea of how he can benefit your squad come Week 11. He is only owned in 45 percent of all CBS leagues, so he's there for the taking. I suggest you go ahead and grab him if you are in need of a reliable starter.
Relief Pitcher in Focus
We all knew that we would reach this point eventually. With all of the hype surrounding the Nationals organization (Seriously, a Stephen Strasburg debut and a Bryce Harper draft over the course of two days? That is future fantasy baseball overload at its best), one would have to believe that the next in line to get some attention is young reliever Drew Storen.
Storen, serving as the setup man to closer Matt Capps, has gone 1-0 this season with a 1.93 ERA. Want to know the best part? Capps is struggling. The veteran closer has blown three out of his last four save opportunities, meaning that a Storen sighting in Week 11 is certainly not out of the question. Add on the fact that Storen is only owned in 20 percent of all CBS leagues, and you have a solid pickup.
Position Players in Focus: Infielders
With all the focus on San Francisco pitching as of late, people seem to be forgetting about the offense. Over at first base for the Giants, veteran Aubrey Huff is quietly having a solid year at the plate. So far this season, Huff is hitting for a .295 BA with seven HRs, 26 RBI, 30 Rs and three SBs. With him being owned in only 31.3 percent of all ESPN leagues, I'd say that you have a nice shot of grabbing him out of free agency.
Over at shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, former second baseman Reid Brignac is making a case for the starting job. Whether it's his .299 BA, his two HRs, his 22 RBI, his 20 Rs or his percent owned (24) in CBS leagues, one thing is for certain: He is a solid grab for anyone in need of a middle infielder.
Out of nowhere, Pirates third baseman Neil Walker is making a name for himself in Pittsburgh. Since being called up to the Bucs, Walker is batting .326 with one HR, six RBI, six Rs and a SB. As long as the kid is hitting, he will be starting in the Pirates infield, and with his 3B/2B eligibility, he will prove to be an effective weapon in many fantasy arsenals. Because he was a recent call-up, there should be no problems when trying to grab him out of free agency.
Has there been anyone on a better hot streak than Padres catcher Nick Hundley? Over his past 13 games, he is hitting for a .439 average with two HRs, four doubles and 11 RBI. For the season, he has boosted his BA up from .229 to .306, while knocking four HRs, 20 RBI and 18 Rs. With the need for catchers as of late, Hundley is a must-grab option in any fantasy format. I suggest you ride his hot streak for as long as you can.
Position Players in Focus: Outfielders
Another player that we found on my preseason "Top 10 Rookies to Watch" list, Marlins outfielder Michael Stanton will be looking to make an impact in fantasy Week 11. While with Triple-A Jacksonville, Stanton hit .311 with 21 HRs, 52 RBI, 41 Rs and a SB. He is expected to make his pro debut today (Tuesday, June 8) against the Philadelphia Phillies. He brings unrivaled power to the table for a prospect of his youth, and with him being owned in only 56.9 percent of all ESPN leagues, I suggest you make some room for him on your roster.
The recent success of the Toronto Blue Jays organization can be attributed to a number of things. Included on this list would be left fielder Fred Lewis. So far this season, Lewis is batting .291 with four HRs, 17 RBI, 30 Rs and four SBs. Lewis will not be a hitter that hovers around the .300 mark for the season; however, he will prove to be useful when looking for stolen bases and extra-base hits, making him a key H2H outfielder to have on your roster. He is only owned in 19 percent of CBS leagues, making him a viable option to grab in Week 11.
Although his team is not doing nearly as well as the Blue Jays, Cleveland outfielder Austin Kearns still has plenty to brag about. His .313 BA, five HRs, 26 RBI, 30 Rs and four SBs have apparently only been enough for a minute number of fantasy owners, as he is owned in a mere 11.9 percent of all ESPN leagues. If you need an outfielder to provide you with some guaranteed support in Week 11, Kearns is the guy to grab.
By Lawrence Barreca, analyst at Fantasy Baseball Maniaxs