Fantasy

15 Players to Start to Worry About in the National League

I know it’s early in the 2017 MLB season, but if any of these guys are on your Fantasy roster, it’s time to start worrying about them:

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Justin Bour, 1B, Miami Marlins – The Marlins went into this season with the idea of starting Bour every day in 2017.  Bour is going to have to start swinging the bat better in the near future if he doesn’t want to be a platoon player again.  He has played in 18 games for the Marlins this year and he is 12 for 62 (.194 avg., .653 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 3 homers and 9 RBI.  Bour is a good source of cheap power in the National League, as long as he is playing every day.

Jose Reyes, 3B, New York Mets – 33-year old switch-hitting 3B Jose Reyes enjoyed a nice return to the Mets in 2016.  He played in 60 games for the Mets last year and he was 68 for 255 (.267 avg., .769 OPS) with 45 runs scored, 8 homers, 24 RBI and 9 stolen bases.  With David Wright still out this year, Reyes came into this season as the starting 3B.  But, it has not gone too well and I expect that he will start losing playing time to Wilmer Flores (who pounds lefty pitchers).  Reyes has played in 19 games for the Mets this year and he is only 7 for 67 (.104 avg., .324 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 0 homers, 0 RBI and 1 stolen base.

Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves – 23-year old righty swinging SS Dansby Swanson was the blue chip in the deal with the Diamondbacks two winters ago for Shelby Miller.  Swanson rocketed up the Braves’ minor league system in 2016 and he got his first taste of the show late in the year.  Swanson was rock solid in 2016, as he played in 38 games for the Braves last year in which he was 39 for 129 (.302 avg., .803 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 3 homers, 17 RBI and 3 stolen bases.  The Braves were so impressed with Swanson that they moved their second best prospect (Ozzie Albies) to second base in the minors.  But, with Swanson struggling so mighty at the plate, the Braves could contemplate sending him to the minors in the near future.  Swanson has played in 18 games for the Braves so far this year and he is only 10 for 72 (.139 avg., .357 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBI.

Adonis Garcia, 3B, Atlanta Braves – 32-year old righty swinging 3B Adonis Garcia was solid as a hitter in his first two years (2015 and 2016) with the Braves.  He played in 192 games in his first two years with the Braves and he was 198 of 723 (.274 avg., .737 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 24 homers, 91 RBI, and 3 stolen bases.  Garcia is struggling mighty at the plate so far this year and he is not a good defensive player.  He has played in 18 games for the Braves so far this year and he is only 13 for 67 (.194 avg., .527 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 2 homers and 6 RBI.  He needs to start hitting soon for the Braves to justify keeping him in the starting lineup.

Cameron Rupp, C, Philadelphia Phillies – 28-year old righty swinging C Cameron Rupp needs to start hitting soon!  He has played in 13 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is only 8 for 43 (.186 avg., .657 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBI.  He has also whiffed 16 times so far this year as he has been overmatched at the plate so far this year.  He better pick up the pace with the bat soon, or he will get passed up by either Andrew Knapp (his current backup) or top prospect Jorge Alfaro, who is hitting .357 in AAA-ball so far this season!

Vince Velasquez, SP, Philadelphia Phillies – 24-year old righty starting pitcher Vince Velasquez was 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP at the All-Star Break in 2016 for the Phillies, but he imploded in the second half of the year.  He pitched in 9 games (all starts) in the second half of the 2016 season for the Phillies before they shut him down and he was 0-4 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.  All of the time off and rest that Velasquez had in the off-season does not appear to have helped him get back on track.  He has pitched in 3 games (all starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.  He does have 19 strikeouts in his first 15 innings this year (the good news), but he has also given up 4 homers and 10 walks.  The Phillies will likely stick with him a little longer, but that doesn’t mean that you have to.

Keon Broxton, OF, Milwaukee Brewers – 26-year old righty swinging center fielder Keon Broxton teased everyone last year with his blend of speed and power.  He played in 75 games for the Brewers last year and he was 50 for 207 (.242 avg., .784 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 9 homers, 19 RBI and 23 stolen bases.  A smart fantasy owner would have also looked at the fact that he whiffed an awful 88 times last year!  Broxton won the full-time job in CF in spring training this year, but he has been awful so far in 2017.  He has played in 17 games for the Brewers so far this year and he is only 9 for 52 (.173 avg., .553 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer, 2 RBI and 3 stolen bases.  He has also whiffed an incredibly awful 24 times so far this year.  Broxton better pick up the pace with the bat soon, as 22-year old righty swinging CF Lewis Brinson is tearing the cover off of the ball in AAA.  Brinson has played in 11 games in AAA-ball so far this year for the Brewers and he is 17 for 46 (.370 avg., 1.052 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers, 8 RBI and 2 stolen bases.  Brinson could be replacing Broxton in center field for the Brewers in the very, very near future!

Zach Davies, SP, Milwaukee Brewers – 24-year old righty starting pitcher Zach Davies had a nice rookie year for the Brewers in 2016.  He pitched in 28 games (all starts) for the Brewers last year and he was 11-7 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.  He came into this season as one of the Brewers’ top projected starting pitchers, but he is getting hammered so far this year!  Davies has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Brewers so far this year and he is 1-2 with an 8.24 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP!  He has given up 29 hits (2 homers) and 10 walks in his first 19 2/3 innings this year!  He better turn things around soon, or the Brewers could send him to AAA.

Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates – 23-year old righty starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow came into the 2016 season as the Pirates’ #3 prospect according to Baseball America.  He was so-s0 in his first shot with the Pirates last year, but he won the #5 starting job in spring training.  He is getting hit hard so far this year and he has been wild, which is a bad combination!  Glasnow has pitched in 3 games (all starts) for the Pirates so far this year and he is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP.  He has given up 17 hits and 9 walks in his first 11 1/3 innings this year, as opposing batters have been running up to the plate to bat against him.  The Pirates have high hopes for Glasnow, but they aren’t going to ruin his development in the show if he doesn’t start pitching better soon.

Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals – 35-year old righty starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was a downright dominating pitcher in his first 10 years with the Cardinals.  But last year, he started to fade some.  He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Cardinals last year and he was 13-9 with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.  He gave up the most hits (220) and earned runs (102) in the National League last year.  Still, many fantasy owners spent a few bucks trying to buy low on Wainwright with the hope that he would turn things around in 2017.  That has not been the case so far this year.  He has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Cardinals so far this year and he is 1-3 with a 6.27 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP.  He has given up a National League-leading 30 hits so far this year in his first 18 2/3 innings.  On the bright side, he does have 22 strikeouts against only 6 walks so far this year.

Tyler Anderson, SP, Colorado Rockies – 27-year old lefty starting pitcher Tyler Anderson was very impressive in his first go around in the show in 2016.  He pitched in 19 games (all starts) for the Rockies last year and he was 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.  Those are great numbers, especially for a Rockies’ pitcher, but he was ranked too high in fantasy rankings due to the fact that he pitches half of his games at Coors Field.  He has struggled so far this year.  He has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Rockies so far this year and he is 1-3 with a 7.32 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.  Anderson has given up 24 hits (5 homers) so far this year in his first 19 2/3 innings, so he has been getting hit really hard!

Kenta Maeda, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers – 29-year old righty starting pitcher Kenta Maeda burst onto the scene during the regular season in 2016 for the Dodgers.  He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Dodgers last year and he was 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.  He finished 3rd in the voting for the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award in 2016!  But, in the playoffs, his average stuff was exposed!  Maeda started three games in the playoffs last year for the Dodgers (he only pitched 10 2/3 innings) and he was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.  His postseason struggles have carried over into the 2017 season so far.  He has pitched in 4 games (all starts) for the Dodgers so far this year and he is 1-2 with an 8.05 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.  He has given up 24 hits in his first 19 innings this year and out of those hits, 7 have been homers which leads Major League Baseball!

Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers love to platoon and that could be a problem for Joc Pederson owners.  Many were targeting Pederson for cheap power in auctions and drafts, as he popped a combined 51 homers in his first two full seasons (2015 and 2016) with the Dodgers.  He has played in 18 games for the Dodgers so far this year and he is 11 for 50 (.220 avg., .662 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 7 RBI.  Pederson also injured his groin yesterday and the Dodgers don’t know the extent of the injury yet.

Ryan Schimpf, 3B, San Diego Padres – 29-year old lefty swinging 3B Ryan Schimpf burst onto the scene for the Padres in 2016.  He played in 89 games for the Padres last year and he was 60 for 276 (.217 avg., .869 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 20 homers, 51 RBI and 1 stolen base.  But, he did strikeout 105 times last season, showing off a lot of holes in his swing.  It appears that opposing Major League pitchers have adjusted to Schimpf so far this year.  He has played in 18 games for the Padres so far this year and he is only 6 for 55 (.109 avg., .564 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 3 homers, 6 RBI and 22 whiffs.  Schimpf will get a little longer to break out of his slump for the rebuilding Padres, but they won’t wait forever!

Travis Jankowski, OF, San Diego Padres – 25-year old lefty swinging outfielder Travis Jankowski was a target by many looking for cheap speed in auctions and drafts.  After all, he played in 131 games for the Padres last year in which he was 82 of 335 (.245 avg., .646 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 2 homers, 12 RBI and 30 stolen bases.  A closer look would have revealed that Jankowski might have problems getting on base, as he whiffed 100 times last year.  Jankowski has struggled so far at the plate this year, as he is proving once again that you can’t steal first base!  He has played in 17 games for the Padres so far this year and he is only 8 for 50 (.160 avg., .443 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 0 homers, 0 RBI, 2 stolen bases and 21 whiffs!

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