With sixteen full weeks of the 2013 season in the books, today RotoBaller casts a critical eye on three players who are on the rise heading into Week 17:
1) Tim Lincecum (SP, SF): The resurgence of Timmy Lincecum is upon us. Fresh off a 148 pitch no-hitter, Lincecum has rebounded to look more and more like the pitcher he was pre-2011. In four of his last five starts, he’s notched 8 K or more, and of those, he allowed more than two walks only once, in his no-hit performance against San Diego. His strikeout numbers are up again to 2010 and 2011 numbers, to nearly 10 K per game. Perhaps more importantly, the walks which hurt him last year are now back to career norms. His GB/FB ratio at 1.69 is the highest it's ever been, which helps minimizes home run damage. Lincecum is owned in most formats, but after his recent stinker encore to the no-no in which he got shelled on Monday night, it’s probably possible to convince an owner to sell pretty low. If the price is right, Lincecum could be a decent get for the rest of the season.
2) Marlon Byrd (OF, NYM): If you predicted before the season that Marlon Byrd would be leading the Mets in HR and RBI at this point in the season, you should go buy FantasyNostradamus.com and start writing. Byrd is sitting with 16 HR, 55 RBI and a .274/.319/.509, line making him one of the season’s top sleepers. In the last 14 days he’s hit four HR with 13 RBI, 10 runs and a .364 BA to be one of the top players overall. Still owned in fewer than 50% of leagues, he is a must-add now for some insta-pop. His flyball rate is the second highest in his career and it's generating more power than we've seen from him in a long while-- the only season in which he had a higher flyball rate was his career year in 2009 when he finished with 20 HR, 89 RBI and a .308 BA. The Mets may trade him to a contender, which could enhance his value if he goes to a hitter-friendly park. Regardless of where he is playing the remainder of the season, he should be owned as a productive #4 or 5 OF.
3) Wil Myers (OF, TB): It’s not far-fetched that Myers is the AL ROY, despite being called up two months into the season. All he’s done is post a .310/.336/.460 line with four HR, 18 RBI, 17 R and three SB in 28 games played. Projected to the end of the year, he’ll finish with 15 HR, 55 RBI, 55 Runs and 10 SB. He still lacks plate discipline, with a 25% K-rate and 1:5 BB/K ratio, but don’t overconcern yourself with those numbers. His minor league history indicates that he should walk more once he settles into the pace of major league pitching. What’s most impressive about Myers is the 25% line drive, which has driven his recent success: in his last ten games, he’s had six multi-hit performances with one HR, four RBI, eight runs and a .395 BA. Myers should be owned and started in all formats. He has the ability to provide stats in all five categories.
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