Most all MLB teams will have played at least 12 games by the end of this weekend, which is almost 10% of the season. It's obviously way too soon to say "wait till next year," but we do have enough of a sample to engage in some semi-intelligent speculation. This week, we'll look at six players who are definitely on opposite ends of the spectrum right now. The question is: will their fortunes change in the coming weeks? Are they destined to get better or worse? And we all know that you cannot escape your destiny.
Top Fantasy Baseball Players to Start 2014
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: Stanton definitely had a good week last week (2 HR and 10 RBI). But Stanton is about the only legitimate offensive threat in the lineup, and teams may resume throwing around him as the season wears on, just like they did last year. His teammates are not helping him much: Miami was just swept by the so-so Washington Nationals.
Scott Feldman, Houston Astros: Are you kidding me? Feldman is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA? Enjoy it while it lasts. Danger sign number one: Feldman has only four strikeouts in 13.2 IP, so he's not exactly dominating the hitters. Danger sign number two: Feldman is on his fifth team in the last three years, and there's usually a very good reason that a guy is a journeyman. Danger sign number three: Feldman plays for the Astros.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox: He has looked a little shaky in the field: two errors and a .980 fielding percentage. But at the plate, he's off to a great start, with a .955 OPS and 11 RBI. It's unrealistic to think he can continue that pace, but it's very realistic to think that he can be a very solid contributor and perhaps even an All-Star this year.
Down But Not Out?
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers: Fielder is off to a very bad start, hitting just .162 with no homeruns. But that may be because he's only played three home games so far. That jetstream in Arlington transforms flyball outs into round trippers. With 13 home games the rest of the month, look for Fielder to end his mini-slump with a vengeance.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: One of the reasons the Nats are "so-so" this year is because Harper is off to such a dreadful start. He took a viscous shin to the head while sliding into second in a game against the New York Mets and may be hurt. He's young and he'll get better. When he does, look out.
Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants: The salad days appear to be over for Cain. After a very average 2013 (8-10, 4.00 ERA), Cain has started 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA this year. With just 5 SO in 11.1 IP, there seems to be little reason to believe that he can turn things around.