Who’s hot, who’s not?
Week 1 is in the books around Major League Baseball. There are some surprising players and teams already to start off the year, but the Seattle Mariners started the year off in almost shocking fashion.
In fact, such a shocking fashion that their star pitcher didn’t know how to handle the change at hand.
That’s right, Mariners fans, the team is scoring runs.
With fantasy baseball off and running, there are a few of these streaking Mariners who could help YOU win some games.
Felix Hernandez – SP
You can basically expect me to have Felix Hernandez on this list all season long. He’s a dominant pitcher, the Mariners ace, and a Cy Young winner with LOTS of career left in him.
Even if King Felix gets the loss or a way too common no-decision, he is going to rack up strike outs and give you minimal walks.
The first week of action saw Hernandez get 2 starts, a rarity caused by that weird 2 game series in Japan.
He was brilliant in the first game in Japan, but came away with only a No Decision as his offense could not do much for him, only scoring 1 run until after he was pulled from the game.
King Felix went 8 innings, giving up 5 hits, 1 run and striking out 5 with no walks. He left the game with a 1.12 ERA.
Game 2 was the opposite. Hernandez had plenty of run support, but struggled as the game went on. I honestly think he was thrown off by having a lead, a big lead at that.
He went 6 1/3 innings that game, giving up 8 hits, 6 runs and struck out 7 while walking 1 guy. He left that game with an ERA of 4.40.
Chone Figgins – Anywhere
Yes, you read that name right. Chone Figgins seemingly has more production stats in 1 week then all of last season! I kid, of course, but the fact remains the same…he’s finally hitting the ball.
He’s hot right now, so if you’re a busy waiver wire type player, he would be a good pickup until he goes cold, if he does.
After being moved to the leadoff spot in the batting order, Figgins has shown more poise and confidence at the plate. His batting average and hit totals don’t even begin to tell how well he’s doing.
He’s been excellent in sacrifice situations as well, laying down several beautiful bunts to advance runners, and has even successfully pulled of a suicide squeeze already this season.
Figgins is batting .333 (8 for 24) with a double, a triple, 3 runs, and a stolen base.
If he continues at this pace, you’re going to get decent average, good number of hits, and if your league counts 2B or 3B separately, or extra base hits, you’ll get a lot of those.
He’s quick, too, so being on base more often means more opportunities to steal bases.
Ichiro Suzuki – RF
There isn’t a whole lot I can say about Ichiro Suzuki that isn’t said every time people talk about him. He was moved to the third spot in the batting order, but hasn’t produced more power numbers as of yet. He has been productive, though, and that is all you can ask for on this team.
With Ichiro on your fantasy team, you’re guaranteed a decent or better batting average, a high number of hits, and this season should translate to more RBI, runs and stolen bases than last year.
He changed his stance some to help him product in the 3 spot, but he is still up to his old ways. Game 1 of the year in Japan, Ichiro had 4 hits, including 2 infield singles he beat out like vintage Ichiro. He looks good so far.
This year Ichiro is batting .369 (9 for 25) with a double, a triple, 3 RBI, 4 runs and a stolen base.
Keep An Eye On
Kyle Seager – 3B
So far this season Seager is batting .350 (7 for 20) with a double, 5 RBI, 2 runs and a stolen base.
Michael Saunders – OF
Michael Saunders is a frustrating story. For the last few years, he starts the year off looking promising, only to be sent back down to AAA Tacoma because his production completely falls off.
He’s off to a decent start this season, and with the starting CF and LF both out with injury, he’s almost guaranteed playing time.
The Mariners DO have Casper Wells sitting in waiting in Tacoma, so Saunders must start producing.
Things can get sticky, though, when Carp and Guti come back from their injuries.
So far this season, Saunders is batting .211 (4 for 19) with a double, a home run, 1 RBI, 3 runs and a stolen base.
Dustin Ackley – 2B
Dustin Ackley is getting his first full season of big league experience this year. The Mariners called him up at mid-season last year and he got some valuable experience in that time.
Now it’s time for him to produce. He’s off to a semi-slow start, but could jump start any day now.
That’s why I say keep an eye on him.
So far Ackley is batting .222 (6 for 27) with a home run, 3 RBI, 4 runs, and a stolen base.
Jesus Montero – C/DH
Nobody knows how a prodigy is going to start their career. That is the case with Jesus Montero. The Mariners acquired him this offseason from the Yankees after seeing his potential and his ranking as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
Montero is off to a slow start, but that is to be expected most of the time. Players need time to adjust.
Keep an eye on him later in the season.
This season he is batting .278 (5 for 18) with 1 RBI.
Justin Smoak – 1B
Justin Smoak went through a lot last season. Between injury and family tragedy, it was hard to ask much of the guy. The new season is here, though, and it’s time for Smoak to live up to his billing.
He has started the season off cold, but will look to warm up and rebound from the slow start.
Good thing his teammates are producing or the media may be throwing him under the bus right now.
This season Smoak is batting .200 (5 for 25) with a home run, 2 RBI, and 3 runs.