Players of the night
Ricky Nolasco - Marlins
9 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 10 K
Nolasco was considered one of the up-and-coming pitchers in the NL heading into this fantasy season. The 25-year old was marvelous last year, finishing with a 15-8 record and a 3.5 ERA. Nolasco was widely considered the ace of the Marlins staff.
For whatever reason, things just haven't went his way this year. Nolasco - the former Cubs farmhand - has seen his numbers rise across the board. The ERA has risen nearly two full points. His opponent batting average has jumped nearly 40 points. Could it just be bad luck, or has Nolasco really lost it?
The encouraging thing is that his K-rate has improved and his walks are down. 2009 was a waste for Nolasco fantasy owners, but he could still be a strong option in keeper leagues.
More after the jump....
C Joe Mauer - Twins
3-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball, but Mauer certainly has a stake at No. 2. Florida's Hanley Ramirez is great too, but it's hard to go against Mauer's unbelievable contact rate, stellar defense, and suddenly rising power.
When you look at Mauer, the batting average jumps out immediately: .383, best in baseball. But it's his power numbers where Mauer has made his biggest strides this year.
Coming into the season, Mauer's career high in homers was 13. Last year he hit 9. In 2007, he hit 7. This season? 25 homers and counting.
If he keeps this up - and who's to say he won't? - Mauer is a for sure first round fantasy pick in 2010.