Since I'll be gone all day tomorrow to watch the Royals and Twins play in Kansas City, I should probably post twice today to make up for it. I decided I would do a weekly Fantasy Focus every Friday. I'll start things off with baseball until the NFL season gets under way. I'll show a player at each fantasy position that you should pick up or consider trading for in your fantasy league.
Catcher: Kelly Shoppach, CLE
While a .280 average, 12 homers and 35 RBI's doesn't jump off the page at you, here are some numbers that might. Over the last week, the Cleveland catcher has 7 hits and is hitting .368 over that span. Also, over the past month, Shoppach is ranked third (McCann, Doumit) among all catchers according to Yahoo! rankings and is tied for the most homers by a catcher in that span (5, McCann).
1st Base: Chris Davis, TEX
Since being called up to the bigs on June 26th, Davis has been a fantasy stud. In only 36 games he's compiled 39 hits, good for a .295 average, 11 homers and 28 RBI's. If you spread that out into an entire season, say 155 games, his numbers would read: .295, 47 HR, 120 RBI. Pretty impressive.
2nd Base: Mike Aviles, KC
Although he plays on a bad Kansas City team, Aviles is a good pick up. Since getting the starting spot in early June, he's hitting .330 with 7 home runs, 36 runs, 31 RBI and 3 stolen bases. Over the past month he has had 40 hits (.377 avg.) and is ranked 3rd among all 2nd basemen.
3rd Base: Melvin Mora, BAL
In the past month, Melvin Mora has gone crazy. In that span he's hit .330, raising his batting average 29 points, from .227 to .256. Also over that month he's hit 4 homers and 28...that's right, 28 RBI's. That's second in the Majors among all hitters (Miguel Cabrera, 32).
Shortstop: Stephen Drew, ARI
J.D's little brother is finally making a name for himself. In the past week he's had 12 hits (.414 avg.) and in the past month he's ranked 6th among all shortstops with 12 runs, a homer, 16 RBI and posting a .346 average. His season numbers aren't bad either: .278, 13 HR, 47 RBI.
Fernando Tatis, NYM
The 33-year-old seems to be back in his old 1999 form when he belted 34 jacks. Tatis is currently on a 12-game hitting streak. During that span he's hitting .383 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's.
Alexei Ramirez, CWS
You don't see many 6'3" guys who can play both second base and outfield. Ramirez has had multi-hit games in 4 of his last 8. And in the past month, Ramirez is hitting .337 with 3 homers, 14 RBI and 5 stolen bases.
Garrett Anderson, LAA
If someone doesn't already have this guy in your league, definitely consider picking him up. Although his power numbers have dropped considerably since '03 he can still hit for average and rive in runs for that potent Angels offense. In the past month, Anderson is hitting .371 with 3 homers and has driven in 21 RBI.
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
After starting the season 2-8, Jimenez has come back to win 6 of his last 7 starts (6-1) and his last 3 starts he's given up just 1 run on 11 hits in 22 innings pitched.
Gil Meche, KC
Meche finally looks to be back on track. He's won each of his last 4 starts and is 7-1 his last 10. Over that span he's pitched 64 and 1/3 innings, fanned 52 and only given up 3 home runs.
Oliver Perez, NYM
Before his last start against Houston where he gave up 4 runs in a losing effort, Perez had gone 2-1 his last 6 starts in which he threw 44 and 1/3 innings, allowing just 6 earned runs (1.22 ERA) and 44 strikeouts.
Mike Gonzalez, ATL
Rafael Soriano is back on the DL, which means Mike will get the closing duties again. Gonzalez will get you K's and doesn't allow many baserunners. The only question about him is how many save opportunities he will get on an injury plagued Braves team.