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Fantasy Fix: Rookie Phenoms

The 2010 rookie class generated a lot of buzz before the season started. Heck, with the anticipated arrival of young luminaries like Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman, the rookie class built a lot of buzz before spring training started, and perhaps even before last season ended.

Everyone is still talking about the 2010 rookie class, even though two of the three phenoms I mentioned haven't made it to the big leagues yet. Heyward has lived up to his billing, with 8 HRs, 24 RBIs and a .272 average in his first month in the majors. But, beyond Heyward, an impressive crop of rookies have quickly become promising fantasy pick-ups:

Wade Davis, SP, Tampa: A slow start turns into a 3-1 record real quick when you pitch for the Rays, the best team in the league.

Ike Davis, 1B, NY Mets: In his first 12 games, he has 1 HR, 6 RBIs and is hitting .306. Just 21% owned in Yahoo! leagues at a deep position, but worth watching as a mid-summer pick-up.

David Freese, 3B, St. Louis: Arrived in late April, and has already collected 3 HRs, 16 RBIs and a .355 average.

Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit: The guy who is leading all of MLB in hits, with 40, is just 59% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Five SBs hint at speed that hasn't been fully exploited.

Jaime Garcia, SP/RP, St. Louis: The latest pitcher to benefit from great coaching in St. Louis is 3-1, with 23 Ks and a 1.12 ERA.

Mitch Talbot, SP, Toronto: A 3-1 record with a 2.05 ERA and a complete game already in the bank. However, only 7 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

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It's Week 5 in the fantasy baseball world, and the Starlin Castro watch has begun.

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Fantasy Find of the Week: David Freese, 3B, St. Louis. Yes, him again. Hard to avoid him when he hit .519 last week alone. All three of his homers came last week, too. Just 41% owned.

Fantasy Stud of the Week: David Wright, 3B, NY Mets. Hit 2 HRs with 9 RBIs last week, as his power shortage from last year appears to have been a fluke. 5 HRs already on the year for the surging Mets.

Fantasy Dud of the Week: Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NY Yankees. We'll follow the third basemen pattern a bit longer. A-Rod hit .160 last week with no homers, and has only 2 HRs on the year.

Fantasy Match-up of the Week: Yovani Gallardo, SP. He has strung together three wins in a row after a slow start, and has recorded double-digit strikeouts in two of those games. I like his chance to do it again against free-swinging Arizona this week.

Expert Wire
* Bleacher Report has praise for Chicago's Very Own Alex Rios, hitting well and on a pace for more than 50 steals this season. If only he could get the rest of the lineup in gear.

* Roto Arcade notes that Brad Lidge is back. Is this good news in a year already marred by unstable closers?

* RotoExperts suggests buying low on Ben Zobrist, who is disappointing his owners this year (me among them) with 0 HRs so far. The 5 SBs are nice, but if I wanted no homers and a bunch of steals, I would have picked Juan Pierre.

* FanHouse plays "Stud or Shelton" (honoring one-time flash in the pan Chris Shelton) with Texas SP/RP Colby Lewis, a sudden star after brief stints in the majors in the last few years and a trip to Japan. Can he keep up the good work?

* In case you were wondering about Strasburg, CBS Sports says the fireballer is getting closer to The Show.

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Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space every Wednesday. Dan welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like it's about.

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