By Jason Fukao
Here are some players who have made surprising splashes during this young season:
2B Marcus Giles (SD)
Opening week stats: 4 R 1 HR 2 RBI 1 SB .364 BA
As the leadoff man, Giles has posted a .500OBP and has done his job to set the table for the rest of the lineup. If he could keep this up, he could return to his glory days with the Atlanta Braves.
OF Eric Byrnes (Ari)
Opening week stats: 5 R 2 HR 7 RBI 3SB .355 BA
Fantasy owners, who most likely drafted him late and as a 3rd OF at best, probably love his fast start. Byrnes had a solid opening week, showing his versatility and his potential to contribute across the board. Last season, he hit 26 homers and stole 25 bags, so being a 30-30 player is definitely in reach.
3B Akinori Iwamura (TB)
Opening week stats: 7 R 1 HR 1 RBI 1 SB .529 BA
There are no signs of struggle for the latest Japanese import. He is adjusting well to the league’s pitching, going 9 for 17 in his first five games. Although his power numbers are not spectacular so far, he has made up for it by scoring 7 runs and stealing a bag. Iwamura stole eight bases last year in Japan and the Devil Rays love to run, so expect a good number of swipes from him.
SP Ian Snell (Pit)
Opening week stats: 0-0 WL 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 11 K 3.00 ERA 0.83 WHIP
11 punch-outs in six innings? Snell generated little hype before the season, but those that did note his 169 K in 186 IP from last year probably were very excited to see his opening performance. He put up this stat line against the Houston Astros and will face another tough offensive team in his next start. Monday, he will face Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals. Keep an eye out on that game.
RP Eric Gagne (Tex)
Opening week stats: none
Gagne spent his opening week down in Double-A doing a rehab assignment. He pitched two scoreless innings on Friday and Saturday, and according to the Rangers, he should be ready to rejoin the team on April 12 for the weekend series against the Seattle Mariners.
SP Livan Hernandez (Ari)
Opening week stats: 1-0 WL 14 IP 8 H 2 ER 5 BB 5 K 1.28 ERA 0.92 WHIP
Sunday night, Hernandez put together a stellar performance against the Washington Nationals. He held them scoreless for seven innings and got the win for his efforts. Earlier in the week, he allowed only two earned runs against the Colorado Rockies. If he isn’t picked up already, pick him up now!
Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners – Both teams have only played three games each this week due to the weather in Cleveland. They are scheduled for a doubleheader on Monday, so for those of you in head-to-head leagues, this would be a prime week to start players from those two teams.
Images courtesy of AP Photo.