Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
We're still not even four weeks into the 2011 baseball season, so to draw too many conclusions from this small sample size could be a mistake.
Albert Pujols, St. Louis - You didn't really expect him to keep hitting into double plays did you? Pujols was batting .143 on April 11th with an OPS of .454 and today his batting .250 with an OPS of .813 after going 16-for-48 with six homers and 13 RBIs in the last two weeks. By the end of the year he'll be a superstar as always. Was there ever a doubt?
Justin Smoak, Seattle - Smoak was an integral part of the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas but he didn't produce much in 2010. This year is a different story with the second-year first baseman beginning to get comfortable as a major leaguer. His batting average is up to .288 (from .218 last season) and his OPS is a now "fantasy-worthy" .920. Batting in the fifth hole, he'll be limited by the light-hitting lineup around him, but he could still help you this season. He's only owned in 17% of all leagues.
Matt Wieters, Baltimore - Touted as the next Joe Mauer in spring training of 2009 and after a solid second half of that year, Wieters mostly disappointed fantasy owners in 2010 with a .249 batting average and just 11 home runs and 55 RBIs. He started 2011 slowly, but has batted .306 over the past two weeks and hit three homers while knocking in 10 runs. Perhaps we are finally seeing the real Wieters emerge. He's still available in 10% of all leagues and might be worth trading for if the price is right.
J.P. Arencibia, Toronto - Off to a hot start in the first 10 days (.375, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1.298 OPS), Arencibia looked to be fulfilling the dreams of many fantasy owners who thought they had a "steal" late in their draft (ADP 315). Unfortunately, he's batted just .167 since with an OPS of .509 and is now in a platoon situation with Jose Molina. Arencibia has too much power and potential to cast aside, but a seat on your bench until he warms up is recommended.
Miguel Montero, Arizona - Montero came out of the box with guns blazing in 2011, batting .455 with an OPS of 1.284 through April 12th. Since then he's batting .154 with an OPS of .515. If you can sit him, do so, but don't give up on him long-term. Montero won't even be 28 until July and he has plenty of power and hitting ability. I like both Montero and the Diamondbacks to produce plenty of runs this season.
Bobby Abreu, Anaheim - Fantasy owners were looking for a bounce-back year from Abreu who hit just .255 last season, his lowest average since 1997. He's still having trouble in this area, batting .244 for the season after a quick start in the first week (.391). If his OPS drops below .700, it might be time to sit him, but I still think Abreu can be a 20-20 guy by season's end.
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