Hit Parade for Week 9

by | Senior Fantasy Writer
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Any players not appearing on these lists are presumed to be below "don't bother" status and are obvious sits in Fantasy.

All stats are updated through Wednesday, May 22.

Catcher

Most Added Hitters (as of 5/24)
Player Name % change
1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers 30
2. Eric Chavez, 3B, D-Backs 17
3. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers 15
4. Kelly Johnson, OF, Rays 15
5. Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers 12
6. Daniel Murphy, 2B, Mets 11
7. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres 11
8. DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Rockies 10
9. Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants 9
10. Matt Joyce, OF, Rays 9
The Fantasy owners who lost Jesus Montero to a minor-league demotion Thursday may not have to look too hard for a replacement -- and no, I'm not talking about Kelly Shoppach, underrated home run potential and all. Yasmani Grandal is eligible to return from his 50-game PED suspension Tuesday. The uncertainty over whether or not the Padres will actually activate him may deter you from starting him this week, but you absolutely should own him in Fantasy. He has top-10 potential at a position suddenly hurting for depth.
Worth a second look: Ryan Doumit, Twins
Though Doumit is a couple weeks removed from his one and only hot streak of 2013, his matchups this week could get him back on track. Not only is he facing nothing but right-handed pitchers, against whom he hit .288 with an .823 OPS last season, but they're mostly low-end types like Hiram Burgos, Wily Peralta, Aaron Harang and Brandon Maurer. Hey, it's not like you have an abundance of alternatives at the position.
Approach with caution: Evan Gattis, Braves
Given that he's the second highest-scoring catcher in Fantasy over the last seven days, Gattis looks like a viable alternative at the position, but he has a total of six at-bats during that stretch. A pair of dramatic pinch-hit home runs and a grand slam in his one and only start account for the high score, and he obviously won't maintain that pace. You could argue the surge will earn him more at-bats, but where? The Braves will no doubt slot at him at DH during their two games in Toronto this week, but don't expect Gattis to start more than a couple games apart from that.

No-brainers: Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, Yadier Molina, Wilin Rosario, Matt Wieters
Advisable starts: Brian McCann, Salvador Perez, Ryan Doumit, A.J. Pierzynski
Shaky starts: Miguel Montero, Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin, Yasmani Grandal (suspension), Evan Gattis, J.P. Arencibia, Jason Castro, John Buck, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Yan Gomes
Strictly AL/NL-only: Welington Castillo, Chris Iannetta, A.J. Ellis, Alex Avila, Kurt Suzuki, Kelly Shoppach, Tyler Flowers, Brayan Pena, Nick Hundley, Devin Mesoraco
Don't bother: Geovany Soto, Rob Brantly, Derek Norris, Ryan Hanigan, Erik Kratz, Michael McKenry, Ryan Lavarnway, Martin Maldonado, Chris Stewart (groin), David Ross (concussion), Carlos Ruiz (hamstring), Wilson Ramos (hamstring), Francisco Cervelli (hand), Mike Zunino, Travis d'Arnaud, Jesus Montero

First base

The few players who qualify only at DH now appear alongside the first basemen so that their owners might have some context for how to approach them this week. If you see an asterisk (*) next to a player's name, it means he's DH-only and not a legitimate first baseman.

Michael Cuddyer, who hasn't played since May 8 because of an inflamed disk in his neck, is expected back in the lineup Friday. He was off to a torrid start before the injury, seemingly making up for a disappointing first season in Colorado, so assuming he looks fine over the weekend, you'll want to go ahead and activate him in Fantasy. The five games at Coors Field this week can only help.
Worth a second look: Kendrys Morales, Mariners
Though Morales' lack of home runs so far has limited his mixed-league appeal, he's showing signs of busting out over his last 12 games, batting .354 (17 for 48) with two home runs, six doubles and an 1.008 OPS. The Padres' and Twins' pitching staffs likely won't slow him down this week. He'll be facing pitchers like Edinson Volquez, Eric Stults, Mike Pelfrey and Scott Diamond.
Approach with caution: Brandon Moss, Athletics
After a terrific start to the season, Moss hasn't exactly made the most of his everyday role in May, batting .172 (10 for 58) with 22 strikeouts compared to only six walks in 20 games. His perceived inability to hit left-handers was the reason he wasn't an everyday player last year, and he's batting just .189 against them this year. With four lefties on tap for the Athletics this week, you should probably stay away.

No-brainers: Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Paul Goldschmidt, Buster Posey, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Billy Butler, Chris Davis, Joe Mauer, Allen Craig, Carlos Santana, Mark Trumbo, David Ortiz*, Anthony Rizzo
Advisable starts: Nick Swisher, Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer (neck), Justin Morneau, Mike Napoli, Mark Reynolds, Matt Carpenter, Mitch Moreland, Lance Berkman, Yonder Alonso, Kendrys Morales
Shaky starts: Brandon Belt (back), Eric Hosmer, Ryan Howard, Victor Martinez*, James Loney, Adam LaRoche, Brandon Moss, Todd Frazier, Adam Dunn, Michael Young, Paul Konerko, Garrett Jones, Kevin Youkilis (back), Chris Carter
Strictly AL/NL-only: Ike Davis, Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena, Justin Smoak, Travis Hafner*, Yan Gomes, Adam Lind, Chris Johnson, Yuniesky Betancourt, Gaby Sanchez
Don't bother: Matt Adams, Todd Helton, Chris Parmelee, Jeff Keppinger, Jordan Pacheco, Greg Dobbs, John Mayberry, Joe Mahoney (hamstring), Mark Teixeira (wrist), Corey Hart (knee), Logan Morrison (knee), Mike Olt, Jonathan Singleton

Second base

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rays MIA2, @MIA2, @CLE3
2. Astros COL2, @COL2, @LAA3
3. Mariners SD2, @SD2, @MIN3
4. Twins @MIL2, MIL2, SEA3
5. Brewers MIN2, @MIN2, @PHI3
The Rockies' shocking demotion of Josh Rutledge -- he of the near 20-20 pace -- has left Fantasy owners in just about every league scrambling for middle infield help. Unfortunately, they won't find much in Colorado. DJ LeMahieu has shown the ability to make consistent contact in both the majors and minors, but he offers little to go along with it. Maybe he could become another Omar Infante, but frankly, you're better off stashing Rutledge in the hope of a quick turnaround.
Worth a second look: Kelly Johnson, Rays
I've resisted Kelly Johnson to this point, well aware of his streaky tendencies, and can only hope I'm not latching on too late with his batting average seemingly back on the decline. But his three home runs in his last six games give me some hope he can continue his stellar May against the seven righties the Marlins and Indians will throw at him this week. Against pitchers like Tom Koehler, Ricky Nolasco, Corey Kluber and Ubaldo Jimenez, he's worth a shot, right?
Approach with caution: Jurickson Profar, Rangers
Though I've encouraged Fantasy owners in all leagues to add Profar off the waiver wire, it's more for the long haul than the right now. In mixed leagues, he still has to earn his way into your starting lineup, and if he's going to continue to lose at-bats to Leury Garcia, you wouldn't want to use him as more than a middle infield stopgap this week.

No-brainers: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, Jason Kipnis, Brandon Phillips
Advisable starts: Jose Altuve, Matt Carpenter, Howie Kendrick, Kelly Johnson, Jedd Gyorko, Marco Scutaro
Shaky starts: Martin Prado, Jed Lowrie (foot), Neil Walker, Daniel Murphy, Jurickson Profar, Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Omar Infante, Chase Utley (rib)
Strictly AL/NL-only: Dustin Ackley, Darwin Barney, Danny Espinosa, Yuniesky Betancourt, DJ LeMahieu, David Adams, Mark Ellis, Emilio Bonifacio, Derek Dietrich, Ryan Raburn, Jeff Keppinger
Don't bother: Gordon Beckham (wrist), Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Brian Dozier, Mike Aviles, Ryan Roberts, Chris Getz, Cliff Pennington, Eric Sogard, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Ian Kinsler (intercostal), Aaron Hill (wrist), Brian Roberts (hamstring), Logan Forsythe (foot), Donovan Solano (side), Josh Rutledge, Jemile Weeks, Kolten Wong

Third base

At long last, the Yankees seem to have found an adequate replacement at third base for Kevin Youkilis in David Adams, a longtime minor-leaguer who was hitting .316 with a .407 on-base percentage in 98 at-bats at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His two home runs so far may cause some Fantasy owners to overvalue him, especially since he might get only one more week as a starter with Youkilis nearing a return. But his bat is good enough to make him a worthwhile option in AL-only leagues.
Worth a second look: Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Gyorko's starting rate of 59 percent is perplexing considering he's eligible at two of the weakest positions in Fantasy and is batting .342 (25 for 73) with five home runs and a 1.038 OPS over his last 20 games. Does the prospect hype fade that quickly? I'm not saying he's quite this good, but against pitchers like Aaron Harang, Brandon Maurer, Joe Saunders and Chad Jenkins, he should keep it up for at least one more week.
Approach with caution: Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
Look, Prado will hit eventually. Apart from that goofy 2011, when he battled a staph infection for much of the year, he's been a lock for a .300 batting average throughout his career. But having squandered another week of favorable matchups, he's not making a good case for Fantasy owners to stick with him. At the weak second and third base positions, you may have no choice but to start him -- and I certainly wouldn't recommend dropping him -- but we've reached the point where you can at least consider sitting him until he turns things around.

No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Chase Headley, Pablo Sandoval (illness), Manny Machado
Advisable starts: Aramis Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Jedd Gyorko, Kyle Seager
Shaky starts: Martin Prado, Nolan Arenado, Pedro Alvarez, Brett Lawrie, Michael Young, Todd Frazier, Will Middlebrooks
Strictly AL/NL-only: David Freese (thumb), Mike Moustakas, Eric Chavez, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Johnson, Yuniesky Betancourt, David Adams, Juan Francisco, Luis Valbuena, Conor Gillaspie, Placido Polanco, Jeff Keppinger, Matt Dominguez (quadriceps)
Don't bother: Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Mike Aviles, Ryan Roberts, Jordan Pacheco, Greg Dobbs, Adeiny Hechavarria, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Trevor Plouffe (concussion), Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Kevin Youkilis (back), Alex Rodriguez (hip), Wilson Betemit (knee), Anthony Rendon, Lonnie Chisenhall, Nick Castellanos

Shortstop

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Orioles @WAS2, WAS2, DET3
2. Pirates @DET2, DET2, CIN3
3. Cardinals @KC2, KC2, SF3
4. Cubs @CHW2, CHW2, ARI3
5. Red Sox PHI2, @PHI2, @NYY3
Didn't take long for the Dee Gordon hype to die down, did it? Maybe he's been a victim of bad matchups to start off his latest stint in the majors, but I'm sensing manager Don Mattingly won't be as forgiving as I am. With fewer opportunities at second base for Nick Punto with Mark Ellis back from the DL, Gordon has found himself on the bench a couple times in recent days. If the trend continues, he'll quickly lose his mixed-league appeal.
Worth a second look: Everth Cabrera, Padres
I'll take some of the responsibility for Cabrera's underwhelming starting rate of only 79 percent. Just lack week, I stuck him with the dreaded "approach with caution" label. But since then, he's opened my eyes to just how reliable he is in Fantasy. Even with a so-so batting average, he's so good at getting on base and taking off when he gets there that he'll rarely disappoint -- certainly not this week, with the Mariners' and Blue Jays' pitching staffs in his sights.
Approach with caution: J.J. Hardy, Orioles
You can't complain too much about Hardy's production so far this season, but he's a notoriously streaky player who seems to be coming out of his latest hot streak, going 3 for 17 in his last four games. If he hasn't yet, he likely will this week, with Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander on tap.

No-brainers: Troy Tulowitzki, Jean Segura, Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond, Elvis Andrus, Starlin Castro
Advisable starts: Jimmy Rollins, Asdrubal Cabrera, Everth Cabrera, Marco Scutaro
Shaky starts: Alcides Escobar, Jed Lowrie (foot), Andrelton Simmons, Jhonny Peralta, J.J. Hardy, Erick Aybar, Brandon Crawford, Stephen Drew, Zack Cozart, Alexei Ramirez
Strictly AL/NL-only: Yunel Escobar, Didi Gregorius, Dee Gordon, Danny Espinosa, Derek Dietrich, Pete Kozma, Ruben Tejada, Marwin Gonzalez, Pedro Florimon
Don't bother: Nick Punto, Munenori Kawasaki, Mike Aviles, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brian Dozier, Cliff Pennington, Eric Sogard, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Clint Barmes, Eduardo Nunez (rib), Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Jose Reyes (leg), Derek Jeter (ankle), Hiroyuki Nakajima, Josh Rutledge, Billy Hamilton

Outfield

Sidelined since May 11 with a strained hamstring, Austin Jackson likely won't be ready to return from the DL when eligible Monday. He hasn't gone through a serious workout yet, and manager Jim Leyland wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning him to the lineup. Even if the prognosis changes over the weekend, the sudden about-face would be cause for concern -- if nothing else, you have to figure he'll be rusty -- so you should just plan on sitting Jackson in Fantasy.

Worth a second look: Josh Willingham, Twins and Matt Joyce, Rays
Part of what made Willingham's 2012 exceptional is that he maintained a high level of production from start to finish. It's not that the power was anything new. It's just that he was so streaky with it previously in his career. Chances are that streakiness is contributing to his slow start this season, which means a reciprocal hot streak may be just around the corner. After missing some time earlier in the season with a sore wrist, he seems to be healthy again and could take advantage of the Twins' favorable matchups against pitchers like Hiram Burgos, Wily Peralta, Aaron Harang and Brandon Maurer this week. As for Joyce, he's picking it up at the plate and, as always, has killed right-handed pitchers this year, compiling a .942 OPS against them. Not only do the Rays face nothing but righties this week, but they're going against the low-end Marlins and Indians rotations.
Approach with caution: Domonic Brown, Phillies and Andre Ethier, Dodgers
On the surface, Brown seems to be doing pretty well, batting .267 (28 for 105) with six homers over his last 27 games, but he has just one walk compared to 21 strikeouts during that stretch. That's not him. One of his strengths throughout his growing pains has been his feel for the strike zone. Until he regains it, he'll be too dependent on the long ball to keep his owners fat and happy. Ethier has sat three of the Dodgers' last six games in favor of the recently recalled Scott Van Slyke. Two of those games were against left-handers, which is understandable given Ethier's struggles against lefties throughout his career, but when manager Don Mattingly sat him against a righty Wednesday, he implied that starting Ethier wasn't in the team's best interest. No need to go out on a limb this week for a player who wasn't contributing much to your Fantasy team in the first place, especially with the Dodgers scheduled to face three lefties.

No-brainers: Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton, Shin-Soo Choo, Alex Gordon, Alex Rios, Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce, Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton, Mark Trumbo, Matt Holliday, Ben Zobrist, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran
Advisable starts: Yoenis Cespedes, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gomez, Hunter Pence, Dexter Fowler, Desmond Jennings, Michael Bourn, Norichika Aoki, Nick Swisher, Carl Crawford, Jason Heyward, Nelson Cruz, Starling Marte, Michael Cuddyer (neck), Nick Markakis, Melky Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Matt Carpenter, Michael Morse, Josh Willingham, Matt Joyce (hamstring), Kelly Johnson
Shaky starts: Coco Crisp, Austin Jackson (hamstring), Martin Prado, Vernon Wells, Gerardo Parra, Angel Pagan, Domonic Brown, Brett Gardner, Torii Hunter, Shane Victorino (hamstring), Lorenzo Cain, B.J. Upton, Nate McLouth, Alfonso Soriano, Jon Jay, Ryan Doumit, Michael Saunders, Ben Revere, Evan Gattis, Dayan Viciedo, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Andy Dirks, Alejandro De Aza, Daniel Nava, Lucas Duda, Denard Span, David Murphy, Leonys Martin, Garrett Jones, Oswaldo Arcia, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Carter
Strictly AL/NL-only: Aaron Hicks, Andre Ethier, David DeJesus, Chris Young, Marcell Ozuna, Colby Rasmus, Drew Stubbs, A.J. Pollock, Ichiro Suzuki, Juan Pierre, Will Venable, J.D. Martinez, Nate Schierholtz, Raul Ibanez, Seth Smith, Carlos Quentin (knee), Jason Kubel, Delmon Young, Rick Ankiel, Scott Van Slyke, Emilio Bonifacio, Cody Ross, Travis Snider, Jeff Francoeur, Chris Denorfia, Eric Young, Ryan Raburn
Don't bother: Kyle Blanks, Craig Gentry, Avisail Garcia, Greg Dobbs, Chris Parmelee, Robbie Grossman, Jose Tabata, Jason Bay, Jonny Gomes, Jordany Valdespin, John Mayberry, Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring), Jayson Werth (hamstring), Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), Josh Reddick (wrist), Corey Hart (knee), Adam Eaton (elbow), Rajai Davis (oblique), Justin Maxwell (hand), Chris Heisey (hamstring), Peter Bourjos (hamstring), Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), Darin Mastroianni (ankle), Cameron Maybin (wrist), Jarrod Dyson (ankle), Nolan Reimold (hamstring), Logan Morrison (knee), Wil Myers, Oscar Taveras, Jackie Bradley, Yasiel Puig, Christian Yelich

The Hit Parade is your guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Looking at matchups for the week ahead and considering other factors such as streaks, injuries and lineup changes, we sort all Fantasy-relevant hitters at each position into five categories: "no-brainers," "advisable starts," "shaky starts," "strictly AL/NL-only" and "don't bother."

These designations rate each player's Fantasy value for the current week only and have no bearing on his value for the season as a whole. Injuries are shown in parentheses.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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