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We've seen Jorge Soler's talent shine through before, but his overall struggles have made it tough to rely on him regularly for many Fantasy owners.
That has been the case much of this season. Soler is hitting just .206 overall, but he is showing real signs of figuring things out lately and, given Soler's impressive potential, this is worth getting excited about.
Soler was hitting just .174 on May 14 after going 0 for 3 against the Pirates, and got a couple of days off before getting back to it. In seven games since then, Soler is hitting .333 with two homers, four RBI and seven runs scored. This is a solid little hot streak, and it's exciting to see someone with Soler's talent show signs like this.
Of course, it's also just a week's worth of games, so you don't need to overreact too much. Going out and adding Soler (owned in just 35 percent of CBSSports.com leagues) is more about the overall improvements the 24-year-old has shown this season so far. He has cut his strikeout rate from 30.0 percent to a much more manageable 24.0 percent this season, while walking in 11.2 percent of his plate appearances, an improvement on his career norms as well.
And, after hitting just 29.8 percent of balls in the air last season, Soler is up to 45.6 percent this season. Given his raw power and hitting ability, that's a great sign; Soler disappointed with just 10 homers last season, but could break out as a true power threat if he can keep this up.
There are still questions about where Soler is going to play, but he remains such an intriguing talent, and he might be able to just force his way into the lineup everyday if he keeps hitting. This may just be a hot streak, but there are enough promising signs that I'm willing to take another flier on Soler figuring it out.
Leonys Martin, OF, Mariners (36 percent owned)
We wrote about Martin in this space last week, and all he has done since is get even hotter. Martin is riding an eight-game hitting streak after hitting a walk-off homer Tuesday against the A's, and is now hitting .500 with four homers, six walks and only three strikeouts in that span. That last bit might be the most important. Martin has flashed solid power consistently all season but was striking out 32.5 percent of the time in April, which dragged his average down. He has cut his strikeout rate to 21.1 percent in May, allowing him to hit .315, while maintaining his power. With seven steals to go along with his nine homers, Martin is looking like a real power-speed threat, and his improved play makes him a must-add right now.
Brandon Guyer, OF, Rays (15 percent owned)
If you're looking for AL-only help in the outfield, look at Guyer, who has been red-hot all season and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. He hit .324 in April without much power, but has turned that on of late, hitting four of his five homers in May. Guyer is hitting .314 in the month overall, with a manageable strikeout rate, solid power and good on-base skills; despite just three walks in 80 trips to the plate in May, he has a solid .388 on-base percentage thanks to six hit-by-pitches. He is the league's premier HBP artist, with 26 in 507 plate appearances dating back to last season, a nice hidden value in H2H leagues. Guyer's role might come and go, but he is worth a look in deeper formats while he is playing regularly.
Cody Anderson, SP, Indians (5 percent owned)
Anderson was a solid contributor in a part-time role for the Indians in 2015, posting a 3.05 ERA in 91 1/3 innings, but he did that without much in the way of strikeouts, fanning just 4.3 per nine. He wasn't much of a strikeout artist in the minors either, so that was certainly in keeping with his track record. However he showed a lot more potential in that regard Monday, racking up a career-high nine strikeouts in seven innings of work against the White Sox. It was just one start, so it is easy enough to dismiss, except that Anderson went into the start armed with a new strategy that saw him throw his curveball 21 times; his career rate prior had been closer to five percent. It was Anderson's go-to pitch when ahead in the count and pitching with two strikes, and he racked up six of his 16 swinging strikes with the pitch. One start isn't proof of anything, and Anderson isn't even guaranteed a role in the rotation beyond this weekend, but Monday's start was eyebrow-raising enough that I will at least keep an eye on him.