Despite his recent clunker, Marcus Stroman was the most added player on ESPN with a 49% jump in ownership. It’s well deserved, as the 23-year-old right-hander has put together a nice season for the Blue Jays. After spending the first part of 2014 yo-yoing between the minors and a brief role in the Jays bullpen, Stroman has a 3.49 ERA (3.30 xFIP) with a 7.9 K/9 and 2.09 BB/9. Those are solid numbers from a rookie, and while it was speculated that he could be hurt by the long ball, he’s managed to keep his HR/9 at a nice 0.58 rate. He’s not a big guy, but if you’ve seen him pitch this year you’d agree he’s got good stuff. The Toronto faithful have even made this cool hat. Like all rookies he’ll have bad days like this past Sunday, but sandwiched between two bad starts were three beauties. Prior to that start he had strung together 21 innings with only one earned run and 20 strikeouts. He hasn’t walked more than two batters in his last five starts and he hasn’t given up a homer in six of his last seven. It’s possible the Jays will be careful with Stroman moving forward so keep an ear to the ground for news of a possible innings limit. Outside of that I’d roster Stroman in all forrmats despite Sunday’s hiccup. He’s right there with fellow rookies Jake Odorizzi and Kevin Gausman and I’d actually prefer Stroman over both at the moment. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Yangervis Solarte, IF/OF – 59% owned (+40%)
It’s Padre mania as the San Diego club has really heated up. Solarte is right in the middle of this run with two homers, ten runs scored, and ten runs batted in over the past two weeks. The 27-year-old came to San Diego from the Yankees in the recent Chase Headley trade. He was surprisingly good in the early part of the season (especially May) but quickly dropped off in June with a .164 average and zilch power. Solarte came out of nowhere as he wasn’t a major prospect and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this two week stretch quickly turn on fantasy players that are adding him right now in hopes of a spark. The dual eligibility is nice, but I’d rather roll the dice with Danny Santana or even Emilio Bonifacio. Even a guy like Jake Marisnick could have more fantasy upside over the last two months. Solarte has had a nice couple of weeks with his new team, but I don’t think he’s worth the add in 12-team leagues. TRASH.
Kolten Wong, 2B – 61% owned (-13%)
On the flip side we have Kolten Wong, who was a more highly regarded prospect and has had a great rookie campaign for the Cardinals in 2014. I’m confused by the 13% drop here. He’s hitting second in the Cardinals lineup and outside of a ho-hum .243 batting average, Wong has contributed across the board in the fantasy categories. I don’t get to quote Grey too often but yesterday morning he posted a really cool stat: “For those who aren’t the best at math, he’s on pace for 15 homers and 34 steals over the course of a full season. Yup, and Mike is super.” Man, Grey is such a nice guy! In all seriousness, those are great numbers at any position let alone second base. The icing on this cupcake is that he could actually get better. Keeper leaguers especially should be looking to add the 23-year-old second baseman. While Steamer is only projecting another three homers and five steals, I’d take Wong for the rest of this season over fellow rookie Arismendy Alcantara and even the recent hotness of Jedd Gyorko. TREASURE.