Alfonso Soriano Off to Great Start With Yankees – But Will It Last?
After tying a major-league record with 18 RBI in four games, Alfonso Soriano was hitting .320 with eight HR and 26 RBI in his first 19 games as a Yankee. His combined totals with the Yankees and Cubs were 25 HR and 77 RBI, slightly ahead of teammate Robinson Cano’s 22 HR and 76 RBI. While Soriano obviously belongs in fantasy lineups while he is on such a hot streak, bear in mind for cash fantasy baseball that this streaky hitter had an OPS below .700 in both April and June.
Soriano, 37, is not the first aging hitter the Yankees have picked up this season who has gotten off to a strong start. Here are some other players to pay attention to if you do cash fantasy baseball:
Vernon Wells, OF
Wells, 34, looked like a great pickup for the Yankees in April when he hit .300 with six HR, 13 RBI and a .911 OPS. He even had two steals. Wells made the Angels look bad for letting him go, outperforming everyone in their outfield in April, even including superstar Mike Trout (two HR, 16 RBI, .261, four steals, .766 OPS).
Wells came back to earth in May, hitting .221, though he did have four HR and 11 RBI. But things really fell apart in June, when Wells hit only .133, going 10 for 75. In mid-August, Wells was no longer a regular starter, hitting .243 on the season with a .662 OPS. He had only one homer since May. Wells’ .662 OPS is 20 points below his .682 OPS last season with the Angels.
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
The Yankees gave Youkilis, 34, $12 million to fill in at third base while Alex Rodriguez recovered from hip surgery, even though Youkilis had his own injury issues, averaging just 115 games played over the previous three seasons. In his first nine games with the Yankees, Youkilis hit .424 with two HR and seven RBI. But Youkilis would play only 17 games in April before going on the disabled list with a strained back and missing a month. When he returned, he played just 11 games before going back on the DL and having surgery for a herniated disk, leaving his return for 2013 in doubt.
After his strong start, Youkilis hit just .125 (9-for-72) with no HR and 1 RBI, putting his season numbers at .219 with two HR and eight RBI in 105 at bats.
Lyle Overbay, 1B
The Yankees picked up Overbay, 36, after his release in March by the Red Sox. At the end of May, Overbay was hitting .247 with eight HR and 29 RBI. His power and RBI totals have tailed off a bit since then, but he still hit mid-August with 13 HR, 50 RBI and a .250 BA.
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Jon Lewin writes on a variety of fantasy sports topics.