It's really weird to see Omar Infante as the third-highest scoring Fantasy player behind Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp following his two-homer performance Monday against the Phillies.
Infante has homered three times in five games, and has more combined home runs than teammates Hanely Ramirez, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Reyes.
Logic tells us, though, that Infante won't keep this pace up. Infante has had just one season with 10-plus homers -- 2004 -- and never hit more than four homers in a minor-league season, so the odds of him staying in the home run race are slim.
I do, however, view Infante as an underrated Fantasy option and I wouldn't hesitate to take a flier on him in any format. In fact, in one of my NL-only Fantasy leagues (10-team) this spring, I punted on the second-base position feeling I could grab Infante in the late rounds as my starter. And I did.
Why was I that confident? Because of what Infante did in the second half last season. Infante had a .314 average, .493 slugging percentage and .842 OPS in his final 57 games last year.
I'm not going to group Infante among the elite Fantasy second basemen, but I think he can pass as a low-end starter in deep mixed leagues if he mirrors the numbers he posted in the second half last season.
-Cubs minor leaguer Anthony Rizzo clubbed two homers fro Triple-A Iowa on Monday. He already has three homers and nine RBI in five games. There's no arguement those numbers are great, but we have seen them before from Rizzo. He's too good for the Pacific Coast League. Now, he just needs to show he's not a Quad-A player -- too good for the minors, not good enough for the majors. One of Rizzo's big weaknesses is hitting left-handed pitchers. He's gone 2 for 5 with one homer and four RBI against lefties thus far, but it appears the Cubs won't be quick to recall Rizzo. General manager Jed Hoyer will probably be a bit more conservative this time with Rizzo after calling him up too early in San Diego. I'm still not buying Rizzo will be in the minors for most of the year. I'm stashing him in an NL-only Fantasy league and I think it's going to be different the next time Rizzo gets promoted. He will be in a more favorable park for left-handed hitters and that should help him gain confidence in the majors.
-I'm disappointed I'm not in any long-term Fantasy keeper leagues. If that were the case, though, I would have drafted Miguel Sano and stashed him for no matter how long. The 18-year-old Twins' farmhand is a star in the making. He's already got great power -- he has a .581 slugging percentage and .947 OPS in 131 minor-league games -- and he's still growing into his body. He's continued to climb the prospect rankings, checking in this year as Baseball America's 18th ranked prospect. The only negative is that Minnesota has shown it will be patient with the rising Dominican star, so we might not see Sano make a Fantasy impact for years to come. He's at low Class A right now.