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    April's DFS Standouts (5/4/16)

    by Mark Dankenbring
    By Mark Dankenbring


    MLB Batting Leaders – First Month Recap


    The first month of the MLB season has brought us many impressive performances and noteworthy storylines to follow for the remainder of the season. Rookie Trevor Story has hit 10 home runs over the first month of the season, trailing only his teammate, Nolan Arenado, who has 11. We've seen another rookie take the league by storm in Aledmys Diaz, who is second in the MLB in average and slugging percentage, and first in on-base plus slugging (OPS).

    Biggest Fantasy Impacts by Position

    C

    Yadier Molina
    Yadier Molina is leading all catchers with a .333 average to start the year. The power has been absent for Yadi early on with zero home runs, but he has accrued seven doubles in 25 games. He's been consistent in the RBI and runs department, so despite the lack of power, he has been one of the better offensive catchers to start the year.

    Welington Castillo
    Welington Castillo has showcased the most power for any catcher this season. He's hit seven home runs in the early going, leading all catchers in that department. Along with the power, Castillo has been able to maintain an average of .293, which is definitely on the upper-end for catchers.

    1B

    Anthony Rizzo
    Rizzo has made the most of his hits this season, turning eight of his 22 into home runs. He has a below-Rizzoesque average at .242, but is leading the majors with his 26 RBIs. He remains a staple in the middle of the Cubs lineup and a strong fantasy asset.

    Eric Hosmer
    Hosmer has put together a very fine start to the 2016 season. He leads all first basemen with a .333 average, which is complemented well by his f our home runs and 12 RBIs on the season. Hosmer also shares the lead for steals among first basemen so far with three.

    Chris Davis
    Affectionately known as Crush Davis throughout the league, Chris has started the season well with seven homers. He also leads all of first basemen with 20 runs scored, and has also tallied 17 RBIs so far. No surprise that his average is just below .230, but his power and runs scored have made up for that deficit.

    2B

    Jose Altuve
    It's no surprise that Altuve is the best fantasy second basemen up to this point. His offensive game is so well-rounded that he's valuable in every category. So far he's hit seven homers, a league-leading 12 doubles, stolen 10 bases, and scored 21 runs. Not much more you could ask for.

    Neil Walker
    Walker has started the year putting up power numbers like never before in his career. Through 25 games he's hit nine home runs after hitting 16 in 151 games last year. You would've expected his power numbers to drop heading to the spacious Citi Field, but it's been quite the opposite. Walker also has a very solid .296 average to go along with his power numbers.

    Daniel Murphy
    Murphy has dominated in the first month of the season. He leads all second basemen with a .376 average, which is also good for third overall in the majors. His slugging numbers aren't anything to get excited about, but he's still produced three home runs and 14 RBIs. Nothing to complain about there.

    There's been a lot of fantasy depth at the second base position so far this year. Robinson Cano has hit nine home runs, Logan Forsythe has been a force atop the Rays lineup, and Dustin Pedroia is hitting his usual .324 with a few homers.

    3B

    Manny Machado
    Machado has had a great all around start to the 2016 season. He leads third basemen in WAR at 1.9, and has done so by hitting .350 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs. Machado is tied with the other two top fantasy third basemen, Arenado and Donaldson, with 68 total bases on the season.

    Nolan Arenado
    Arenado currently leads the majors with 11 home runs on the season. He is also tied for second in the league with 25 RBIs, and sits in sole possession of second place in runs scored at 23. Arenado has also held his own in the average department, hitting an impressive .314.

    Josh Donaldson
    It's hard to compare to the two gentlemen above, but Donaldson has had a more than solid start to the season as well. He comes into today hitting .292 with nine home runs, 21 RBIs, and leads the majors with 26 runs scored.

    Donaldson rounds out this trio well, as they're the only third basemen in the league with over a .600 slugging percentage. It will be a fun race to watch and see who ends up with the best season out of these three studs.

    SS

    Aledmys Diaz
    Diaz couldn't have asked for a better start to his rookie season. He's begun the season with a .388 batting average and is slugging .700 thanks to five home runs, eight doubles, and a triple. He's also tied with Trevor Story atop the rookie runs leaderboard with 20.

    Trevor Story
    Everyone is familiar with Story's “story” through the first month of the season. He took the league by storm with his early power numbers, and is still sitting at second in the majors with 10 homers. Along with the great power, Story is hitting a respectable .260 and leads all shortstops with 21 RBIs.

    LF

    Ryan Braun
    Braun has started off the year hitting very well. He's currently sitting on a .372 average and has accumulated 21 RBIs in 24 games. Braun has been able to muscle five balls over the wall early on, as well as swipe two bases, which are always valuable.

    Michael Conforto
    Conforto has been a bright spot for the Mets early on this season. He's been slotted in front of Cespedes hitting number three in the lineup, which has been great for the Mets since Conforto is hitting .326 with an OBP right at .400. Conforto has also been effective with his moderate power, hitting four home runs so far and driving in 18 runs.

    CF

    Dexter Fowler
    Fowler has been the man who has started it all for the Cubs lineup this year. He's hitting .352 and boasts an OBP of .473, which is good for best in the majors. He's stolen five bases to start the year, which has helped him score 21 runs. He's also rounded out his numbers with three homers and 15 RBIs from the leadoff spot.

    Yoenis Cespedes
    Cespedes has far and away the best power numbers of any center fielder. He's in the top five in the majors with a slugging percentage of .658, which includes a position-leading eight home runs in only 79 at bats on the year. His average is at a comfortable .278, but his value stems primarily from the power he provides.

    Mike Trout
    Trout hasn't been able to boast the normal Trout-like numbers we're used to seeing, but he's still been one of the top fantasy center fielders. He's currently hitting .310 with six home runs, 19 RBIs, and two stolen bases. He's still been able to fill up every column of the stat sheet, and look for him to get even stronger as the season goes on.

    RF

    Mark Trumbo
    Trumbo is off to an exceptional start in 2016. He's hitting a career best .337, and he seems to have found his power stroke in Baltimore with eight home runs on the early season. Trumbo is also sitting pretty with 15 runs scored and 22 RBIs. He's been a solid all around right fielder for anyone lucky enough to have him thus far.

    Bryce Harper
    Even with Bryce's recent struggles where he's recorded 13 strikeouts in 26 at bats with only two hits, he still sits atop the leaderboard for right fielders with nine home runs. Harper is also leading right fielders with 24 RBIs. He's surprised us with five stolen bases so far this year, and even though his average has dropped down to .256, look for him to regain his mojo here soon.

    There's a few other players who deserve honorable mentions. Matt Kemp hitting .301 with eight homers and 23 RBIs is exciting, as well as Giancarlo Stanton putting up his usual power numbers with eight long balls.

    There have been many stellar starts at each position this year. It will be an exciting May to see who can keep up the pace from April and who else can emerge as a star fantasy player. Even with a month already finished, we are still less than a quarter of the way through the MLB season. It will definitely be an exciting five months to see who will be crowned as the top fantasy players of 2016.
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