Three weeks ago, I touted Cano as a major breakout candidate after a white-hot spring in which he hit .446, but he's slumped out of the gate with a .169 average and only one homer through 77 at-bats. But slow starts are nothing new for Cano, who has a career .717 OPS in April and a lifetime .677 mark in May. With warm weather comes a hot bat, though, as his OPS increases each month, all the way up to a .981 mark in September. The longer you hold Cano, the better he gets.
-- Cory Schwartz, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"
Seems like we're singing the same song about Cano every spring: "Oh the weather outside is frightful / But the fire is so delightful." The stud second baseman begins each year in the midst of a blizzard, as April has been his worst statistical month across the board. This season's been no different -- he's hitting just .169 with a homer and five RBIs in 18 games -- and owners are no doubt itching to hand him his walking papers. However, history indicates that the fire is, in fact, so delightful for Cano when summer rolls in (.334 AVG, .540 SLG, 32 HR, 141 RBIs in the season's second half from 2005-07). Grab him now at a discount and reap the rewards.
-- Corey Gottlieb, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
Ryan Howard has looked pretty bad in the early going, ringing up a .200 average and 28 strikeouts in 75 at-bats. However, he simply has too much power to stay rooted at this level for long. Once Howard starts making contact a little more consistently, he'll go yard on a regular basis and his average will climb. Remember, this is a player who overcame a rough start to bat .282 with 38 homers and 106 RBIs over the final four months of 2007; once he gets going, he'll make owners forget all about his struggles in the opening weeks of '08.
-- Tim Ott, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
Tulowitzki owners have to be doing some serious soul searching these days. Was last year for real? Is this the start of a sophomore slump? While there's no guarantee Tulo will match last year's numbers, I think we can all agree on one thing: he won't look foolish all season. Remember, Tulo started off slowly last season and didn't really get going until June. His plate skills are fine, his body is fully functioning and his .203 BABIP suggests it's only a matter of time before something gives.
-- Alex Cushing, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
Yes, I'll take the guy who hit 50 home runs last year. A slow start had to be expected from Fielder, considering the behemoth of a man made a life-altering decision in the offseason to nix meat and other fatty food from his diet. So give his body some time to digest the tofu and wheatgrass shots, because you know its only a matter of time until Prince starts partying like its 1999 all over again.
-- Dave Feldman, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
First base is a deep position, but there aren't many who can realistically swat 50 home runs; Fielder can. The lefty slugger hit .288 with 50 home runs and 119 RBIs last season, so it's only a matter of time before the soon-to-be 24-year-old gets into a hitting groove. Buy low on Fielder and be happy with obtaining an A-list bat for a B-list price.
-- Kyle Stack, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
Justin Verlander is the prototypical buy-low candidate at this early stage in the season. The 25-year-old right-hander has struggled to a 0-3 record with a bloated 7.03 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 24 1/3 innings over four starts. Owners are likely growing more and more concerned about whether Verlander can get his stuff together, especially since he was a better first-half pitcher in his first two big league seasons (career 3.54 pre-All-Star ERA, 4.50 post). However, now is the time to make an offer for the flamethrowing Tiger, whose stuff is just too good to not expect a turnaround.
-- Matt Kerner, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy
Through 19 games, Michael Young is batting a dreary .259 with two homers and six RBIs. Many owners are likely nervous, looking to unload him and scampering to grab Ryan Theriot off waivers. And that's where you step in with a low-ball offer. You remember that Young's batted at least .313 with 91 RBIs and 80 runs in each of the last four seasons. You see that he's more patient at the plate, walking at a 60 percent higher rate than his career average. You recognize that it's early and that the hits will come. And, most importantly, you know that Young is a Top 5 fantasy shortstop.
-- Milosh Marinovich, Reporter, MLB.com Fantasy