Fantasy: Hamilton No Longer a Fluke

Article excerpt

There is a point at which fluke becomes fact, and Josh Hamilton passed it.

Hamilton has become a reclamation project more successful than the Statue of Liberty, Drew Barrymore's career or Kobe Bryant's public image. And while analysts have been slow to embrace his breakout, there is no denying it any longer.

As long as he's healthy, Hamilton is a stud.

Hamilton was acquired by the Texas Rangers during the winter, and the man they dealt for him, Edinson Volquez, is arguably the top pitcher in baseball right now. Yet the Rangers are winning that trade, because Hamilton is on pace for a ridiculous 179 RBI. He has more votes in All-Star balloting than Ichiro. A Google search for Hamilton produces over 6,300 hits in the last month alone.

And he is worthy of all the attention. The circuitous route he took to the big leagues will prevent him from ever becoming a Hall of Famer, but it won't stop him from being a 30-homer, 100-RBI machine during his prime.

We're sold.

Volquez not No. 1 Reds' choice

Speaking of Volquez, his outstanding start in the National League has vaulted him to the ranks of the most sought-after pitchers in fantasy baseball. But there's another pitcher on the staff who is likely to pitch as well the rest of the season.

Remember Johnny Cueto?

After two stunning starts, his decline was quick and precipitous. With Volquez's rise, he has fallen out of favor among fantasy owners. The difference between the two is that Cueto has allowed 14 homers; Volquez, only three. That won't continue, on either side. Deal Volquez high, and get Cueto cheaply now.

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