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Fantasy Baseball Pickups: Tyson Ross and others to add

Tyson Ross looks completely healthy again and is a must-add in fantasy leagues (AP Photo).

Tyson Ross: He lost a no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning Friday night in a terrific performance in Arizona, and Ross now sports a 2.81 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP through four starts this season. He’s posted a 22:4 K:BB ratio over his last three (19.2 innings), flashing the same slider that once made him so intriguing. Ross has remarkably made it all the way back, and while he remains an injury risk (it would’ve been interesting to see how San Diego handled him had he kept the no-no intact approaching 130 pitches), there’s enough upside to grab him in all formats. Ross is currently owned in just 16 percent of Yahoo leagues, but after Friday’s big performance, expect competitive FAAB bids over the weekend.

Preston Tucker: He’s not an overly exciting prospect, and he’s likely owned in just a third of leagues in part of fear of his benching after Ronald Acuna’s inevitable call up, but it’s not like Nick Markakis truly has to remain a starter, and Tucker’s 18 RBI are tied for fourth-most in MLB right now. SunTrust Park has boosted home runs for lefties since its inception, and Tucker’s average exit velocity (93.7 mph) ranks top-25 among all hitters in the early going, so his start isn’t a complete fluke.

Gleyber Torres: After tearing up Triple-A (.370/.415/.543) and service time no longer an issue, the Yankees have called up Torres, who’ll see most of the work at second base. The 21-year-old is one of the very best prospects in baseball and gets to hit in a home park that boosts power and in a potent lineup. If Torres is somehow still unowned in your league, bid aggressively.

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Teoscar Hernandez: It didn’t take long for the preseason deep sleeper to emerge after opening the year in the minors, and Hernandez is raking right out of the gate. He possesses a good power/speed combo and is even hitting second in Toronto’s lineup lately.

Eduardo Rodriguez: He’s clearly healthy now after knee surgery and has 20 strikeouts over 15.2 innings. Pitching in Fenway Park and the AL East isn’t ideal (although the division has some softer spots than usual), but it also helps to get a ton of run support like Boston has and will continue to provide. Rodriguez’s 15.0 SwStr% would rank ninth among starters if he qualified, so make sure he’s not available in your league.

Chris Stratton: He doesn’t have overwhelming minor league numbers but boasts impressive spin rates and continues to improve, and it’s becoming hard to argue with the results, as Stratton has a 2.22 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP over four starts, including an 8:0 K:BB gem in Arizona last week. He’s a former first round pick and while sure to regress from this unsustainably high standard, should remain a plenty useful fantasy starter moving forward.

Mac Williamson: Those in deeper leagues looking for offense can stay in San Francisco with Williamson, who’s looking at regular playing time now that Hunter Pence is on the DL. He was tearing it up in Triple-A (300 wRC+(!)), has rebuilt his swing, and mashed this impressive opposite field homer Friday night. Pence looked finished even before the injury (.172/.197/.190), so Williamson can easily claim this job permanently if he hits.

Franchy Cordero: Batting average is a risk thanks to so many strikeouts, but when Cordero connects, he hits the ball really far. He’s up to three homers and two steals over nine games, including this long ball that was the third-longest in Chase Field history (and longest in MLB this year) that went 116 mph. Maybe he’ll get sent back down once Manuel Margot returns from the DL, but Cordero has too much power upside to be owned in just 10 percent of leagues.

Christian Villanueva: Owners have been slow to buy into Villanueva even after his early three-homer game, but his ownership is (rightfully) creeping up now. His .429 BABIP is obviously going to come down, but he’s often hitting cleanup in between two lefties, and THE BAT is projecting a healthy 20 homers over 105 games over the rest of the season.

Vince Velasquez: His 3.80 ERA and 1.36 WHIP don’t stand out, but Velasquez also sports a 24:5 K:BB ratio over 21.1 innings, making him plenty interesting. Three of his four starts this year have come on the road, and while durability (and consistency) are always a concern, there’s reason Velasquez was a hyped sleeper not so long ago. He’s shown good velocity (averaging 94.0 mph with his fastball) with a 10.3 SwStr%, so he shouldn’t be available in more than 80 percent of leagues right now.

Andrew Heaney: He likely won’t cost much after getting shelled for seven runs by a poor Giants offense during his last start, but the ugly ERA (9.64) this season also comes with a 13:3 K:BB ratio over 9.1 innings. Heaney is a former top-10 pick who flashes legit swing-and-miss stuff who benefits from a strong defense and pitcher’s park. The ugly lack of run prevention is masking cheap potential here.

Ryan McMahon: Nolan Arenado is back, but now Carlos Gonzalez is ailing. McMahon has been terrible this year, but he had two hits Friday, and if he continues to find himself in a lineup in Coors Field, he’ll be worth using.

Mike Foltynewicz: Walks remain a problem, but it’s surprising someone with a 2.53 ERA and a 10.97 K/9 rate while averaging 95.7 mph with his fastball is owned in just 39 percent of leagues. All four of his starts have come against top-12 run-scoring offenses (he’s faced the Phillies and Nationals each twice), and Folty is a former top-20 pick who’s just 26 years old, so it’s at least possible this is the beginning of a true breakout.

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