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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fantasy baseball: Start and sit

In the first two months of the season, Jose Bautista was a find more rare than an uplifting TMZ video: A waiver-wire acquisition who was an everyweek starter.

The last two weeks, he's been the fantasy baseball equivalent of Paris Hilton trying to parallel park in between the paparazzi.

Since hitting a pair of home runs against the Yankees on June 4, Bautista is 2-for-36 (.056) with one run scored, zero RBI and 13 strikeouts.

The slump has dropped his batting average to .227 -- which is only 10 points off his career norm of .237 -- and the Blue Jays' outfielder/third baseman has struck out 58 times in 229 at-bats (also in line with his career average of one K per four at-bats).

If you had Bautista in your lineup for many of his 18 home runs and 45 RBI, consider yourself fortunate. For a while, it seemed as if he might be the 2010 version of 2008 Carlos Quentin -- a waiver-wire acquisition who racks up 25 to 30 home runs and drives in 100.

Considering Toronto has only played 66 games, Bautista is still on track to exceed those numbers. But it's difficult to play a poor hitter who's mired in a terrible slump.


Unlike Bautista, Delmon Young started the season by gaining our interest, hitting two home runs and driving in seven runs in his first five games. While Bautista excelled in May, Young faded.

In 61 at-bats spanning 19 games following his five-game start, Young had all of one homer and four RBI. Since May 26, however, he's been hotter than a TMZ showdown with Kanye West.

In 63 at-bats, the Twins outfielder is batting .365 with four homers, 20 RBI and 11 runs scored. The torrid stretch has lifted his season average to .292, and he has eight homers and 41 RBI in 192 at-bats. Also impressive: Young has struck out only 22 times, an average of one per 8.7 at-bats -- 3.5 better than his career norm of one K per 5.2 at-bats.

In 2007 with Tampa Bay, Young batted .288 with 13 homers, 93 RBI and 10 stolen bases in his first full major-league season. In 2008 and '09, he didn't have more than 12 homers or 69 RBI.

Now, he's locked in. Start him -- but first you might have to acquire him. As of late Wednesday night, Young is owned in only 42.6 percent of the leagues on

For more fantasy sports updates, follow Kevin Kleps on Twitter.

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