Jose Bautista: 23 -- Bautista is off to a fine start, with six homers and 13 RBIs in 19 games. And while his .258 batting average does not excite fantasy owners, his 23 walks should open some eyes. Joey Bats is normally one of the most patient hitters in baseball, but this season he has taken his batting eye to another level. The 33-year-old has stated that he is making a point to be even more selective, and wait for a pitch that he can drive out of the park. By following this plan, he has collected five more walks than any other hitter in baseball. The additional trips to first base are allowing Bautista to score runs at a higher rate, and he could be even more dangerous once the slumping Edwin Encarnacion heats up.
Chris Tillman: 7 -- Tillman was a breakout performer in 2013, but there was some worry that he would be unable to sustain mixed-league usefulness in the tough American League East. Early 2014 results suggest that the 26-year-old will not only warrant a mixed-league roster spot, but he may also be a regular lineup fixture. After four starts, Tillman has walked just seven batters, which put him on pace to walk fewer than his total of 68 last season. The lower walk rate has dropped his WHIP to 1.10, and while his 1.71 ERA is sure to rise, he could post a 2014 ERA lower than last year's mark (3.71) by continuing to limit baserunners. The most encouraging news for Tillman owners is that his excellent early-season work has come against Detroit, Toronto and Boston (twice). If Tilllman can pitch well against those teams, he could be outstanding once he lines up against some of the AL's weaker foes.
Kyle Farnsworth: 4.70 -- Following the ninth-inning struggles of Jose Valverde, Mets manager Terry Collins anointed Farnsworth as the team's closer on Sunday. Fantasy owners are always ready to pick up closers in hopes of finding a 30-save stopper on waivers, but Farnsworth is likely the wrong target. The 38-year-old posted a 4.70 ERA last season, and in 2012 his ERA was 4.00. He owns a 1.36 career WHIP, and nothing in his profile suggests that he will be able to stay in the ninth inning for more than a few weeks. Farnsworth is worth a low-cost pickup for those in dire need of saves, but he is not worth a serious investment. In the big picture, the Mets' weak bullpen could affect the team's rotation throughout the season. Pitchers such as Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler would be candidates to win 12-plus games on most teams, but it is likely that they will see some of their leads disappear in the late innings.
Mark Buehrle: 21 -- No one could have predicted that after three weeks of action, Buehrle would be 4-0 and the AL leader in ERA (0.64). The southpaw definitely deserves praise for his early-season success, but he is the ultimate sell-high candidate. Over the course of his career, Buehrle has allowed roughly one hit per inning (3,015 hits in 2,910 2/3 innings). Nearly 3,000 innings is a large sample size, and it is hard to see any age-35 player making a serious improvement in his skill set. This season, Buehrle has allowed just 21 hits in 28 innings, which is a big reason for his additional success. His strikeout rate is no better than it was in 2013 and, as a soft-tosser, it is hard for Buehrle to pitch his way out of trouble. His end-of-season ERA will likely be near his 3.81 career mark, so this is a great time to trade him away. A smart idea would be to target teams who are near the bottom of the league in ERA and WHIP. Figure out which high-upside arms are giving them the most headaches and develop a deal around Buehrle and those players.
Jonathan Schoop: 0 -- Buck Showalter and the Orioles have recently had success by letting talented hitters such as Adam Jones and Manny Machado swing aggressively at the dish. But Schoop is taking this approach to another level, as he has yet to draw a walk in 58 plate appearances. The 22-year-old is a keeper-league asset, but it will be hard for him to help fantasy owners this season if he continues to hit low in the lineup and post an on-base percentage near his current .259 mark. Schoop was not a patient hitter in Triple-A last season, and he swiped just one base in 270 at-bats at that level. He can help AL-only owners by offering some extra-base power and driving in his share of runs, but mixed-league owners should find someone who can score more often, swipe a few bases or offer a more secure batting average.