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Deep Pickups 4/24: Hitters

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Ike Davis - 1B, PIT

Davis took the National League by storm in 2010 when he posted a 791 OPS with 19 homers as a rookie, and he followed that up two years later by bashing 32 bombs with 90 RBI. Since 2012, however, Davis has been unable to recapture his potent power at the plate.

Last year the first baseman batted just .205 with nine homers in 103 games. He struck out in 27 percent of his plate appearances, and wound up sitting out the final month of the season with an oblique strain.

Rumors that the Mets were shopping Davis floated around throughout the offseason and into the spring. After another slow start this year, the 27-year-old was shipped to the Pirates in mid-April, and the move figures to have a positive impact on his fantasy value.

Not only is Davis getting a fresh start and a change of scenery, he's also moving into a much better lineup, and that should lead to increased chances for scoring and driving in runs. Whereas the Mets rank last in the Senior Circuit in OPS, the Pirates are near the middle of the pack, and Davis will now get to hit behind solid hitters like Sterling Marte and Andrew McCutchen.

Pedro Alvarez has been Pittsburgh's primary cleanup hitter this year but is hitting just .173, so his spot in the lineup is vulnerable. Already Davis has gotten a chance to hit fourth and he'll likely get more if he proves up to the task. He's been hitting early on with his new club, going 5-for-20 with a grand slam in his first five games.

The former first-round pick is still young and talented enough to emerge as a difference-maker, and he's shown the ability to do so before. The early signals indicate that a move to Pittsburgh might help him return to his previous form.

Chris Owings - SS, ARI

Owings is only 22 years old, but he's opening some eyes on a struggling club in Arizona and has definitely placed himself on the fantasy radar with strong production at a thin position.

After mashing in the Class-AAA Pacific Coast League last year (.330/.359/.482, 12 HR, 20 SB) and batting .291 during a 20-game MLB debut, the infielder was ranked by Baseball Prospectus as the No. 28 prospect in all of baseball this spring.

He earned the starting shortstop gig for the D-Backs with a solid showing in camp and has continued to produce at the plate in the early weeks, with a .294/.351/.338 hitting line through 23 contests. He has started 18 games and reached safely in all but three.

Recognizing his consistency, the Diamondbacks responded by sliding him from the bottom of the order to the top earlier this week. After hitting in the bottom of the lineup for most of the month, Owings moved into the leadoff spot on Monday, where he went 1-for-4. He's been back hitting seventh for the past couple games but could easily find his way back to the front.

He hasn't shown any power yet, with eight doubles and no homers in 136 plate appearances as a big-leaguer, but that will likely begin to manifest at some point. He did slug .441 in the minors with 47 home runs in 460 games. He also brings solid speed to the table; last year he went 22-for-29 on swipe attempts between the majors and Triple-A, and this year he's already 4-for-4 with Arizona. He'll likely see his chances increase if he returns to the leadoff or No. 2 spot.

A young player on the rise, Owings is definitely worth grabbing in deeper leagues at this point. He could become a lineup staple the rest of the way.

Nick Nelson
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.