Seth Smith - OF, SD
For the most part, hitters from San Diego tend to be ones that fantasy players avoid, for a couple reasons. First, the Padres often fill their lineup with fairly lousy bats. Second (not totally unrelated), Petco Park is an awfully tough place to put up good offensive numbers.
Smith, acquired from the Athletics in December, appears to be one Padre who is actually worth adding to your fantasy mix.
The 31-year-old has a solid .267/.347/.462 hitting line, though he spent the first four years of his career hitting in Coors Field. That park falls on the opposite end of the spectrum from his new home, so many of us wondered how his skills would translate, especially after he hit just .246/.331/.406 in the last two years with Oakland.
As it turns out, Smith is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. Through 84 games, he's hitting .284/.384/.509 with 11 homers, 20 doubles and four triples. Most encouraging is that he's shown no susceptibility to the offense-hampering effects of Petco, where he has a 951 OPS with eight of his 11 homers.
He hasn't been quite as productive on the road, especially from a power-hitting perspective, but he has still looked plenty good with a .389 OBP and 17-to-21 K/BB ratio. Simply put, Smith is locked in. That has been especially true lately. Smith has been scorching hot in July, batting .350 with a 1076 OPS and three homers.
He's not without his downsides; he struggles against left-handed pitching and has been limited to 38 runs scored and 29 RBI thanks to the lackluster group of hitters surrounding him. But Smith is having a great year and showing no signs of slowing down. If you need some help in your outfield, he's a strong choice as he's available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN/Yahoo! leagues.
Adam Duvall - 1B, SF
Brandon Belt suffered a concussion in a batting practice mishap over the weekend, and was placed on the seven-day disabled list a couple days later. As you're likely aware, these brain injuries often take longer than a week -- sometimes a lot longer -- to recover from.
As such, it's worth taking a look at Belt's replacement. Duvall was called up on Monday and made an immediate impact, going 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI in his first game. He figures to be the Giants' primary first baseman until Belt is ready to return.
It's hard to make too much out of Duvall's big first game. He also homered in his MLB debut back in late June, then went 2-for-14 in his next four games before being sent back to the minors. However, it's hard to ignore the monster numbers he has posted in Triple-A, where his season line sits at .303/.361/.626. In 78 games, the 25-year-old has bashed 26 homers and 79 RBI.
Granted, those numbers have come in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but Duvall's power has really stood out -- he has seven more home runs than the next-best PCL total. While he's having a career year, he has always had a penchant for driving the ball out of the park; in his minor-league career he has collected 99 bombs in five seasons while slugging .503.
That immense pop makes him intriguing as a deep-league pickup even with the uncertainty surrounding the length of his stay.