Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 4/12/12

We’re about two weeks into the 2012 season. Most batters have around 25-30 plate appearances, and most pitchers have a start or two under their belt. That means sample sizes are still small, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to pounce. Here are some players I’m strongly considering adding this week.

Standard Leagues Alejandro De Aza, OF, CHW (45% owned)

I’m getting tired of touting De Aza so this is (probably) the last time I’ll do it, but seeing as he’s under 50 percent owned I don’t think his presence on this list is unreasonable. He has two homers and five runs scored in Chicago’s first five games, and he’s slugging .591 on the year. He’s getting it done, and the power is encouraging because we know the runs and steals will be there. He should be owned in at least 75 percent of leagues.

J.D. Martinez, OF, HOU (28% owned)

Did you know that Martinez was a career .342 batter in the minors who averaged 21.6 homers per 150 games. He might play for the lowly Astros, but that means he gets to bat third behind speedsters Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve. Martinez should hit for a good average, around 20 homers and probably 90 RBI. He’d made a good platoon outfielder in standard leagues.

Luke Hochevar, SP, KC (18% owned)

Hochevar was supposed to be a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Royals, but that hasn’t quite panned out. However, starting in the second half last year his OBA and walk rates (and thus his WHIP) have been on the decline, which is a good thing. In his first start this year he handled a strong Angels offense on the road, and road games have always been the bane of Hochevar’s major league existence. This one is more a shot in the dark, but there’s a chance he could put everything together and win 13-14 games with a mid-3.00s ERA and a WHIP around 1.20.

Deep, AL-Only and NL-Only Leagues Trevor Bauer, SP, ARI (5% owned)

Bauer is still stuck in the minors, but he may not stay there long. Josh Collmenter hasn’t looked good in the Diamondbacks rotation early in the season, and Bauer is dominating the minor leagues. This is a speculative add, but Bauer could provide a nice return on a very minimal investment for those who get in on him now.

Danny Duffy, SP, KC (5% owned)

Duffy went six innings against Oakland and struck out eight A’s while allowing just one hit. He did walk four, and that was a concern last year in his time with the Royals, but there’s a chance he could improve given his strong numbers in the minors at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. The strikeout potential here is crazy-high, around a strikeout per inning, and the Royals boast a pitcher’s park and a strong lineup.

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