David Ortiz - DH - Boston Red Sox
There is a whole lot of hubbabaloo over at the world-wide leader about how scouts are concerned about David Ortiz. Those of us with memories longer than six weeks, however, recall a similar stream of Big Papi pessimism last April and May. In his first 16 games in 2008 Ortiz his .111 with one lonely long ball. However, from mid-April until he hurt his wrist at the beginning of June, Papi hit .313 with a dozen bombs and 39 RBI in 38 games. Throughout his career April has been Ortiz's weakest in both AVG and OPS. Although he still hasn't gone deep in 2009, he is 5-for-12 with four extra-base hits and 4 RBI in the last three games. The numbers are going to be there in August, which means that now is the best possible time to go get him.
Alexei Ramirez - SS - Chicago White Sox
Let's face it, winter in Cuba and winter in Chicago are very different seasons. Last April the White Sox mysterious off-season acquisition had a laughable 354 OPS. He took over as the starter at second on May 16. From that point on he hit .304 with an 833 OPS. There are probably owners out there who are prepared to declare Alexei a fluke. The way I see it, his April OPS in 2009 is 60 points higher than in '08 and I think that's a reasonable improvement to expect in the month which follow.
Brandon Phillips - 2B - Cincinnati Reds
I've never disguised my man-crush for Phillips, so my faith shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. One thing particularly stands out to me about his statistics so far. He's already taken eleven walks. In the entirety of '08 he had 39 walks, which was a career high! When a hitter dedicates himself to working counts he often suffers a slump, but in the long run it facilitates major improvements. As such, this slump could actually be a good sign for Phillips owners.