Derek Norris has power, not average


Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris smacked his first big league home run Sunday, a game-winning three-run blast off San Francisco Giants closer Santiago Casilla. Norris, one of the prizes from the Gio Gonzalez trade, brings power and plate discipline, but did not hit for average in the minor leagues. He's an upgrade over Kurt Suzuki, but not a top-15 fantasy catcher, or worth owning in ESPN standard formats yet.

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez singled and knocked in a run Sunday; he made his season debut Friday with a home run, after missing months due to knee surgery. Perez doesn't bring the power potential Norris does, and his .331 batting average for the Royals last season is unsustainable, but he has a chance to be relevant quicker, especially in multi-catcher formats.

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn, a fantasy hero up until this past week, was hammered for six runs on nine hits Sunday; for the week, he gave up 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings, and his season ERA rose from 2.42 to 3.23. Fantasy owners shouldn't run away from Lynn, though. On the contrary, with his legit strikeout rate, this might be an opportunity to acquire him at a lower cost from skeptical owners.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano homered Sunday, his 14th of the season. Soriano doesn't hit for a high average, take many walks, score many runs or steal bases, but he's on pace for 32 home runs and 99 RBIs, which would be his best season since 2008. Soriano is nearly universally owned, and he's not really a sell-high option, either.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Michael Fiers threw 7 1/3 shutout innings Sunday, fanning seven Chicago White Sox and lowering his ERA after five starts and a relief outing to 2.70. Fiers has fanned 31 hitters in 33 1/3 innings and walked only five. Those in NL-only formats can rely on him, but when hitters get used to his odd delivery, some ERA regression is coming.

Minnesota Twins right-hander Jared Burton saved Sunday's game, the first of his career, an indication that those flocking to left-hander Glen Perkins for fill-in saves might be disappointed. Incumbent closer Matt Capps is out with shoulder woes and likely DL-bound. Fantasy owners needing saves should grab Perkins first, but in deep formats, Burton matters as well.