Posted: Thursday May 17, 2012 12:02PM ; Updated: Thursday May 17, 2012 12:02PM

So-Called Fantasy Expert: Inside the minds of 21 key fantasy players

Story Highlights

Carlos Ruiz is unlikely to remain on path that would see him hit 27 homers

Eric Hosmer struggling to hit in his first full season in the major leagues

Edwin Encarnacion has struggled in May, hitting only.170 with eight RBI

By David Gonos, RotoExperts.com, Special to SI.com

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Thought to be a fantasy star in the making, Eric Hosmer has struggled this season, hitting only .174 with a .237 OBP in 36 games.
Thought to be a fantasy star in the making, Eric Hosmer has struggled this season, hitting only .174 with a .237 OBP in 36 games.
AP

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I have an uncanny knack of being able to tell what a player is thinking. I know, right? A telepathic ability like this is truly supernatural. It's like I have ESP-N or something. But rather than using this talent for evil -- like making millions of dollars gambling in Vegas, I choose to use it for good.

I know what you're thinking -- this guy's an idiot! ... See? Dang, I'm good.

Below are 21 thoughts I've pulled from 21 different players. Hopefully, you'll be able to use this information to help your fantasy baseball team. Please, I beg of you, do not use this information for evil -- unless it hurts the Yankees.

Carlos Ruiz, C, PHI: "I can't believe I'm on pace for 27 home runs this season! Especially since I've never hit more than nine homers in my eight-year career. I'm so glad I changed my normal breakfast from Toaster Strudel to Wheaties -- good call, Mom. Granted, there's no way I'll hit .340 for the season, which means it's more likely I'll hit .260 to bring that average down considerably, but still ... If a fantasy owner could pair me with another player in a trade for a star, that would be a smart move."

Brian McCann, C, ATL: "I wish fantasy owners would stop teasing me about my .232 batting average. Gosh! I'm crushing the ball, smacking line drives everywhere, but they just happen to be right at people. My super-low BABIP has no choice but to turn around -- and then I'll show everyone! fantasy owners that don't tease me should target me in a trade NOW!"

Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC: "Why is there an 'S' in my last name? I wish I knew. And why are people mad at me? I'm on pace to hit 23 homers and have more than 80 RBI! Oh yeah, my .174 batting average is a little below what we'd all want. But heck, I'm just 22 years old and I'm in my first full season! When that big, fat jerkface David Gonos predicted I'd disappoint because of how high everyone was drafting me, I think he got in my head."

Jemile Weeks, 2B, OAK: "I know, I know, my sub-. 200 batting average is killing you. But at least I have nine steals, and I'm hitting close to .250 in May. My speed should keep me in your lineup for now, although my sprained ankle might slow me a tad. And look at it this way; at least you didn't draft my big bro!" (Rickie Weeks is batting just .157 so far!)

Dee Gordon, SS, LAD: "Speaking of speedy sophomores! I'm on pace for 55 steals ... and a .212 batting average. I'm hitting leadoff (well, I'm leadoff in the batting order, but I'm not doing so much hitting) for the Matt Kemp-less Dodgers for a few weeks. That could spell trouble. Dee Snider might be better in head-to-head leagues right now."

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B, TOR: "That's right -- I'm leading all first basemen and third basemen in head-to-head scoring right now. I'm crushing it with the Jays and I'm still only 29 years old. Can you imagine if I was still hitting at Great American Ball Park? You can't stop me! (Pay no attention to the fact that I have just eight RBI in May, and I'm batting .170 halfway through this month.) I'm king of the world!!!"

Carlos Beltran, OF, STL: "Remember when I was in Kansas City!?! I was awesome! Teams were lining up around the block for a chance at my services! I love the Midwest! (New York never happened ... New York never happened ... New York never happened.) With a National League-leading 13 homers and 32 RBI, I'm on pace for career highs in nearly every category ... Yet, I'm 35 years old and my knees are creaking again ... TRADE ME!!! MY GOD, TRADE ME!!! I can't keep it up much longer!"

Travis Hafner, DH, CLE: "I'm starting to piece it together once again. After several seasons of striking out twice as much as I've walked, I'm finally turning those numbers around (23 BB/20 K). My power isn't what it used to be, but at 34 years old, I can still help some Fantasy owners. Granted, I've only played more than 100 games once since 2007, but still -- I'm Pronk! ... I still wish people would call me by my preferred nickname, 'Bashy McSluggerton.'"

Wade Davis, SP, TB: "OK, everyone knows I was ticked off at losing the last spot in the Rays' rotation this spring to Jeff Niemann. But now that he's out, you'd figure I'd just step in, right? Nope. Manager Joe Maddon will likely use one of their top pitching prospects instead, either Alex Cobb or Chris Archer. Neither is having a great season, but both have better upside than I do. Meanwhile, don't cut me off in traffic this week -- I might snap!"

Andy Pettitte, SP, NYY: "Well, my first start in a couple years was good and bad -- just like my current relationship with Roger Clemens! I went over six innings and my velocity is close to what it was before, but I gave up a couple homers and four earned runs. Now that people know I can go six-plus innings, and the Yankees offense is behind me, I should DEFINITELY be owned in many more leagues. My next two starts are at Yankee Stadium, too."

Jeff Samardzija, SP, CHC: "I know. Spelling my name gives you seizures. But I'm sure you're happy you were able to just click on my name to draft me, rather than spell it. My 2.89 ERA and 9.27 K/9 has us both giddy! But listen, my Cubs teammates have been scoring a ton for me (7.21 runs of support per start, 32nd in the majors). Yet our team ranks 27th in runs scored through Monday. That means those runs are going to dry up for me, and so will my wins. I'm on pace for 18 wins, but I won't come close to that. And you can believe that, or my name isn't Jeff ZmarrmjaaHoushamazilly."

Josh Johnson, SP, MIA: "Don't you worry about the ol' double-nickel. (Yeah, that's right; I like to refer to myself in the third person's jersey number.) While I didn't get a win in my first seven starts of the season, I have pitched well at times, and I have a few things working in my favor from here on. First, my BABIP looks like Ted Williams. Secondly, I pitch in a zeppelin hangar called Marlins Park. Only the Giants (six) have allowed fewer homers at home than my pitching staff (seven)."

Aroldis Chapman, RP, CIN: "Just because I'm a setup guy doesn't mean you should ignore me! Heck, in 14 games (18.3 IP), I have 32 strikeouts and no earned runs allowed! The way things are going for closers these days, Sean Marshall could get hit by a meteorite -- then boom, I'm the closer."

I hope this look into the minds of baseball players was helpful to your fantasy team. Some of you might even have this same telepathic ability, enabling you to read people's minds like me. I beg of you -- stay away from the minds of Fantasy Sports writers. It's scary in there.

David Gonos writes about fantasy baseball and fantasy football in his So-Called Fantasy Expert column at RotoExperts.com and DavidGonos.com -- and you can follow him on Twitter @davidgonos.

 
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