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Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Morse celebrates after hitting (Credit: AP)

Seattle Mariners outfielder Michael Morse celebrates after hitting a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Jarrod Parker in the third inning of a game in Oakland, Calif. (April 2, 2013)

Fantasy baseball: Hot and cold batters

While it's still too early on in the baseball season to make any big-time predictions, you always need to keep an eye on your fantasy roster. Here's a breakdown of 10 hot and cold players so far in 2013.
Note: Stats before the start of play Wednesday, April 10. -- By Casey Musarra

HOT: MICHAEL MORSE, Seattle Mariners outfielder If you
(Credit: Getty)

HOT: MICHAEL MORSE, Seattle Mariners outfielder
If you predicted that Morse would be leading the AL in home runs through the first week and a half of the season, pat yourself on the back. Morse has six home runs, nine RBIs and seven runs scored in nine games so far this year. He’s only hitting .263 and has 11 strikeouts, so that’s something to be weary of, but ride this hot hand while you can. |

COLD: GIANCARLO STANTON, Miami Marlins outfielder Despite a
(Credit: Getty)

COLD: GIANCARLO STANTON, Miami Marlins outfielder
Despite a .353 on-base percentage, Stanton is only hitting .154 with 11 strikeouts through his first nine games. Stanton has yet to drive in a run, and he’s only crossed the plate once himself. It’s a small sample size but hitting in the middle of a weak Marlins’ offense isn’t going to help. |

HOT: JUSTIN UPTON, Atlanta Braves outfielder Upton is
(Credit: Getty)

HOT: JUSTIN UPTON, Atlanta Braves outfielder
Upton is tied with Morse for the MLB lead in home runs with six. He also has nine RBIs and nine runs, but the big difference-makers are his .400 batting average and 1.524 OPS (second only to Chris Davis) so far. Obviously those numbers won’t stay that high for the remainder of the season, but it’s encouraging to see from the career .279 hitter. Upton could be in for his first .300-plus season since 2009. |

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COLD: VICTOR MARTINEZ, Detroit Tigers catcher After missing
(Credit: Getty)

COLD: VICTOR MARTINEZ, Detroit Tigers catcher
After missing all of 2012 with a knee injury, Martinez is off to a rough start in 2013. He was scratched from the Tigers’ lineup Tuesday with a thumb injury. It doesn’t seem like anything serious, but his 3-for-21 start could be. At 34 and coming back from major surgery, Martinez could be wearing down. Keep an eye on his production and the waiver wire in the coming weeks. |

HOT: JOHN BUCK, Mets catcher Buck leads the
(Credit: Getty)

HOT: JOHN BUCK, Mets catcher
Buck leads the NL with 14 RBIs in just eight games this season. The usually serviceable catcher has added quite a boost to the Mets’ lineup early on. Buck is only a .237 career hitter, but he’s at .393 so far. His career-best was .281 in 2010 with the Blue Jays. If he keeps this up (and even when he inevitably drops off) he could reach career highs in just about every major category. |

COLD: JASON KIPNIS, Cleveland Indians second baseman The
(Credit: AP)

COLD: JASON KIPNIS, Cleveland Indians second baseman
The young second baseman started the year 0-for-9, and it hasn’t gotten much better in his current 4-for-29 streak. He also has 10 strikeouts in seven games, putting him on track for another 100-plus strikeout season. One of Kipnis’ biggest strengths last season was his speed, but he’s struggled to get on base (.161 OBP). Kipnis will come around, but until he does it might be beneficial to keep him on the bench. |

HOT: CHRIS DAVIS, Baltimore Orioles first baseman It
(Credit: AP)

HOT: CHRIS DAVIS, Baltimore Orioles first baseman
It looks like Davis is seeing a beach ball instead of a baseball. Davis leads the league with 17 RBIs, and he’s hitting .417 with four home runs. He’s always had power, but strikeouts have hindered him. Right now, he only has four strikeouts in seven games. If that’s any indication that his whiffs will drop off, Davis has the potential to be one of the best hitters in the game. |

COLD: BUSTER POSEY, San Francisco Giants catcher The
(Credit: AP)

COLD: BUSTER POSEY, San Francisco Giants catcher
The reigning NL MVP has gotten off to a slow start this season. He’s hitting .208 with no homers and one RBI in his first seven games. No need to worry yet -- Posey will find his swing. |

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HOT: ROBINSON CANO, Yankees second baseman After starting
(Credit: Getty)

HOT: ROBINSON CANO, Yankees second baseman
After starting 3-for-23 to open the season, Cano has seven hits in his last 10 at-bats, boosting his batting average to .361. In the past two games he has three doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and six runs. Even with the injury riddled Yankees, Cano is in for an MVP-caliber season. |

COLD: JOSH HAMILTON, Los Angeles Angels outfielder The
(Credit: Getty)

COLD: JOSH HAMILTON, Los Angeles Angels outfielder
The move to L.A. hasn’t been as smooth as Hamilton would’ve hoped early on. The slugger is hitting only .138 (4-for-29) and has yet to hit a long ball. He showed some signs of life Sunday in the last game of a three-game series against the Rangers, going 3-for-5 in a loss to his former team but then followed with an 0-for-4 outing. |

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