Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - NL

by Nicholas Minnix on August 2, 2010 @ 13:45:00 PDT

 


Fantasy baseball waivers and the acquisition of fantasy baseball free agents can make or break your season. Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets won't help you after spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, you will have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league.

Do you need to replace your fantasy baseball busts? Which fantasy baseball players can you ignore? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you fantasy baseball tips and insight to sort through the masses quickly.

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Watch Track player, add if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

 

Catchers

Chris Snyder, C, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bucs acquired Snyder from the Arizona Diamondbacks and are inserting him as their starting catcher - even when Ryan Doumit (concussion) returns. It's obvious that the 'Burgh doesn't plan to rely on the latter for the long term anymore.

PNC Park is a major downgrade from Chase Field. The Pirates' lineup (this year anyway, but it's on the rise) doesn't help, either. The only manner in which this helps Snyder, who's a BA liability but a power boon as you probably know, is that he ... plays. In many setups, that's all it takes.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Corner infielders

Brett Wallace, 1B, Houston Astros

St. Louis Cardinals OF Jon Jay
Jay: room to fly without Ludwick

Finally! About 14 teams seem to have had the rights to Wallace, 24, by now. The 'Stros, who acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays for another prospect, called him up to replace Lance Berkman (dealt to the New York Yankees). Whew! He may be eligible at third in many leagues.

Wallace is a born hitter and, at best, average defender, but he'll play. He can hit for average and has 25-homer power. He has been waiting for this shot for a while, but it may also take him a bit to adjust. Houston's lineup doesn't offer a ton of support, either.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Ryan Theriot, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs traded Theriot to the Blue, with whom one would expect him to play regularly. That wasn't always the case on the North Side. LA's offense hasn't been much better than that of the Cubbies and has in fact fallen on hard times lately. This is essentially a chance for Theriot to regain dependable deep value again.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

The Cards traded Ryan Ludwick, so Jay should continue to play more often than not. It's a bold move for St. Louis, considering that Jay's numbers smell of unsustainability. He's still a solid player who can hit and has a little pop and speed, though.

The Cardinals will recall Allen Craig, who may platoon versus left-handers. Colby Rasmus seems to be getting back into the swing of things, too. Still, the Cards showed some faith in Jay here, so take a shot if you can afford it.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Rick Ankiel, OF, Atlanta Braves

The Braves dealt for a maddening bat in Ankiel, but he should add some power and has been inserted as the center fielder. His numbers have been in decline since his 2007 breakthrough, and he's certainly an injury risk. The change of scenery (Kansas City Royals to Atlanta) is an improvement, though.

Pittsburgh Pirates RP Evan Meek
Meek, Hanny battle to inherit saves

The Braves still possess depth (albeit of mediocre quality), so Ankiel must produce. Mixed league players shouldn't be much more attentive to him than they have been. Monitor to see if he goes on one of his hot streaks.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek, RPs, Pittsburgh Pirates

Octavio Dotel's departure to the Los Angeles Dodgers leaves these two to vie for closer duties for the rest of 2010. It's not an exciting proposition for mixed leaguers, but if you're desperate, why stand pat? The Bucs might have preferred Hanny to open the season, but Meek has impressed them.

Meek has displayed the skills all year (and earned a save in one spot). Hanrahan has experience (although not extensive or impressive) and has been outstanding for the past two months (25 innings). In that time, he has a 1.44 ERA and has fanned 30 while walking just three and yielding 18 hits.

Hanrahan should probably be your first choice, although it's close.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Jake Westbrook, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

The hype once again surrounds the possibility that Dave Duncan will improve a heretofore mediocre pitcher's results. Generating ground balls is a key to Westbrook's modest success, but his rate of those has come down gradually. This year, he has done quite well, save for a sub-par month, in that department, though.

This is Westbrook's first full action; he basically spent the past two years recovering from TJS. He must continue to improve his rate of walk issuance. That's where Duncan will come in handy, because he should improve the righty's ability to pitch to contact. It may take a few outings, but this should be a solid relationship.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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