Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market

by Nicholas Minnix on April 4, 2011 @ 17:49:19 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you tips on fantasy baseball players available as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. It's time to replace your fantasy baseball busts.

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Consider Add for speculation or because of need
Watch Track player, consider if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

Corner infielders

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

Just makin' sure you're paying attention. The Giants caused a roto stir when they retained Belt after ST. He's only 2-for-13 through three games, but he has a homer, drew a bases-loaded walk and has received praise for some adjustments he has made and poise he showed.

Tampa Bay Rays 2B Sean Rodriguez
S-Rod shocked at Longo's injury

Maybe he doesn't seem like he's worth the hype. He's hitting seventh. He's off to a slow statistical start. He's terribly inexperienced. The simple assumption is that he'll head back to the minors once Cody Ross (calf) is ready, in about two weeks or so. But San Fran wouldn't have kept him if they didn't believe it was possible that he was ready for this responsibility. They also have other options once Ross returns. The next couple of weeks will help determine what they do with Belt. Don't pass up a chance to own him in case he sticks around.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Jack Hannahan, Cleveland Indians

The Indians began the season with this left-handed hitter as their starting third baseman because Jason Donald (broken finger) is on the DL. Hannahan is 4-for-9 with a ding dong in three games. The Tribe hopes to get Donald back by the end of the month. But they could also leave him on the farm, as one report suggests, considering his limited experience and his replacement's hot start.

In the meantime, Hannahan can be a fantasy sub. Unfortunately, you've probably already seen the best this career .226 hitter's work in 2011. If you pick him up, it has to be only because the playing time is that valuable to you, and it's 50-50 whether it lasts for a significant period.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Middle infielders

Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay Rays

The loss of Evan Longoria (oblique) lets the Rays demonstrate the value of their depth and flexibility a bit. Matt Joyce has played in all three of the club's games thus far, so the biggest beneficiaries here might be Reid Brignac and S-Rod - the latter, in particular, because he'll slide to the hot corner for the time being.

The virtual everyday at-bats and potential to gain third base eligibility give S-Rod the most intrigue. He packs home run potential (20-plus) in a frame that delivers only a lukewarm batting average. He tends to be a little streaky, though, so catching him at the right time will prove to be quite valuable.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Brennan Boesch, Detroit Tigers

Boesch was expected to be a backup corner outfielder, but after a torrid spring, he has started in three of the club's first four games and gone 6-for-12 with a homer. Magglio Ordonez (ankle) sat for a game, but Ryan Raburn has started in only two contests.

Most were skeptical of the southpaw swinger because of his second-half swoon in 2010, but Boesch has a dangerous swing that Jim Leyland can't bring himself to put away too often, at least while it's hot. The skipper could stand to slot his young bat whipper a little higher in the lineup. Regardless, Boesch, at minimum, is capable of going on rich roto streaks, and he could provide fantasy depth for a while.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Nyjer Morgan, Milwaukee Brewers

Morgan lost some perceived value with the move to Milwaukee. But a couple of things are worth noting.

The Brew Crew has no timetable for the return of Corey Hart (ribcage). Morgan started in right field, at least in part because Mark Kotsay was hitless against the Cincinnati Reds while filling in. Carlos Gomez, who stands in Morgan's way in center field, is 2-for-16 to begin the season.

Texas Rangers SP Alexi Ogando
Ogando: reversal

Gomez has had trouble retaining a regular gig for a couple of years now. He may have more attitude problems than Morgan does, too. Most drafters of Morgan are discarding him, but if you have room to sit on a base stealer, the move could pay off.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles

A brilliant debut (six frames, three hits, one run, three walks, six K's) on Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Rays. The lefty didn't have command of his sinker, ditched the pitch for the majority of the afternoon and was still a tough customer.

Britton could be around for the long haul. His mid-90s four-seamer, veritable arsenal and maturity will allow him to compete in the AL East right away. If the O's were leaning strongly toward sending one of the game's top prospects to the farm when (if) Justin Duchscherer (hip, back) were healthy, they may not have been so quick to move Brad Bergesen, who had a poor spring, to the bullpen. Britton will walk a few here and there, but he can fan 'em regularly and coax some grounders (when the sinker is working), which is crucial in that division's home parks.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Fernando Rodney melted down (three walks and a hit, two runs, one out recorded) in the Halos' extra-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Folks are already calling for his head. It wouldn't surprise to see Mike Scioscia stick with the right-hander for a little longer than most think he deserves, however, so practice patience.

It also wouldn't be a bad idea to gear up for a changing of the guard. The Angels don't have to live with it for long. Scott Downs (toe) is nearing a return from the disabled list. And Walden, with the nasty high-90s stuff and most confidence in the bullpen right now, is shooting up the ranks. This righty has fanned five and allowed only two base runners in 2 1/3 frames. He may have already passed setup man Kevin Jepsen on the ladder.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Alexi Ogando, Texas Rangers

The Rangers are pretty excited to have the opportunity to get a look at Ogando as a starter while Tommy Hunter (groin), Scott Feldman (knee) and Brandon Webb (shoulder) recover from their respective injuries. None of those men is expected back before the end of the month.

The right-hander draws the Seattle Mariners in his first big league start. Not a bad way to go. Ogando had an OK ST; ignore the 5.06 ERA and note the 11 K's against three walks in 10 2/3 stanzas. He doesn't have the elite stuff that Neftali Feliz does, but his repertoire is said to be more varied, and he has a better feel for his secondary stuff. Ogando is talented and deserves some attention during this trial run.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

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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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