Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Kevin Slowey, more

by Nicholas Minnix on April 29, 2011 @ 12:07:49 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

David Cooper, Toronto Blue Jays

This 2008 first-round pick was at one time considered the likely future at first base in Toronto, and he has improved steadily. In 2010, Cooper, now 24, repeated Double-A ball and doubled his home run output (from 10 to 20) from the previous season. He posted a similar batting average - despite reducing his strikeout percentage by more than four points; his average on balls in play was a pro low, by far. In 89 plate appearances this year at Triple-A Las Vegas (in a notorious hitter's league and with a great hitter's park), he's 32-for-81 (.395) with two homers and 19 RBIs. He has walked seven times and has struck out just six.

Minnesota Twins SP Kevin Slowey
Slowey but surely gaining intrigue

The Jays have remained patient with Cooper, it seems, but it could be paying dividends. There's a good chance they had him repeat a level because they consider the Eastern League more challenging and beneficial for player development than the Pacific Coast League. He could be plenty prepared to attempt to make the jump. His BABIP marks have for the most part been high throughout the minors. Cooper could make an impact, especially since the Jays will give him an opportunity to play regularly at DH.

How long it lasts is TBD. He stands a decent chance to hit, although he may still be a ways away from doing it for a lot of power, if he ever will. He's up at the expense of organizational prize Travis Snider, and their infield alignment makes their defense suspect. If Cooper doesn't cut it in his first big league go-round, the Jays aren't afraid to make changes. Still, definitely worth a shot.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins

Slowey is on the disabled list because of a bout with shoulder tendonitis. It wasn't deemed serious, so hopefully that's the case - especially because the club is stretching him out in anticipation of a possible need in the rotation. Not to replace Nick Blackburn, as you might assume, but rather the struggling Francisco Liriano.

Ron Gardenhire indicated on Friday that the southpaw may have only one more start to show the Twins something before they consider another course of action to right him. It's not out of the question that Minnesota's continual tweaks to the 27-year-old's approach have resulted in more harm than good, but that's beside the point. If they decide to send Liriano down, Slowey has a chance to reclaim a coveted rotation spot for the long term.

Slowey, 27 in less than a week, has obviously posted pristine command ratios throughout his time as a pro, including in the majors. The problem has been ding dong issuance, although a couple of injuries didn't help. Target Field has to pay dividends on his fly balls to some degree. He's always around the plate and is prone to suffer through occasional blowups, but there's some speculative upside - sub-4.00 ERA, double-digit wins - here to be sure.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Vance Worley, Philadelphia Phillies

The Phils placed Joe Blanton (impingement in right elbow) on the DL. Worley will take the righty's place in the rotation for what is expected to be only a short absence. Worley, 23, is one of the more unheralded pitchers in Philly's system, but he has adapted well as he has advanced, judging from his numbers - and from his success in very limited action last year. He gave up two runs, struck out 12 and walked four in 13 innings, including two spot starts of five innings each.

His low-90s heater and mix of solid off-speed stuff allow him to be successful, as long as he's on top of all of them. At Triple-A Lehigh this year, Worley has a 2.78 ERA and a 9.93 K/9 in 22 2/3 frames. He's considered to have the ceiling of a solid No. 4 starter - kind of like Blanton. Worley's consistency for the past year-plus is a good sign. His stay may be short, but in a deep league, he's worth pondering. He'll get the New York Mets first.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Alex White, Cleveland Indians

One of the club's top prospects will fill in on a temp basis for Carlos Carrasco (elbow soreness). Cleveland doesn't believe it's a serious injury, but they aren't taking any chances. White, 22, and a first-round pick last year, was on the fast track anyway. He has dominated in his short time as a pro (2.37 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 7.49 K/9 in 174 1/3 stanzas), including in his four starts for Triple-A Columbus in 2011.

White succeeds largely because of a fantastic sinker; his other stuff needs a little work. But he could make a good impression, at least for a short stretch, based on that high-quality offering. This stint isn't likely to last long, but it could give deep leaguers an idea of what to expect in the future, or later in the year, in a relief role or starting.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

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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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