Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Nelson, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 1, 2011 @ 13:21:44 PDT


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use.'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.


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

Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays

The kid who created a clamoring to keep him around on opening day and is batting .354 with 15 homers and 11 stolen bases for Triple-A Las Vegas may not be more than a few days away from a call-up. One source said he had been told that the Jays were planning to call up Lawrie, 21, on Friday. That was right before the right-handed hitter was struck on the wrist by a pitch on Tuesday night, but initial reports suggest that it's just a bruise.

Toronto Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie
Lawrie: seasoning for TOR bats?

Assuming that this injury is nothing serious, as it sounds, it won't delay any plans in place by much time, if any at all. Toronto is willing to live with Lawrie's shortcomings with the glove at third base because of his bat's potential, and because he's a good athlete who's getting better in the field. The thing to keep in mind regarding his bat: While the kid has good power and speed, he was shredding Pacific Coast League pitching in one of the minors' friendliest hitting environments. Expectations should be tempered a bit more than they likely will be. Still, he can rake, he'll play, and he may have second-base eligibility in your league, so he's worth stashing.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Chris Nelson, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies designated Alfredo Amezaga and recalled their 2004 first-round pick (ninth overall) to be the club's right-handed bat off the bench. He can play all around the infield and could see time in place of Ty Wigginton at third most often, with the keystone - Eric Young Jr.'s new territory - also a possibility.

Nelson kind of fizzled in 2008 and 2009 after a hot start to his pro career. The power disappeared, and lost his aggressiveness on the base paths. In the past couple of seasons, he seems to have (re-?)discovered the elements of his stroke that made him a solid line-drive and gap-to-gap hitter. This season, for Triple-A Colorado Springs, he was hitting .310 with five homers and two thefts. He had a .497 slugging percentage, 35 runs and 40 RBIs going on. He's unlikely to be a permanent regular, but he undoubtedly could be one for stretches and has a fan in Jim Tracy. Nelson should be solid depth.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

The Giants have seemingly installed one of the prospects they called up at the end of last week as a regular - and it's not Brandon Belt. Crawford, 24, who has yet to play Triple-A ball and began his season at Class A advanced San Jose because of an injury, has started four of the five games in which he has appeared. He's 4-for-12 with a home run (a grand slam, his first MLB hit) and a stolen base.

Crawford is known more for his glove than his bat, but his timely hitting has earned him attention in the wake of San Fran's offensive struggles. He was hitting .322 with three homers in 59 at-bats at San Jose this year. While it's unlikely that he'll stick around for the long haul when any of a few Giants infielders returns from the DL, the impression he makes now could lead to PT in the future, perhaps not that distant. It's just unlikely that the payoff will be great.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates called up Harrison, 23, when they placed Steven Pearce on the 15-day disabled list because of a strain in his calf - which turned out to be a partial tear. That obviously pushes back Pearce's return date. Harrison has an opportunity to play regularly; Pearce was manning third on occasion. Brandon Wood and Pedro Ciriaco are pretty uninspiring backup infielders, never mind starting shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

In his big-league debut on Tuesday, Harrison went 2-for-4 with an game-tying RBI single and scored later in the frame to help the Bucs take the lead. This is his first season playing above the Double-A level, but his statistics don't suggest that he's having trouble: He was hitting .321 with a couple of dingers and eight stolen bases. Harrison boasts solid BA indicators and may be a decent PT addition.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider


Blake Tekotte, San Diego Padres

The Friars finally decided to place Cameron Maybin (patellar tendonitis) on the DL. The injury doesn't sound as if it's serious. The move makes Tekotte more of a certain fixture in center field for at least a couple of weeks, although don't be surprised if Aaron Cunningham factors in. Tekotte has started four straight games; he's 3-for-13 and has been caught stealing to begin his big-league career.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder began the season at Double-A San Antonio and was hitting .291 with six homers and 14 stolen bases before his call-up. He has shown a good deal of patience but has struck out more than 20 percent of the time and doesn't boast much to support the short-term power outburst he has shown with the Missions this year. The left-handed hitter brings speed and the ability to get on base to a club desperate to scratch out runs and lacking his skill set, however, so he may continue to be a factor.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-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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