Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Joakim Soria, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 6, 2011 @ 15:03:29 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)


Middle infielders

Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are making big changes. Some of them are coming down because a few players on the DL are ready for activation. Another transaction, made possible by the DFA of Juan Castro and the demotion of Ivan De Jesus (plus the loss of Rafael Furcal again), holds some intrigue.

Gordon, the club's top prospect according to Baseball America, is an outstanding athlete packed in the frame of a 5-foot-11, 150-pound stick. Everything he does is about speed. (And thus, everything he doesn't do is all things power.) He's considered overly aggressive at the plate, but at least he hasn't struck out at an exorbitant rate (14.8 percent of his at-bats at Triple-A Albuquerque this year).

Florida Marlins IF Emilio Bonifacio
Short-term speed, please

Gordon has stolen 22 bases in 25 attempts this season. He racked up 53 swipes last season at Double-A Chattanooga and 73 in low A ball in 2009. He has hit for quality average throughout the minors. It's worth noting that, while he draws some walks, his OBP has been more dependent on his BA, which is likely to take at least a mild hit in the bigs.

Furcal's strained oblique is expected to keep him out for at a couple of weeks, probably a little longer. The club is looking for a spark, so this is highly unlikely to be a rest-of-season move, but for various reasons, this kid is probably worth a stab.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins

The Fish finally placed Hanley Ramirez (strained back muscle), leaving Bonifacio at shortstop for at least the next week or so. The stint it retroactive to May 30, and there seems to be some optimism that Han-Ram will return shortly after he's eligible. There are some unusual symptoms surrounding this injury, however, and no update has included news on marked progress, so don't assume.

Bonifacio, 26, is hitting .260 with a home run and three stolen bases in his 178 plate appearances this season. It's encouraging to see more progress in walk rate again this season. While long-term playing time would likely expose him, he's proven useful in spurts and can be a solid source of stolen bases.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire


Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals

Ned Yost declared this past weekend that Soria has already impressed him enough that the skipper is considering reinserting the reliever back into the closer's role. The right-hander has pitched in two games since his demotion, one consisting of two perfect frames and the other of another perfect stanza. If anyone in your league happened to drop him, shame.

It's worth noting that Soria didn't fan anyone in those three innings. While his velocity appeared to be on its way up in that first outing, the second could still be considered mundane. He'll get another game or two to persuade the crew, though, and if he's convincing, then Aaron Crow will have been overpriced in some recent FAAB runs.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Brad Hand, Florida Marlins

The Marlins will call upon Hand, 21, to start on Tuesday, which is when Josh Johnson's next turn would've come up. The Baseball America scouting report reads that he offers a solid low-90s fastball and a changeup that needs some work, but his bread and butter is an impressive curveball. He has a solid makeup and is in the process of learning how to approach the opposition.

This season, at Double-A Jacksonville, the southpaw has made 11 starts (63 2/3 innings), posting a 3.53 ERA, a 6.22 K/9 and a 3.82 BB/9. Walks appear to be an issue for him for a while after he advances a level, and the spicier strikeout rates he posted in the low minors seem to dissipate as he rises. As he improves command of his arsenal, he may very well prevent that from happening so dramatically, but there's nothing to indicate that he's worth picking up right away.

Johnson in theory will be ready in a week or so, making Hand only a short-term play. The Marlins' ace is no stranger to injury, including shoulder trouble, however, so we could have a chance to gauge a pitcher who might get an extended look later this year.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

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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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