Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Mike Carp, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 8, 2011 @ 12:08:00 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

Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners

The M's have called upon their slugging first-baseman-turned-left-fielder and optioned Mike Wilson to the farm. Some have been clamoring for this move because Carp, 25 in a few weeks, has been destroying the baseball (.354/.414/.668) for Triple-A Tacoma. In May and June combined he hit .399 with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs. You'll note that we're only a week into June.

Oakland Athletics SP Brett Anderson
Anderson latest A's victim

The left-handed hitter batted .257 and belted 29 ding dongs in 409 at-bats last year for Tacoma. The Pacific Coast League, as you may know, features many hitter-friendly conditions. This won't be Carp's first taste of the bigs, either; he's a .264/.358/.374 hitter in 106 MLB plate appearances. Because of a strikeout rate that hovers around 20 percent, he doesn't project to hit for a meaningful average. He hasn't yet displayed the power for Seattle, perhaps in part thanks to Safeco Field.

Regardless, this level of production is new for Carp, suggesting that he may be taking his borderline Quad-A game to the next level. Seattle will work him in at DH and in left field on a regular basis, likely mostly against right-handers. Maybe Jack Cust is next to go.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Cord Phelps, Cleveland Indians

The Tribe have summoned Phelps from Triple-A Columbus and inserted him in the lineup at second base on Wednesday. Manny Acta declared that the switch-hitter who hits well from the left side would be the regular at the keystone, although it's quite possible that Phelps will platoon with Orlando Cabrera, a right-handed hitter.

Phelps, 24, has shown solid plate discipline and a decent BA profile, statistically, on the farm. The .498 slugging percentage he has posted in 121 games in the International League between last year and this year is a recent development. He hit eight homers combined at two levels last year but has seven already this year and has good gap power.

Phelps isn't going to light the fantasy world on fire, but he could be a solid contributor. Don't expect difference-making counting stuff.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire


Bobby Cramer, Oakland Athletics

The A's placed Brett Anderson (elbow soreness) on the disabled list yesterday, and they already had three starters (not counting Rich Harden) MIA. Cramer, 31 and just recovered from an oblique strain, is the latest to enter the fray.

The southpaw made four appearances for the A's earlier this season as a reliever and made four starts for them last season (23 2/3 frames, 3.04 ERA, 4.94 K/9, 2.28 BB/9). He has posted a 3.10 ERA and 8.37 K/9 in his minor league career.

Don't read too much into those numbers. Cramer retires the opposition with good location and savvy. His arsenal isn't flashy, save for his looping curveball. He hasn't had much luck with the home run ball in the majors, but the K/9 will continue to fail to translate. Cramer will be prone to blowups as hitters see him more often and he walks that fine line. There could be deep league value here, but there's risk in assuming.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

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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