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Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
The Royals are pulling out all the stops in the top prospect department. The front office deemed Moustakas, who began the 2011 season at Triple-A Omaha with a .229/.304/.410 April, ready for big-league action after he batted .321 with six homers and 26 RBIs in May and June combined. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound rock belted 36 homers last year between two levels.
Far out, Duda
Moustakas, a left-handed hitter, has an approach that major league pitchers might find exploitable; the possibilities are evident in his 7.6 walk percentage and 19.7 strikeout percentage this season. These things are nothing new, but he has demonstrated the capacity to improve a little. Don't expect the batting average to be a plus, but the power is quality, and the state of the third base position makes his potential a must-own.
Shallow mixed: Acquire
Deep mixed: Acquire
Ben Revere, Minnesota Twins
The Twins placed Denard Span (concussion) on the seven-day disabled list and recalled Rene Tosoni. Revere has been playing regularly since his call-up at the beginning of the month, with Jason Kubel (foot injury) also on the DL. The Twins' health issues may continue to keep the door open for Revere to a regular contributor a year earlier than the club expected.
This month, Revere is 11-for-34 with four RBIs, five runs, two stolen bases and two walks. The stretch brings him to .284, with four stolen bases - the category where he can be a nice threat. He has already played extra-innings hero once and has provided a spark that this lineup seems to missing as Minnesota begins to assess its chances at a postseason spot this year.
Shallow mixed: Consider
Deep mixed: Acquire
Will Venable, San Diego Padres
The Pads are making some changes. In addition to the highly anticipated promotion of Anthony Rizzo, they recalled Venable, whom they'd optioned to Triple-A Tucson a little more than a couple of weeks ago. Cameron Maybin's nearing return from the disabled list and Brad Hawpe's relocation to right field on a part-time basis will complicate matters, but Ryan Ludwick is also rumored to be on the block.
In 58 plate appearances, the left-handed hitting Venable posted a .276/.328/.552 slash line on the strength of three doubles, two triples and three homers. He walked five times and struck out 13. Venable has strong on-base ability, and he'd be a real threat if he could raise his batting average (.222 in 135 at-bats this year, .247 career). That has always been an issue, so it's hard to see this recent farm stint being the difference-maker. Venable may still be adjusting to the nuances of the stance he altered this past spring, however, and he possesses 20-30 ability.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
Lucas Duda, New York Mets
The much chronicled struggles of Jason Bay have led (and may be leading) to days off in left field. The organization designated Nick Evans for assignment and promoted Duda, 25, to spell the highly paid (former?) slugger, at least. He'll also play some first base in the absence of Ike Davis (severely sprained ankle), who's likely out until sometime around the break.
Duda, 25, collected just two hits in 20 at-bats in his limited go-round with the Mets earlier this season and hit only .202 in 84 at-bats in his debut with them last year. In 2010, he ripped four MLB homers and enjoyed a power breakthrough in the minors (23 dingers), though. In 38 games this season at Triple-A Buffalo, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder went .302/.408/.579, with 10 homers.
His marginal contact rate (75.6 percent in majors) limits his ability to reproduce the .280- to .300-type averages he posted in the minors, but he's due for a little comeuppance. It's hard to imagine the Mets firmly planting Bay's highly paid rear on the pine, but they need a producer. Maybe the additional opportunities at first base will make Duda worthwhile.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
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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