Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Heisey, more

by Nicholas Minnix on June 27, 2011 @ 15:08:39 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.

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)

 

Catchers

Yorvit Torrealba, Texas Rangers

The Star-Telegram notes that, since the Rangers installed new hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh on June 8, their regular catcher has gone 19-for-43 (.442) with three RBIs and five runs. Torrealba believes that the club's new bat-man has simplified things for him a great deal.

Milwaukee Brewers 3B Mat Gamel
Gamel a gamble

When Mike Napoli (strained oblique) returns from the DL, Torrealba might've been in line to lose time, but Texas prefers the latter's defense and work with the staff just a bit more. This streak may help them continue to justify playing Torrealba regularly and leaving Napoli at DH or first base. Torrealba is also possible trade bait. The right-handed-hitting catcher doesn't offer more than hope that he'll approach double-digit homers, but in Arlington, anything is possible.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Corner infielders

Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians

On Monday, the Tribe purchased the contract of their best hitting prospect and will install him at third base. It's clear that the big-league club's offense is in need of a boost, especially now that Shin-Soo Choo (broken thumb) is on the DL.

Chisenhall has a well-crafted line-drive swing that has yet to produce a .300 batting average in the minors but could easily do so in The Show. He should also easily approach 20 homers in a full season. He hit .261 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs before his promotion. He recently missed some time with a concussion, but in the five games after his return, he was 9-for-21 with two dingers and 14 RBIs. Now, he's on the Indians. Consider the state of third base in fantasy baseball leagues.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Mat Gamel, Milwaukee Brewers

The Brew Crew is calling up this former top prospect to take advantage of the help he may provide them in the DH spot while they're on the road for interleague play. Gamel isn't exactly a plus defender. He's failed in short stints in the bigs before, and this is likely to be little more than a cup of coffee, but he may be worth rostering in the short term.

Gamel, 25, was projected to deliver some big-time power when he was growing up in Milwaukee's system. He has yet to belt 20 jacks in a season, and his impressive batting averages never held up in the majors because he struck out so darn much. This season, the former third baseman (now first baseman) may be onto something: He was hitting .322 with 17 home runs, 54 RBIs and a pleasantly surprising 16.9 strikeout percentage in 289 at-bats for Triple-A Nashville.

Let's see how his improved approach plays. Although the recommendation says "quality endorsement," recognize that it's because you'll have to move quickly if you're going to attempt to take advantage. The pickup comes with no guarantees.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Chris Heisey, Cincinnati Reds

Dusty Baker hasn't publicly yielded to the cries for more PT for Heisey, but his lineup cards lately suggest that he's crumbling. In the club's last 12 games, Heisey has started nine times, and he's 11-for-43 with four homers and eight RBIs in them. A three-homer game last week buoys an otherwise ordinary (at best) line, but the increased at-bats in one of the game's best lineups can't be ignored.

Baker has been hesitant to install Heisey in left field for, likely, a number of reasons. He refers to his fourth outfielder's struggles against certain types of pitchers as evidence. Heisey has been less productive in a starting role, so Baker's argument may carry weight. Jonny Gomes has had his reckoning, however - he's not very good, usually - and Heisey is getting some run. How long it lasts remains to be seen, but he's worth a shot.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan, Cleveland Indians

The Indians may make do with some combo of Buck and Duncan while Shin-Soo Choo (broken thumb) is on the shelf for six weeks or more. Austin Kearns will be in the mix, but Cleveland could use some actual offense - which says a lot about Kearns this year, considering how well Buck and Duncan have hit.

Buck (.225 average, two homers and a steal in 109 plate appearances) has shuffled back and forth from the minors a couple of times, but he's played a bit when up. He has also hit extremely well at the Triple-A level this year. Duncan (.217, two home runs, 17 RBIs in 90 plate appearances) may not play more than Kearns does in this uncertain period, but he has been more productive. As the lone left-handed hitter in this mess, Buck has the most "upside," if you need the at-bats.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Pitchers

Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants

The Giants placed Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list so that he can receive treatment for his strike zone locator. The timing of the "injury" couldn't have been much better for the defending champs, who might've otherwise run out of time to decide what to do with the rehabbing Zito (foot sprain). What an expensive reliever he could've been.

Zito has developed a reputation as an incredibly durable starter, perhaps in part because he seems to pitch through the pain of a strained home plate guidance system all the time. The southpaw was quite good in his four rehab starts, going 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA, seven walks and 25 strikeouts in 28 2/3 frames between two stops. He can still snare you some K's, but not a ton, and at what cost?

The 33-year-old has been known to string together stretches in which he's useful in mixed leagues; perhaps this assignment is a catalyst for one. Proceed with caution, however.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

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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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