Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Travis Snider, more

by Nicholas Minnix on July 5, 2011 @ 15:05:02 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

Chase d'Arnaud, Pittsburgh Pirates

Ronny Cedeno sustained a concussion this past Friday. It's uncertain how soon he'll be able to return, but his condition hasn't improved greatly, perhaps a sign that his absence will extend beyond the break. Clint Hurdle proclaimed that d'Arnaud would see most of the time at short while Cedeno is out.

Florida Marlins 3B Emilio Bonifacio
More of this will keep Boni active

d'Arnaud has hit a mere .250 with one RBI in 51 plate appearances, but he has been hitting second, has swiped four bases and has scored seven times. He won't aid your power numbers, but his minor league performances suggest an acceptable BA and some more steals could be on the way, and the PT is now a bit more secure. How quickly he can gain SS eligibility will probably be a factor in your decision to pursue this relatively low-priority player.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins

This speedster has started in 15 straight games, the vast majority of them under new manager Jack McKeon's watch. In that stretch Bonifacio hit .259 with five walks in 64 plate appearances, and he stole eight bases and scored eight runs. Bonifacio has hit a solid .270 this season. He doesn't have superb BA skills, but his mark in that area is acceptable, especially if he's finally going to put his speed to use as well as bunt and walk more frequently, as McKeon has urged.

Interleague play may have contributed to McKeon's opportunities to play Bonifacio so often, but the chances won't dwindle notably with the resumption of intraleague play. The grizzled skipper likes the spark that the switch-hitter can create from the top of the lineup (a la Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo, circa 2003).

Bonifacio has never been an everyday player for an extended period, as the Palm Beach Post notes. How this plays out when Chris Coghlan (inflammation in his knee) returns sometime after the ASB will be interesting, but until the oft-injured center fielder does, Bonifacio is a legit commodity.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire


Travis Snider, Toronto Blue Jays

On Sunday, the Jays designated Juan Rivera for assignment with the intention to trade him. The move opened a spot for Snider, who recovered quickly from a concussion that he sustained while with Triple-A Las Vegas. Toronto appears to be happy with the left-handed hitter's improved hitting mechanics, which emphasized a shorter path to the zone and driving it the other way.

Snider, 23, has homered just three times in 293 at-bats between Vegas the Toronto, but he has ripped 28 doubles and has swiped 12 bases at the two levels. It's divergent from the conventional expectations of Snider's contributions, but one could reasonably expect the power numbers to increase gradually. That's assuming Snider sticks with the changes and continues to see results.

So far, so good: With the 51s, he hit .333 and drove in 29 in 201 at-bats. There, he also reduced his strikeout rate to 15.9 percent, by far the best mark he's rendered at any level for any significant period. In his first game back in The Show, on Monday, Snider was 3-for-5 with a trio of two-baggers and two RBIs.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles

The O's will place Luke Scott on the disabled list on Tuesday. He's been dealing with a sore shoulder all season and recently suffered a knee contusion. Surgery to repair Scott's shoulder remains a possibility, although he has been adamant about not having it done.

Regardless, at least in the short term, Buck Showalter has the excuse he may have been seeking to give more plate appearances to Reimold, who has been playing about every other day, at most. In 65 PAs with the O's this season, he's put up a .255/.354/.491 slash line, in part by ripping four dingers in that time. He's driven in 12 and also has thieved a base. Reimold, 27, boasts a solid BA profile and decent power. His PT may be on the rise, and he has an outside shot at long-term viability.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire


David Hernandez, Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-backs placed J.J. Putz (tendonitis in his right elbow) on Friday. The club is optimistic that the right-hander will be back after the All-Star, or soon afterward. There seems to be little reason to expect otherwise, but Putz's extensive injury history (particularly because of elbow problems) and his performance leading up to his shelving make the fill-in a possible long-term own.

The fill-in would be Hernandez, who is 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, a 10.38 K/9 and a 5.08 BB/9 in 39 innings this season. He's also converted four save chances, two coming since Putz hit the DL. Hernandez, 26, has been prone to serve up the long ball in his career, so his 0.23 HR/9 and 45 percent fly-ball rate suggest that a correction may be on its way, and the walks could make it hurt. But, the righty has some fairly nasty stuff and has shown steady improvement as a reliever, providing reason to believe that there's some upside.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Bobby Parnell, New York Mets

The Metropolitans approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline with, almost certainly, the foremost goal being to trade Francisco Rodriguez. This has been no secret. There has been little speculation about who would close once K-Rod is gone, however; a committee approach (unbalanced or not) was a presumption and is still possible.

ESPN New York's Adam Rubin used Parnell's two-frame appearance on Monday to illustrate a notion that this right-hander may be the front-runner for the job post-Rodriguez. (It's a situation Tim Heaney explored further.) Parnell, 26, has received mention before as a possible future closer and clearly possesses the K/9 (10.72 this season) of the stereotypical ninth-inning man.

There isn't a sense of urgency, but if you have the room and the need, it can't hurt, and you can avoid the rush.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

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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