Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Josh Reddick, Jason Kipnis, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 22, 2011 @ 11:42:40 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)

 

Corner Infielders

Kyle Blanks, San Diego Padres

Prized prospect Anthony Rizzo failed in his first attempt at big league action with the Friars, hitting just .143 with one homer, six RBIs and 36 punchouts in 98 at-bats. He was sent down Thursday, but he'll be back ... eventually. In the meantime, Blanks was recalled from Triple-A Tucson to take over at first base in San Diego. At the Padres' top minor league affiliate, Blanks hit .351 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 134 at-bats. At Class AA San Antonio before that, he hit .282 with four jacks and 27 RBIs.

San Diego Padres 1B Kyle Blanks
Filling in the Blanks in SD?

Blanks, 24, was trusted as a regular in the lineup to start the 2010 season, but his performance quickly earned him a spot on the pine (.157-3-15). Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm ended that campaign prematurely. With a beastly frame (6-foot-6, 270 pounds), he packs plenty of power, but he has a less-than-ideal park and uninspiring lineup around him to go with it. Blanks' long power stroke still comes complete with its fair share of K's, too; he had 78 strikeouts against 33 walks in the minors this year.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Middle Infielders

Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians

After a recent rash of injuries to key players, the Tribe is looking for any spark it can give its offense. The flavor of the week: Kipnis, who was hitting .279 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 341 at-bats with Triple-A Columbus.

The 24-year-old left-handed hitter was the team's second-round choice in the 2009 draft and is considered their second baseman of the future. For now, he is expected to split time at the keystone with Orlando Cabrera, although Kipnis will likely see the bulk of the starts. He was converted from the outfield last year, and he blew up in two minor league stops with Class A Kinston and Class AA Akron (.307/.386/.492).

He brings a very polished approach and quick bat and has a better chance of contributing immediately than Lonnie Chisenhall and Cord Phelps previously did in Cleveland, but don't forget, he'll be making his major league debut. If this year is any indication, you should know that lofty expectations are unrealistic out of the gates. Temper your expectations.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Cody Ransom, Arizona Diamondbacks

When Stephen Drew (fractured ankle) went down for the remainder of the season Wednesday, it was assumed that Willie Bloomquist would attempt to pick up the slack at short by himself. Not so fast. The D-Backs brought up Ransom from Triple-A Reno Thursday, and he is expected to at least split time with Bloomquist.

Ransom, a journeyman utility infielder, has never seen extended action on any of the four teams he has played for in his career (career-high 79 ABs in '09). Arizona probably felt obligated to give the 35-year-old a chance after he impressed with a .331 average, 26 home runs and 89 RBIs in 344 at-bats with Reno this season.

It's unclear who will see more playing time between Ransom and Bloomquist, but Kirk Gibson will likely let performance dictate the PT. Ransom's success story in the minors this year is heartwarming, and he may carry that over with a few solid games in the desert, but don't expect it to continue over an extended period with the call-up. Bloomquist is still the better gamble between the two.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Consider

Outfielders

Josh Reddick, Boston Red Sox

Reddick has grown up before the BoSox's eyes this year, refining his approach at the plate. He made the most of the opportunity he received when Carl Crawford (strained hamstring) went on the DL last month, and now it's morphed into a starting gig in right field over J.D. Drew (.219/.317/.305). Drew isn't getting younger or healthier.

Boston loves athletic outfielders, and Reddick, 24, now has the bat to go along with it. He's hitting .378 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 82 at-bats. The average will come down, obviously, but there's nothing but upside in Reddick's bat now that he's improved his plate patience (10 BBs, 15 K's). Jump on board.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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