Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Pedro Alvarez, Desmond Jennings, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 25, 2011 @ 13:50:14 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com'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.

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

Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh chose to recall Alvarez from Triple-A Indianapolis as the corresponding move that sent Alex Presley (thumb) to the 15-day DL Monday. Alvarez (quadriceps) hit a combined .325 with four HRs and 15 RBIs in three minor league stops. This includes his various rehab stints and his extended time at Indy after the Bucs sent him there upon activating him from the DL July 9.

Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez
Alvarez back in a Bucs uni

The 24-year-old Dominican third baseman struggled before hitting the DL (.208/.283/.304) after putting up 16 long balls in his rookie season in 2010. Alvarez has raw power to all fields but has struggled to put the ball in play consistently (30.7 percent K rate in the majors).

The bright side: He's shown improvement and confidence in the minors this year; he has 23 K's against 15 BBs. The Pirates could use an offensive upgrade, and Alvarez can surely present that more than Brandon Wood and Chase d'Arnaud can. Alvarez is worth a shot to see if he has made the necessary adjustments to solidify his status as one of the team's top prospects, especially given the issues among fantasy third basemen this season.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Chris Davis, Texas Rangers

The Rangers put Adrian Beltre (Grade 1 hamstring strain) on the disabled list on Saturday, leaving an opening at the hot corner. Davis, 25, will likely split starts at third with Michael Young, but the lefty slugger can also find his way into the lineup at first, left field or designated hitter.

Before his most recent call-up, Davis was raking at Triple-A Round Rock, hitting .368 with 24 HRs and 66 RBIs in 193 at-bats. In his earlier stint at the major league level, he hit .259 with three homers and five RBIs in 58 at-bats. At this point, Davis has proven himself at the Class AAA level, and he believes he has become a more well-round hitter. However, recent MLB disappointments, a shaky contact rate and a poor BB/K (0.19 at Round Rock) still warrant concern.

He's worth adding, though, given his power stroke and the fact that Beltre has been a slow healer in his career; an extended Beltre absence would move Davis' deep mixed recommendation to Consider. There is also a chance that Davis is dealt to a team that can give him consistent PT before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

Jennings, clearly the team's top prospect and perhaps the best all-around prospect in all of baseball, was called up Saturday and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, two walks, a double and a triple. He went 2-for-3 again Sunday. Jennings will be the starter in left field and Joe Maddon's leadoff hitter.

The 24-year-old has had plenty of time to develop down on the farm. He spent the past three seasons honing his craft at Triple-A Durham; this year, he was hitting .275 with 12 homers, 39 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 338 at-bats there in 2011. It's likely too late at this point, but in case you didn't get the chance over the weekend and he's still available, add him immediately - he brings the total package and will be a valuable source of stolen bases in the second half.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Jon Jay, St. Louis Cardinals

Colby Rasmus has fallen out of favor in St. Louis because of his poor play (.244-10-37) and character concerns. Although the Cards have denied interest in trading the 24-year-old, recent news suggests they are open to sending him to various teams, including the Chicago White Sox, for the right price. Since the All-Star break, he has started in just four ballgames. Tony La Russa has declared Jay the starter in center field.

Jay, 26, has mainly been the team's fourth outfielder for the past two seasons, but he has seen plenty of action this year due to Rasmus' struggles and injuries to Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols. In 99 games, Jay is hitting .311 with seven HRs and 25 RBIs - he hit .300 with four HRs and 27 RBIs in 287 at-bats last year. Don't rely on him for power contribution, but now that he is ahead of Rasmus on the depth chart, and with the possibility of Rasmus being gone next week, Jay should be seriously considered as a prime BA contributor.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Ryan Spilborghs and Eric Young Jr., Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez (sprained ligaments in his wrist) hit the DL for the first time in his career on Friday. Young was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to provide outfield depth. Spilborghs, the team's fourth outfielder, saw starts in left field in all three games over the weekend against right-handed hurlers. Ty Wigginton could also see the occasional start there, too, but Spils looks like the main option there for now.

Spilborghs, 31, is hitting just .225 with three HRs and 20 RBIs in 178 at-bats while mostly splitting time with Seth Smith in right field. Don't let the low average deter you, though, because Spilly can get heat up for stretches, and the likelihood of that happening is greater now that he's in line to play regularly. He has also been mentioned in trade talks, so his value could remain high if he is traded to a solid opportunity for PT. This would only happen if the Rox are comfortable with Young as their fourth outfielder when Car-Go returns.

Young, 26, has yet to make a real impact at the major league level, but to be fair, he hasn't received an extended audition (career-high 172 at-bats in '10). This year, he has hit .220 with no homers, three RBIs and four SBs in 50 at-bats. He has really broken out with the bat at Colorado Springs this season (.363/.454/.552) and managed to steal 17 bags. Speed is Young's biggest asset, and manager Jim Tracy seems to prefer to use him as a late-inning defensive replacement or pinch runner.

With that in mind, Spilborghs should be your first target, but this sitch could change, so don't write off Young just yet.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-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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