Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Colby Rasmus, Edwin Jackson, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 27, 2011 @ 12:29:51 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

David Ross, Atlanta Braves

Ross will become the team's primary backstop, after Brian McCann (oblique strain) hit the disabled list Tuesday night. Oblique injuries can be tricky, so this could be an extended stay on the shelf for McCann.

St. Louis Cardinals SP Edwin Jackson
E-Jax could thrive in STL

Ross, 34, has served as a backup behind the dish for much of his career, and he has only tallied 300-plus at-bats once, back in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds. However, he can provide some pop at a position that may be completely devoid of it, especially in deeper leagues. Ross is hitting .286 with four HRs and 16 RBIs in 77 at-bats this season. He managed 21 homers in '06 with Cincy, so there is decent pop in his stick if he sees enough ABs.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays

After speculation and rumors suggested that the St. Louis Cardinals would keep Rasmus around, they changed course and dealt him to the Blue Jays Wednesday for some pitching depth. Rasmus' struggles (.246/.332/.420), character concerns and a strained relationship with skipper Tony La Russa ultimately led to the move.

Rasmus, 24, recently lost his starting duties in center field to Jon Jay. By leaving St. Louis, he will leave the tension and scrutiny behind - which may have been a large reason for his poor performance - and enter one of the most favorable hitting environments in all of baseball (Rogers Centre). Most importantly, he'll probably play every day. If Rasmus can get his head straightened out, his 20-homer power can flourish in Toronto.

If anyone in your league gave up on Rasmus, which wouldn't be surprising, scoop him up immediately. AL-only FAAB bidders should be prepared to spend a large portion of their budget on him; his talent is worth pursuing.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Corey Patterson, St. Louis Cardinals

Patterson switches leagues after coming over as part of the eight-player deal that sent Rasmus to Toronto. Patterson had briefly served as a semi-regular in left field - even after the return of Travis Snider - with the Jays despite hitting .252 with six HRs, 33 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 89 games.

The Cardinals have shown that they are comfortable riding with Jay as the regular in center field by parting ways with Rasmus, so in all likelihood, they see Patterson, who turns 32 on Aug. 31, as outfield depth. However, he could see frequent starts immediately with Lance Berkman (shoulder) ailing. Plus, Tony La Russa likes to tinker with his lineups. Patterson has more pop than you would think given his stature (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) and he can run, but should be saved mostly for NL-only outfield depth when considering your bids. He's worth speculation in five-outfielder mixers, though, if you're scrounging for steals.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Yonder Alonso, Cincinnati Reds

After the Reds traded away Jonny Gomes to the Washington Nationals, Alonso was summoned from Triple-A Louisville, where he was hitting .296 with 12 jacks, 56 RBIs and six stolen bases in 91 contests. As the team's first overall pick in 2008, he was moved from first base to the outfield due to the presence of Joey Votto.

The 24-year-old was an International League All-Star this year and was named to the Futures Game. He hit .207 (6-for-29) in 22 games in mostly pinch-hit duties after during his September call-up last year. Alonso has showed solid plate discipline in the minors to go along with solid power; he has more to show us in the latter, though.

It's unclear how much playing time he will receive, though, since he'll be competing for at-bats in left field with Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis. One thing is certain: Alonso provides more offensive upside than either Heisey or Lewis. His defense is a work in progress, but if the Reds are looking for an offensive spark, they may turn to Alonso more often than not.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Alejandro De Aza, Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are clearly frustrated with the way their season has turned out to this point after they were convinced they would be a legitimate contender out of spring training. One of the biggest disappointments: Alex Rios and his .208-6-23 line as the starting center fielder. Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams have seen enough; Rios will be benched in favor of De Aza, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte Wednesday.

De Aza, 27, was leading the International League with 124 hits and 190 total bases. He hit .322 with nine HRs, 37 RBIs and 22 SBs in 99 games for the Knights. During his September call-up last year, he hit .300 with no homers and two RBIs in just 30 at-bats. De Aza has proven himself as a hitter at the club's top minor league affiliate (.302-5-49 with Class AAA in '10); he also had a .300 average in 87 games with the Florida Marlins' top affiliate.

Guillen will still try to find Rios starts in center to get him out of his season-long slump, but this could be close to a platoon situation with De Aza swinging from the left side. De Aza almost won a roster spot out of spring training, so his double-digit-homer and stolen base potential might be worth your attention if your cavernous league fields a deep outfield.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Edwin Jackson, St. Louis Cardinals

As the return part of the eight-player deal that sent Rasmus to the Jays, Jackson joins a St. Louis starting staff that is in need of an innings-eater. The move could also allow the Cards to move Kyle McClellan to the 'pen, a place more conducive to his skill set.

Jackson has shown improvements this year with the White Sox. In 19 starts, he's 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA and 97 K's to 39 BBs, including a 3.13 ERA since April ended. It should be noted that he pitched better at U.S. Cellular Field, which is a great hitter's park, than on the road.

Control issues have been Jackson's problem in the past, and his WHIP will more than likely hurt you. But if he can keep his career-low 2.88 BB/9 at bay, the friendly pitcher confines of Busch Stadium could do wonders for his second half. Working under the tutelage of Dave Duncan can't hurt, either. Not a bad investment for pitching-hungry NL-only bidders.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

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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