Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Lucas Duda, Tyler Colvin, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 28, 2011 @ 12:31:38 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)

 

Outfielders

Lucas Duda, New York Mets

Chicago Cubs OF Tyler Colvin
Colvin worth another look

The Mets and San Francisco Giants agreed on a trade for Carlos Beltran, and the deal became official Thursday morning. Jason Pridie, Willie Harris and possibly prospect Fernando Martinez (when healed) remain options, but this means Duda is in line for a heavy increase in PT. Terry Collins likely sees Duda as the best choice to replace Beltran in right field.

Duda, 25, is hitting .276 with two HRs and 15 RBIs in 123 at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in early June. Although Citi Field will limit some of his power, his lefty stick packs a punch; he put up 10 HRs at Buffalo in 129 at-bats earlier this year and 23 total in two stops in the minors in '10. Though he's still a work in progress at the plate, homers will come, and he has the upside to be an impact bat in the Mets' lineup. He has first base eligibility in most formats, too, making him more attractive.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Nate McLouth, Atlanta Braves

McLouth had found himself as the team's fourth outfielder due to the emergence of Jordan Schafer (finger). Now that Schafer is on the DL, McLouth can return to the starting duties in center. Schafer led the team with 15 stolen bases and quickly became the solution at leadoff after his call-up May 23.

McLouth has been a disappointment since the Bravos acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009, and his career-high .276 batting average in 2008, to go along with 26 HRs, looks as though it was a statistical outlier. The oft-injured 29-year-old is hitting .231 with four HRs and 16 RBIs in 264 at-bats and has already spent time on the DL with an oblique injury. His fly-ball (34.9) and ground-ball (47.8) rates aren't encouraging, either.

As an everyday player for at least the next two weeks, though, McLouth can be useful as a fill-in in the event he runs into a mini-hot streak. His mild stolen base potential will also help, but don't consider this a long-term investment.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Tyler Colvin, Chicago Cubs

The dominoes continue to fall on the trade market, and the latest move has led to new opportunity for Colvin. With Kosuke Fukudome out of the picture in Chicago, Colvin has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa to play right field.

Colvin's 2010 campaign shows his potential as a star in the league (.254-20-56). A freak injury cut his season short in September of last year. The left-hander struggled tremendously out of the gate this year, and he has hit just .105 with two HRs and eight RBIs in 38 games. At Iowa, he was hitting .256 with seven HRs and 32 RBIs in 50 games but had a productive June (.313/.324/.641).

Tony Campana, the fourth outfielder, could also see some starts in right to ease Colvin back into the bigs. We know Colvin's bat packs 20-homer potential, and he should benefit from frequent PT. If Carlos Pena is traded - the team is eager to unload him - Colvin could gain first base eligibility in some formats down the stretch. Don't ignore this talented outfielder.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Kosuke Fukudome, Cleveland Indians

The Chicago Cubs traded Fukudome to the Tribe Thursday after four years with the Cubbies; the Indians were in desperate need of an outfield bat due to the injuries to Grady Sizemore (knee, hernia) and Shin-Soo Choo (thumb). Choo's return date has been estimated somewhere between mid-August and September, and he's likely to return before Sizemore. Fukudome still has a decent window of playing time.

Fukudome hit .262 with 37 HRs, 169 RBIs and 27 SBs in his Chicago career. The 34-year-old Japanese import will immediately step into right field in Cleveland; Travis Buck was designated for assignment to make room for him. Fukudome is in the middle of his best season in the BA department (career-high .330 BABIP is helping), but don't expect pop; he's currently sporting a career-worst fly-ball rate (26.0). Fukudome isn't an exciting commodity except for in AL-only setups, where he should be bid on for outfield depth.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Kyle McClellan, St. Louis Cardinals

Yesterday's acquisition of Edwin Jackson, who will enter the starting rotation, has given the Cards the opportunity to use McClellan in the 'pen again. The move is mutual; McClellan actually volunteered for it, and his skill set is more conducive for relief duty.

McClellan's experimental move to the rotation to start the year saw mixed results; he went 7-6 with a 4.15 ERA and 55 K's against 33 BBs in 110 2/3 frames. The 27-year-old righty's career numbers are better in the bullpen (3.22 ERA, 2.00 K/BB, six saves), and he was once considered a potential closer. St. Louis will gladly use his presence in the back end, especially if they don't decide to go all out for Heath Bell.

Pitching coach Dave Duncan isn't afraid to use McClellan in the ninth, and if Fernando Salas falters, he could sneak into the role (assuming they don't trade for a closer, of course). He's widely available, so he's definitely worth a shot if you're scrounging for saves.

Shallow mixed: Watch

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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