Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Paul Goldschmidt, Dee Gordon, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 1, 2011 @ 15:55:24 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

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-backs dealt Brandon Allen to the Oakland A's and have called up their big-time slugging prospect from Double-A Mobile to play regularly. You've probably heard about his growing legend: This year, for the BayBears, he's posted a .306/.435/.626 slash line in 457 plate appearances. He's ripped 30 homers and 21 doubles and has driven in 94. His production in rookie ball (2009) and advanced Class A (2010) was similar.

Los Angeles Dodgers SS Dee Gordon
Gordon back in LA

Goldschmidt, 23, has been considered a bit old for his levels. He's struck out more than 20 percent of the time at each of his stops. Plus, some observers believe that the right-handed bomb dropper might struggle against righty pitching - his performance against them in the minors aside, presumably.

This year, Goldschmidt has made big strides in the walk department (17.9 percent), however. Even if he's a BA liability, he boasts huge power potential and will certainly see at-bats for a while. Addressing a need? Maybe this is your bet.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Derrek Lee, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bucs found a low-cost way to upgrade the lame production they'd received from Lyle Overbay, whom the club designated for assignment on Monday. That Lee's .246/.302/.404 slash to this point is considered a notable upgrade should tell you plenty about Overbay's 2011 season.

Lee has been banged up (as he often is), but in July, he was showing signs of life (and health): He was hitting .250 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 96 at-bats. His contact rate is operating at 80 percent for the first time in five years, too.

Unfortunately, his BA skills continue to decline, and the move from righty-bat-friendly Camden Yards to righty-bat-unfriendly PNC Park is probably going to help to negate this boost in the power department. This isn't an exciting move for fantasy players, so the change-of-scenery factor is all there is to it. He has that whole veteran thing going for him, too.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

Here we go again. Davis may get a real chance this time around. Maybe. You know the deal: He can go deep with the best of them but hasn't yet made enough contact in the majors to last for long stretches, save for his rookie season.

Davis, 25, has always blasted it for a high average on balls in play, so if he makes enough contact, he'll hit. If the O's grow impatient with his impatience, however, they could always call on Josh Bell (whose issues in that department are much worse) and move Mark Reynolds to first base. What a set of corners, eh?

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Brandon Allen, Oakland Athletics

AL-only roto managers get a chance to experiment with a player who has periodically frustrated NL-only fantasy owners for the past couple of seasons. That frustration comes in good part because of the Arizona Diamondbacks' lack of commitment to the first baseman, however. The organization had him play some outfield last year and never gave him an extended chance to stick.

Allen, 25, is a strikeout artist, much like the other young first sackers in this area. In the past two seasons, he's demonstrated a much greater willingness to take a free pass, something that undoubtedly appealed to the A's. The left-handed hitter is a quality athlete and potentially dangerous slugger. Although the changes in environs amount to a complete negative, Allen's opportunity makes him a worthwhile gamble.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Blue dealt Rafael Furcal to the St. Louis Cardinals, as you've heard, so the man who filled in for Furcal while he was on the DL is going to slot in at short for the rest of the season in Hollywood.

Gordon's game, as you'll recall, is speed. Getting on base consistently proved to be a real challenge for the left-handed hitter in his first go-round. The 23-year-old has the legs to log infield hits, but major league arms seem overpowering for him. His position and potential difference-making contribution in the stolen-base category are what would appeal to you, naturally.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Orlando Cabrera, San Francisco Giants

The Cleveland Indians brought in some vets at the deadline, but they also shipped one out. O-Cab provides the Giants with another veteran middle infielder. He'll play shortstop regularly, at least while Miguel Tejada (back) is on the DL, and can also play second base, as the Tribe found out.

Cincinnati Reds OF Chris Heisey
Heisey has clearer path

Cabrera doesn't offer much exciting in the counting cats, but in the past couple of seasons, he's made a habit of having a little more fantasy value than it seems he should. Although he's nothing more than a roto band-aid, don't completely discount him now that he's in San Fran.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Jason Bourgeois, Houston Astros

This past weekend, the Astros dealt jettisoned Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn to NL East destinations, opening up PT immediately for Bourgeois. As an occasional starter and frequent pinch runner, the 29-year-old has stolen 22 bases this season. He's received a grand total of 132 plate appearances.

Bourgeois doesn't possess the batting skills to continue to hit .354, as he has so far, and he hasn't been apt to draw walks frequently, particularly in the bigs. He can be a difference-making speedster, however, now that he'll get the at-bats.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Chris Heisey, Cincinnati Reds

When the Reds shipped Jonny Gomes to the nation's capital, there was an assumption that the left-handed-hitting Yonder Alonso was in line for increased PT. Dusty Baker noted that Heisey would in fact be a notable beneficiary, however, and limited evidence suggests that this will be the case, at least in the short term.

Heisey, 26, has registered a .241/.301/.443 slash line in part-time duty (237 plate appearances) this season. Earlier this season, Baker suggested that he limited Heisey's PT because he feared that too much of it would expose him to types of pitchers that he'd have trouble handling. Heisey's batting average indicators don't pitch long-term success in that department, either.

However, Heisey boasts a decent power-speed combination (12 home runs, four stolen bases this year). That ballpark is a pretty sweet place to hit, and the lineup ain't too shabby, either. The new regular may not stick as a regular, but he's worth an addition to see if he help in some cumulative categories.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers

You had little interest in Fister, 27, while he was on the Seattle Mariners, right? The right-hander has joined a club with an offense that has been about one-third more productive than the M's, who have baseball's worst offense.

Fister is 3-12 with a 3.33 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and a 5.49 K/9 in 146 2011 frames. After such extensive success, thanks to his super BB/9 (1.88 lifetime) and a 3.43 ERA on the road this season, it's clear that he's not entirely a Safeco Field product. Comerica Park is no Safeco, but it's not nearly enough of a negative to offset Fister's increased prospects for W's and solid track record.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Texas Rangers

Fantasy owners know how valuable each of these relievers has been in his role with his former team. Their skills translate anywhere. What makes each a little more interesting is that he has closer-type ability - even a little experience doing the job - and could be setting up for Neftali Feliz, who to this point has been somewhat disappointing.

It's not entirely clear which would even get the call in the ninth if the club made a switch, let alone if Ron Washington would actually consider making it. However, given the way these two can contribute in other categories in the meantime, they're worth adding. The fellow joining the new league, Adams, isn't a bad consolation prize in a mono-league FAAB bonanza.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-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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