Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Kevin Slowey, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 9, 2011 @ 14:49:49 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)

 

Outfielders

Jose Constanza, Atlanta Braves

It's clear that the Braves will find PT for Constanza one way or another while he's hitting. He hasn't stopped doing that since Atlanta called him up: He's 16-for-38 (.421) with a home run, five RBIs, a stolen base and seven runs scored. Fredi Gonzalez has been willing to sit Jason Heyward for consecutive contests (while Constanza played) and will rest Chipper Jones regularly (which benefits Constanza).

Minnesota Twins SP Kevin Slowey
Slow road back for Slowey

Where is this coming from? Constanza, 27, isn't exactly top-prospect material. From a roto standpoint, the 5-foot-9, 150-pound outfielder has probably enjoyed his finest seasons in 2010 and 2011, which, combined, encompass his entire stint at the Triple-A level - the first year with Columbus (Cleveland Indians), the second with Gwinnett. In that time he's hit .316 with two home runs and 57 stolen bases in 811 plate appearances. As he's climbed the ladder, he's maintained solid BA indicators and has displayed solid plate discipline.

The Braves have batted him near the bottom of the order most of the time and will probably continue to do as long as he's in there. He's been something of a spark plug, and the club will take that kind of energy on any day, so they'll try to milk more from Constanza. There's little to suggest that he won't be more than a Luis Castillo-type outfielder, with, potentially, some more stolen bases, though, so if he's still floating on your wire, don't pay for what he's already done.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins

The Twins placed Scott Baker (flexor strain in right elbow) back on the disabled list and summoned Kevin Slowey to replace him. Slowey is slated to start on Sunday at the Cleveland Indians. This is a repeat issue for Baker, not only this year but prior to it, so Minnesota may need to rely on Slowey for an extensive period.

It's been an up-and-down few campaigns for Slowey. His tantalizing 2008 campaign made him a sabermetric darling and a breakout candidate for a couple of years. But the righty's pristine K/BB wasn't enough to compensate for his tendency to leave the ball up and out over the plate - often. A wrist injury only furthered his struggles. He began 2011 in the 'pen.

The bottom line: Little has changed. Minor leaguers aren't as proficient at hitting home runs, it seems. He offers no discernible strikeout upside. If Slowey is on a roll, he's a WHIP reducer and will contribute across the board, but it's not something on which you'd bet the farm.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Henderson Alvarez, Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays will yet again pluck an arm from the farm to fill a vacancy in the rotation - in this case, that of Carlos Villanueva (right forearm strain). Alvarez made a couple of starts for advanced Class A Dunedin this year before moving to Double-A New Hampshire, where he posted an 8-4 record, a 2.86 ERA, a 6.75 K/9 and a 1.74 BB/9. He'll skip Triple-A Las Vegas to make his MLB debut.

Alvarez, 21, has an alluring arm because of the mid-90s heat he throws, his solid ground-ball inducement and his gift for avoiding walks. His performance in the minors, for three and a half seasons, has been uneven, however. Opposing hitters have recorded high averages on balls in play throughout his pro career, suggesting that he's around the plate too often, predictable or both. Not altogether encouraging if he isn't going to miss more bats.

There's some upside here, but the risk is incredibly high. The Blue Jays have alternatives available and will add to the list of them in the next few weeks, so Alvarez's stint may not be long, either.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Kevin Millwood, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are the latest to take a flier on Millie. They've gone so far as to place him on their major league docket, in fact. He'll face the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

It was rare to hear positive reports on Millwood this season - and that's while he was pitching a combined 89 2/3 innings in the minors for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. In that time he compiled a 7-2 record, a 4.32 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, a 7.63 K/9 and a 3.11 BB/9 and displayed unimposing velocity on his heater.

That's pretty uninspiring from a right-hander who's been mediocre - or worse - in the bigs in the last three years. Colorado needs a veteran placeholder until the club can call on, among others, Alex White, in a couple of weeks. Millwood plus Coors Field probably equals hangover.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider

Zach Stewart, Chicago White Sox

The ChiSox will ... won't ... will use a six-man rotation. Sometimes. Stewart will pitch on Friday against the Kansas City Royals. Not long after that, Chicago will consider reducing its rotation to as few as four pitchers.

OK, not much job security here, but Philip Humber has been awful recently. Stewart, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays at the non-waiver trade deadline, has a quality low- to mid-90s fastball that sets up the rest of his arsenal. He's made serious strides in the control-rate area this season, too. That's critical to success for a team that plays in a launch pad.

Stewart was solid in two of three starts for the Jays and his first outing for the Pale Hose, but a disastrous outing against the Atlanta Braves blew up his numbers (1-1, 4.86 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 4.70 K/9, 2.35 BB/9 in 23 stanzas). The righty may have a bright future; still, the immediate upside isn't great.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

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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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