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Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
With Scott Rolen (shoulder surgery) on the DL, Frazier has been a regular at the hot corner. Miguel Cairo can fill in at third, but he's strictly a utility man. Yonder Alonso will field grounders there in practice, but he's a butcher with a mitt, hasn't played the position in years and doesn't figure into the equation there any time soon. Frazier, who began his pro career at shortstop but has moved around a bit in the last few years, is your man.
Richards have enough moxie?
The 25-year-old has an underwhelming 10 hits in 42 at-bats thus far, but he's ripped three home runs and driven in eight runs. He was once one of the club's more lauded hitting prospects. In 2010, at Triple-A Louisville, he hit .258 with 17 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 538 plate appearances. This season, for the Bats, Frazier hit .260 with 15 dingers and 17 thefts in just 359 plate appearances before his first call to The Show.
Rolen will miss at least another four to five weeks. Alonso isn't a threat. Cincy's playoff hopes are slim, so whether they look to the future or make a run in the present, Frazier is their best option for the foreseeable future. He packs some punch and can run a bit, and he's posted an average on balls in play above .300 at every one of his minor league stops. He may end up being a throwback, but at third base, plus bats are worth a look.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
Dave Sappelt, Cincinnati Reds
This 24-year-old gained some attention by having a monstrous spring training. Now that Chris Heisey (strained oblique) is on the DL, Sappelt looks like a good bet to play more often than not. Yonder Alonso has two left feet in left field. Fred Lewis has failed to make a notable impression. Dusty Baker told the press that he knows Sappelt can hit; he wants to make sure the first-time big-leaguer can field his position and do the little things.
The right-handed hitter is 3-for-12 with a run scored since his promotion. He's hit the ball hard in his limited ABs. At Triple-A Louisville this season, Sappelt was hitting .313 with seven home runs and four stolen bases in 336 plate appearances. Of note: His batting average and indicators have both improved as he's risen through Cincy's system.
Sappelt doesn't offer much upside in the counting categories. However, he could be a useful playing-time addition because of his surroundings. The 5-foot-9, 193-pounder has demonstrated an ability to get on base and will have at least a couple of weeks to impress his skipper.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Halos hope that another call-up from Double-A Arkansas will serve as a savior of sorts for its rotation this season. Richards gets the first shot to replace Joel Pineiro and was considered easily one of the organization's top-10 prospects coming into the season. The righty was maintaining his steady advancement with the Travelers.
In 141 innings this year, Richards is 12-2 with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, a 6.38 K/9 and a 2.55 BB/9. His 2011 K/9 isn't as stylish as it was in his first couple of pro seasons, but he's maintained a healthy control rate at all his stops. He supplements his low- to mid-90s heater with a slider, a big curve and a change. Player Prospecting writer Chris Hadorn notes that the latter two don't look like big-league pitches yet, though.
The Angels prefer to see moxie before strikeouts from their young pitchers, and they seem assured that Richards possesses the former. Statistically, it would appear that Richards is a little more advanced than Tyler Chatwood, the team's first arm pushed into MLB action earlier than many expected. Although the club is in a pennant race and, therefore, Mike Scioscia may not have much patience if Richards struggles, he's an interesting prospect and could prove to be nice supplementary piece in deep leagues.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
Henry Sosa, Houston Astros
The Astros tired of the struggles of J.A. Happ and have since replaced him in the rotation with Sosa, whom the club acquired from the San Francisco Giants for Jeff Keppinger. Sosa, 26, has flashed moments of brilliance but hasn't yet given an indication that he'll ever put it all together.
In his career at the Class AA level, including his stints there this season, the right-hander has been fairly dominant. At the Triple-A level, however, he's not made much of an impression, with a 4.89 ERA in two seasons. He was awful in 17 games (all in relief) with the Giants' Class AAA Fresno. Since joining Houston's system, however, Sosa has been effective, perhaps because they made him strictly a starter. In four outings (three at Double-A Corpus Christi, one at Triple-A Oklahoma City), he's 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, 20 K's and seven walks in 25 2/3 innings.
Sosa hasn't been able to keep his control rate in check throughout his professional career, particularly at the highest level in the minors. That plus his inconsistency and uninspiring backing make him mighty uninteresting, unless you're throwing darts and desperate.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Pass
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.