Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Brandon Belt, Chris Sale, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 15, 2011 @ 13:50:08 PDT


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use.'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.


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

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

Chicago White Sox RP Chris Sale
Sale a hot waiver purchase

The Giants recalled Belt yet again. There's no need to repeat the hoopla or numbers. Belt was in a mini-slump at Triple-A Fresno since his most recent demotion, but, as you've heard, he can hit. He ripped two bombs on Sunday. The question: Will he play? And if so, where?

Bruce Bochy recently affirmed his support of Aubrey Huff, who has been hitting well for the past month or so. The key is in the outfield: The Giants called up Belt when they placed Andres Torres on the DL (contusion on right leg), and Carlos Beltran (hand and wrist pain) could be headed there. If San Fran's big trade acquisition is shelved, Belt, a lefty, might be worth a roster spot.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Ryan Raburn, Detroit Tigers

The Tigers placed Carlos Gui- that gets old. Anyway, Raburn is likely to fill the vacancy at second base; Ramon Santiago is strictly a utility infielder. Raburn has batted .232 with 10 dingers, 38 RBIs and a steal in 333 plate appearances this season.

This season, Raburn has struck out in 28.5 percent of his at-bats, a good bit more often than in previous seasons. He's been reducing his rate in that category in each month, however. He raised his BA 16 points in July and is 11-for-33 (.333) with a homer and six RBIs this month. Much of that is probably the result of platoon deployment, though. Keep expectations realistic, but remember that he's also been more productive after the break in each of the past two seasons, too.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota had to place Alexi Casilla (strained hamstring) on the DL; he'll miss at least two to three weeks. Ron Gardenhire stated that Plouffe would get an extended look at shortstop in Casilla's absence.

This season at Triple-A Rochester, Plouffe has posted a .313/.384/.635 slash line in 220 plate appearances but only a .202/.287/.377 slash line in 129 PAs in the bigs. This year has been one of power growth for the right-handed swinger, but the 25-year-old failed to post inspiring numbers across the board prior to this season. His glove has also made him a liability, particularly at the 6.

It wouldn't be the first time that Gardy has made a PT declaration and then suffered amnesia every day before he filled out his lineup card. Note the possibility, but if you're in need of at-bats, be ready to change course.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider


Wily Mo Pena, Seattle Mariners

The M's are giving Pena a shot while first baseman Justin Smoak (broken nose) is out of commission for an undetermined period. The Snakes waived the right-handed DH because interleague play ended and he can't play the field.

Pena belted five home runs in 46 at-bats with the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this season, but he also batted .196. He has just one hit in eight at-bats with the M's. The 29-year-old has yet to draw a walk in his 54 big-league plate appearances this season and has struck out in nearly 40 percent of his ABs. On the farm, between the two franchises, he absolutely tortured the opposition, with a .358/.440/.712 slash line. Oh, the PCL. Unless you're desperate for pop in very deep leagues, you should probably skip.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Bryan Petersen, Florida Marlins

On Saturday, Florida demoted Logan Morrison and released Wes Helms. The club filled their roster spots with two infielders, making Peterson the club's starting left fielder for the time being.

In 88 plate appearances in the bigs this season, Petersen, 25, has posted a .250/.322/.355 slash line, with a homer and three stolen bases. The numbers aren't inspiring, but he was hitting .351 with 11 home runs and six thefts in 286 plate appearances at Triple-A New Orleans. Petersen should dominate that level at his age if he's to be anything more than an MLB reserve. His prior minor league record doesn't indicate that he'll be much more than that, but he has some PT to himself in the short term.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider


Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

Ozzie Guillen seems to have become comfortable with mixing and matching Sergio Santos, a right-hander, and Sale, a southpaw, in the ninth inning. It's not the ideal roto arrangement for saves seekers, but Sale is much likelier to be available in your league than Santos.

This season, Sale, 22, is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, a 9.22 K/9 and a 3.13 BB/9 in 54 2/3 frames. He had a rough beginning to the season, but from May 25 on, he's saved three contests while posting a 0.95 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP, an 8.76 K/9 and a 2.13 BB/9 in 38 stanzas. Tasty.

Shallow mixed: Consider

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-backs lost Jason Marquis to a broken leg and will replace him first with Miley, a southpaw from Triple-A Reno. The 24-year-old's low-90s fastball heads quite a varied arsenal. Arizona is expected to continually evaluate this spot in the rotation, keep in mind.

Miley reportedly has the stuff, but his control rate has been up and down in his career. The 2008 supplemental first-round pick has a lifetime 3.69 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, a 6.99 K/9 and a 3.13 BB/9 in 422 1/3 innings the minors. This season, he hit the Triple-A level for the first time, and he was off to a fine start there: 4-1, with a 3.64 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, a 9.28 K/9 and 2.65 BB/9 in 54 1/3 frames. That, in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, after he posted a dull line that included a 4.78 ERA at Double-Mobile this year. Consider Miley unpredictable but perhaps worth a gamble in very deep leagues.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

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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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