Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Juan Francisco, Liam Hendriks, Jose Lobaton, Chris Parmelee

by Nicholas Minnix on September 6, 2011 @ 12:58:35 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)

 

Catchers

Jose Lobaton, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays manager Joe Maddon plans to get a good look at Lobaton, 26, the rest of the way. The Rays have received little, offensively, from the catcher spot this year, so it won't hurt to test another backstop.

Cincinnati Reds 3B Juan Francisco
Francisco finally a Cincy treat?

The switch-hitter has displayed above-average patience in the minors, but he's had a propensity to whiff often, too. He has some power, but the BA skills aren't great. This season, in 224 plate appearances with Triple-A Durham, he posted a .293/.410/.489 slash line. His average was unusually high and likely built on some good fortune, given his track record.

Lobaton has virtually no MLB experience. He might provide deep-league players with a reason to pursue him as a second catcher, though.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Corner infielders

Juan Francisco, Cincinnati Reds

Francisco, 24, has missed much of the season because of an injury, but he began the year on the big-league roster as a backup third baseman. Once he recovered from his calf problem, he remained on the farm. He's back, though, and Scott Rolen (shoulder surgery) is sidelined for at least a couple of more weeks. Francisco has started four of five games since his return.

The left-handed hitter doesn't have much patience, but in the minors, he proved quite successful despite that shortcoming, and he packs some serious punch. This year, at Class AAA Louisville, he hit .307 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs in 300 at-bats. Last season, at that level, he batted .286 with 18 dingers and 59 RBIs in 308 ABs. He's 6-for-18 with a jack and six RBIs since rejoining the Reds. He's a risky pickup in terms of PT and performance, but he can also pay nice dividends.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Chris Parmelee, Minnesota Twins

At the beginning of this week, the Twins promoted Joe Benson, one of their top-10 prospects and a 2006 second-rounder, and Parmelee, who was a 2006 first-round draft pick and whose stock had declined since only to rebound in 2011. Parmelee may be in line for notable PT; when Justin Morneau (concussion symptoms) returns, assuming that he does, he's expected to slot in at the DH spot. Parmelee is a first baseman.

The 23-year-old played the low-BA, modest-power game in the lower levels. He didn't exactly display a major league skill set. In the past couple of seasons, as he moved up the chain, he began to cut down on the K's, to capitalize on his above-average patience and to hit for a better average. This year, at Double-A New Britain, he batted .287, with 13 home runs and 82 RBIs.

Although his numbers don't say "high-impact fantasy bat," Parmelee is in line for some playing time and could be a low-end asset. His lack of experience beyond Class AA ball and his adoption of an approach that might not yet be completely natural make him a risk for that kind of production, however.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider

Pitchers

Liam Hendriks, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota called up the right-handed Aussie so that he could watch the club's doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox and then make his debut against them on Tuesday. He's one of the club's top prospects, according to Baseball America, who cite his improved velocity, effortless motion and offerings of five good pitches as his biggest assets.

The 22-year-old has been a control master in the minors. In his first campaign in he upper levels, split between Double-A New Britain (90 frames) and Triple-a Rochester (49 innnings), he was 12-6 with a 3.36 ERA, a 7.17 K/9 and a 1.36 BB/9. Like many Minny hurler prospects before him, he pounds the strike zone. Unlike some of those before him, he hasn't been a frequent victim of the long ball.

Will he be aggressive in his first taste of the bigs? Will he be around the plate too much and get knocked around? It's hard to imagine that Hendriks will be so efficient immediately. He has some real polish and has generated roughly 50 percent grounders in his farm time, so he could be a fantasy contributor in extremely deep redrafters for a few starts.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

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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