Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jerry Sands, Anthony Rizzo, Michael Taylor, Chris Schwinden

by Nicholas Minnix on September 7, 2011 @ 10:53:41 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

Anthony Rizzo, San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres 1B Anthony Rizzo
Another go for Rizzo

The Friars have recalled their top position prospect, Rizzo, from Triple-A Tucson so that he may absorb more of the MLB experience that didn't go well, in terms of results, in his first go-round. He finished the year with the Class AAA Padres with a .331/.404/.652 slash line in 413 plate appearances. In 117 MLB plate appearances earlier this year, he was 14-for-98 (.143) with a home run and six RBIs.

Rizzo has started one game since his weekend call-up and has gone 1-for-4 with a double and a ribbie, all told, this month. He's unlikely to unseat Jesus Guzman completely, but he should play against some right-handers. The talented 22-year-old has had some time to think about things and make adjustments. He could earn himself more ABs, too. He hasn't done anything to cancel his "first baseman of the future" club membership.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Consider

Outfielders

Michael Taylor, Oakland Athletics

The A's have recalled Taylor, whose stock had been on the decline for more than a year, and will likely give him occasional starts to test his bounce-back mettle on the MLB level. The 25-year-old was considered one of the brighter prospects in the game just a couple of seasons ago because of his athleticism, multiple tools and 6-foot-5, 255-pound frame. He struggled to drive the ball and control the strike zone for long stretches after joining the Oakland system (and including a stretch in the AFL), from the Philadelphia Phillies through the Toronto Blue Jays.

Since, Taylor has been focused on getting back to basics and has made some progress. He finished his season with Triple-A Sacramento with a .272/.360/.456 slash line. He belted 16 round-trippers and stole 14 bases, displaying the abilities that have made him such an intriguing potential everyday major leaguer. He'll likely log time against left-handers, at least, and is 1-for-6 with two walks in his first few games, including two starts. He could swat a couple and swipe a couple before 2011 closes.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Consider

Jerry Sands, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have recalled Sands, 23, and Don Mattingly intends to see a lot of the player who hit a mere .200 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in his first 125 at-bats major league at-bats, which came earlier this season. Some of Sands' PT will come at the expense of Tony Gwynn Jr., but Donnie Baseball plans to slot the right-handed hitter in a few spots.

Sands finished his year with Triple-A Albuquerque as the proud owner of a .278/.344/.586 slash line in 418 plate appearances. A hot farm April prompted the Blue to jump the gun, and after his demotion, he struggled through the bulk of July (.202/.282/.423). He picked it back up in August (.307/.348/.654), and Mattingly is hoping to see evidence of some adjustments that the youngster should've made. Sands is still considered a likely future cornerstone of the organization and will get some opportunities to prove that he's deserving of that kind of faith.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Consider

Pitchers

Chris Schwinden, New York Mets

The Mets believe that Schwinden, who'll make his big-league debut on Thursday at Citi Field in a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, is going to compete for a rotation spot in 2012. The 24-year-old, according to the New York Daily News, reminds the club of another recent product of its system who has enjoyed MLB success, Dillon Gee.

Schwinden, a right-hander, has displayed a great deal of control in his minor league career. In 26 starts (145 2/3 frames) for Triple-A Buffalo this year, he was 8-8 with a 3.95 ERA, a 8.28 K/9 and a 2.97 BB/9. The rate of walks issued per nine is actually considerably greater than the marks he posted at lower levels.

It's uncertain as to whether his above-average strikeout ability will translate at the major league level, and it would appear that he hasn't been as fine-tuned as he's scaled the ladder. In addition, the Mets also intend to be cautious with Schwinden; he's already pitched nearly 70 more innings than he did last season. He's likely to get extra rest, assuming that he remains in the rotation. Judging from their public statements about him, though, they intend to test him a few times in the rotation before 2011 ends. There may not be a great deal of upside here, at least this year, but keep him in mind.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-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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