Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Brett Pill, Matt Dominguez, Joe Benson, Manny Acosta

by Nicholas Minnix on September 8, 2011 @ 10:58:22 PDT


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use.'s Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.


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

Brett Pill, San Francisco Giants

Aubrey Huff (sore back) has been banged up lately, but will that become a convenient excuse to keep the veteran in a pinch-hitting role in the season's final few weeks? Probably not entirely, but the Giants are quickly falling out of contention and desperate for ways to score runs. Pill, at least in his first two games, has offered them one possible method.

New York Mets RP Manny Acosta
Acosta the closer role?

Pill, 27 on Friday, isn't exactly a prospect any longer, but he's never played major league ball, either. The 6-foot-4, 211-pounder hit .312 with 25 home runs and 107 RBIs in 536 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno this season. In each of his last three farm campaigns he has cut down on the strikeouts - to 9.4 percent of his ABs this year. He doesn't draw many walks, but he has frequently scored a solid average on balls in play to complement his solid power.

Clearly, Pill hasn't exactly been in San Fran's long-term plans, but he's taking advantage of his early opportunity. He's 3-for-7 with two dingers and three ribbies and will earn more consideration from Bruce Bochy. The rookie isn't a world-beater, but he may provide some deep-league value, because the Giants are hungry.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Consider

Matt Dominguez, Florida Marlins

The man whom the Fish hoped would win the starting third base job in spring training this year is finally in the bigs. Dominguez, 22, isn't known for his sweet swinging so much as he is for his great glove work, as you've probably heard. The Marlins seem to be willing to accept that he'll be mediocre, at best, at the dish, as long as he provides nearly flawless field work. The question, for redrafters: Will he play enough to warrant 2011 consideration?

The club is going nowhere this season, and next year, it opens a brand-new ballpark. The organization will undoubtedly go into 2012 with the same hope for Dominguez that it had entering 2011. This time, they hope, he'll feel more comfortable in ST and avoid a serious injury - like the fractured left elbow he sustained right after his demotion to the minors this year.

So, chances are, he'll play somewhat regularly. Florida has been noncommittal, but they like him quite a bit. The club doesn't want to shun Greg Dobbs, a veteran who's given them more than they could've expected when they signed him, so he'll receive some action, too. But the Fish have, first and foremost (and only?), been about their future, so loyalties probably aren't strong.

Dominguez isn't a terrible hitter, but he's, at most, serviceable. He posted a .258/.312/.431 slash line at Triple-A New Orleans. He went 1-for-3 in his first start, against New York Mets right-handed knuckler R.A. Dickey. He has enough power to rip double-digit homers, but he doesn't run. He's likely to be useful only because of the long-term PT he'll receive.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Consider


Joe Benson, Minnesota Twins

Benson's MLB career isn't off to a great start - he's 0-for-7 with a walk - but he may continue to play after his recent call-up. The right-handed hitter is one of the club's top-10 prospects and had a solid campaign for Double-A New Britain (.285/.388/.495 in 472 plate appearances). He sent 16 balls into the seats and swiped 13 bases. Last year, at the same level, he knocked 23 out and stole 14, but he hit only .251.

Benson's lack of experience beyond Class AA ball and his propensity to strike out (23.1 percent this season with the Rock Cats) doesn't set him up for immediate major league success. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder draws walks frequently (11.9 percent this year), however, and was never expected to hit for a high average. He's a high-risk counting-cat threat who can take advantage because Jason Kubel (foot pain) and others are banged up and the Twins are out of the race.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Consider


Manny Acosta, New York Mets

Terry Collins informed the media that Acosta would receive a save opportunity if it arose on Wednesday. Wouldn't you know it? The right-hander pitched a perfect inning, with two strikeouts, to wrap up a 1-0 victory. Bobby Parnell has blown two of his last three chances and is on some kind of sabbatical, so Acosta appears to be Collins' savior of choice (this week).

Acosta, 30, has displayed closer-like strikeout potential in years past, but he'd been unable to tame the free pass bronco. This season, he's been firing his regularly mid-90s heat for a 9.53 K/9 in his 37 MLB innings, but he's also done so while issuing just 2.43 walks per nine. His lifetime rate in the latter category is 4.11. Although Acosta has been hit hard this season, the results - a 3.16 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and his lone save - have to be encouraging.

There's no certainty that Acosta will maintain his newfound aggressiveness, but that's an aspect of the reliever that Collins has lauded. Parnell is a person of interest in the Mets' future closer case, but evidence may begin to point to Acosta as another suspect entering 2012 and closing out 2011.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

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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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