Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com'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.
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Bryan LaHair, Chicago Cubs
LaHair, a first baseman by trade and an outfielder out of necessity, is neither, naturally. What he is: a thumper with a left-handed bat who's platooning in left field and therefore has been playing often since the Cubs called him up when rosters expanded.
By LaHair of his chinny chin chin
Veteran roto players probably recognize the name of the fella who's off to a .458 start, with a homer and four RBIs, in 24 at-bats. The 28-year-old isn't exactly a heralded prospect any longer. This season, for Iowa, he batted .331 with a .405 OBP, 38 jacks, 38 doubles and 109 RBIs in the Pacific Coast League.
LaHair may be typecast as your classic slugger with a liberal stand on at-bats that end in strikeouts. However, to his credit, he has a moderate appreciation for the free pass and has become more conservative in the whiffing department. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder can pound the ball. Don't expect him to continue to ride the big BA wave, but he could make a difference in dingers in the final couple of weeks.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Consider
Everett Teaford, Kansas City Royals
Ned Yost has announced that Teaford will make two more starts in 2011; both will come against the Chicago White Sox, incidentally. This season, Teaford has made 24 appearances for the Royals with cheese, but this past Sunday, against the Seattle Mariners, is when he made his first start. The southpaw, who worked multiple innings in his last few appearances before this particular tilt, lasted five frames, giving up three hits, no runs and one walk, while fanning five.
Teaford, 27, has pitched out of the bullpen for most of the season, whether in the minors or the bigs. He started only three of his 16 games for Triple-A Omaha. In the past couple of years, he has transitioned from full-time starter to bullpen arm with near exclusivity. As a reliever on the farm, he's posted (naturally) notably better rates of strikeouts per nine innings.
In 33 major league innings, all told, the left-hander with a low-90s heater, high-80s cutter and regularly relied-upon curveball has posted a 2.73 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, a 5.45 K/9 and a 2.45 BB/9. He appears to have made his professional living mostly by limiting free passes and avoiding extensive trouble, given that he's fairly hittable. It wouldn't be surprising to see him turn in a couple of fantasy baseball-worthy performances against the disappointing ChiSox to close 2011, but the pursuant is assuming a good deal of risk.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Pass
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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