Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: David DeJesus, Aaron Crow

by Nicholas Minnix on November 30, 2011 @ 11:45:40 PDT


Your fantasy baseball draft isn't far off.'s Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove surveys free agency, trades, salary arbitration and injuries that will affect your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. You're cleared for your MLB offseason program: The Arizona Fall League, Baseball Winter Meetings, Rule 5 draft and more will shape your fantasy baseball rankings.

OF David DeJesus agrees to two-year deal with Chicago Cubs

Kansas City Royals P Aaron Crow
Could Crow murder in the rotation?

DeJesus, who turns 32 next month, has long been considered an undervalued player in the major league market, especially by sabermetric standards. It makes sense that he's one of the first signings for Chicago's new front office.

The corner outfielder came at less than half the price of former Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome. This acquisition also gives the Cubs the flexibility to deal Alfonso Soriano and consider eating a good portion of the money still owed to him in the next three years.

In his career, DeJesus has dealt with his fair share of maladies. He was in the midst of a productive 2010 (.318/.384/.443) with the Kansas City Royals, his only organization through that season, when, just after the break, he needed surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. He missed the rest of that campaign, and the recovery process of nearly three months required some patience as he attempted to round back into form in 2011.

This past season, DeJesus batted only .240, with 10 dingers and four stolen bases, for the Oakland Athletics. But he gets on base. The left-handed batter logged a second-half slash line of .270/.342/.438 in 205 plate appearances. He has a .356 OBP lifetime.

Rotisserie owners should view this move in much the same way that Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Randy Bush do. This was a buy-low opportunity for the Cubs. NL-only players may get to purchase a solid player for a discount, and he could be a decent end-gamer for those in deep mixed leagues.

Kansas City Royals P Aaron Crow expected to join rotation

Crow's first pro season with an MLB affiliate, in 2010, didn't turn out too well. At the advanced Class A and Double-A levels, combined, he was 9-10 with a 5.73 ERA, a 1.51 WHIP, a 7.88 K/9 and a 3.58 BB/9 in 163 1/3 frames. He spent all those innings as a starting pitcher.

In 2011, KC gave him an opportunity to win a major league roster spot anyway, and he caught on - as a reliever. As many fantasy baseball players know, he was plenty successful in that role for most of this past season, winning four games and registering a 2.76 ERA, a 9.44 K/9 and a 4.50 BB/9.

The Royals have stacked the deck against Crow, in the short term. Luke Hochevar, Bruce Chen and Jonathan Sanchez are locks for the rotation. Felipe Paulino pitched pretty well after he arrived from the Colorado Rockies in a trade. Danny Duffy and Luis Mendoza will get shots at a spot, and KC has a couple of dynamite pitching prospects who are close to making debuts.

Crow, 25, is a talented right-hander, and he came up as a starter. He also fared much better at high Class A Wilmington than his 5.93 ERA in seven starts indicates. His mid-90s heat and heavy dependence on a slider may make him more suited to life in the bullpen, however. Fangraphs' Eno Sarris explores the transition in-depth from a statistical standpoint.

He may win a spot right out of the gate, and there could be a handsome payoff. But it seems unlikely, given that he'll have an innings cap, opposition and little experience against upper-level competition.

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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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