Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Kevin Youkilis, Mitch Moreland, Philip Humber

by Keith Hernandez on June 22, 2012 @ 16:25:04 PDT's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Kevin Youkilis sitting in favor of Will Middlebrooks

Boston Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis
Cool hand Youk

Boston Red Sox skip Bobby Valentine told reporters before the game Friday that he'll go with "the hot hand" for "a while" at the hot corner - the hot hand being Middlebrooks. The cold hand is Youk (.225/.311/.359 with four dingers in 161 PAs). Middlebrooks, on the other hand, is batting .316 with eight long balls and 31 RBIs in just 145 PAs.

It's unknown what Bobby V means by "a while," but it could range anywhere from a few more days to the team expecting Youkilis to settle into a part-time gig. The timing is odd, though, since Boston had been fielding offers and listening to calls for Youkilis on the trade market.

If Youk is the odd-man out - which appears to be the case at this point - the best outcome for fantasy owners would be if they wind up trading him. However, Boston won't get much in return, and neither will you if you attempt to dangle him now. Valentine said he's likely to keep Adrian Gonzalez at first now, too, ruling out the scenario where Youk, Middlebrooks and A-Gon are all in the lineup at the same time.

The "Greek God of Walks" has been anything but this year; his rate of drawing free passes is down from 13.2 percent last year to a career-low 8.7 percent. Nagging injuries that began cropping up last year seem to be playing a large role in his rapid decline. FanGraph's Chris Cwik notes Youkilis' drop in contact shows his bat speed is slowing, making it increasingly difficult for him to catch up to hurler's heat.

It's possible that this steep decline is at its worst point, but if he's not seeing consistent PT from here on out, it'll be hard for Youkilis to rebound, given his age. If you're beyond fed up with his season, you'll have to be comfortable selling him for pennies on the dollar. It'd be wise to wait to see if Boston swallows most of his salary and deals him, instead. It's impossible to speculate where he'd land right now, but at the current rate, anywhere but Boston would be a winning scenario.

Mitch Moreland placed on DL

10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Watch
15-tm mixed Consider
AL-only Acquire

In what had been an expected move since Wednesday, the Texas Rangers made it official Friday by sending Moreland to the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He's expected to sit out four to six weeks.

Moreland was hitting .272 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs in 158 at-bats with Texas before injuring his leg in Tuesday night's contest against the San Diego Padres. He supplies a middling BA and power profile, and given the other options to play first in Texas, he was semi-useful in doses. He should be held onto in deep enough leagues.

Michael Young is expected to receive the lion's share of starts at first base in Moreland's absence. Mike Napoli can also play first in the event that Young is used as the DH or to spell Adrian Beltre at third. Brandon Snyder should see more playing time at DH or first base, too.

As a righty bat off Ron Washington's bench, Snyder has a triple slash line of .289/.333/.511 with three homers in 45 at-bats. Six of his eight RBIs came in a 3-for-5, one-homer effort back on May 7. He had plus-power potential at Class AAA with the Baltimore Orioles, but a suspect contact rate makes him a moderate BA aid. Speculate on him for his slight PT boost and occasional pop, but nothing more.

White Sox send Philip Humber to the DL

10-tm mixed Pass
12-tm mixed Pass
15-tm mixed Consider
AL-only Acquire

The ChiSox sent Humber to the infirmary with a right elbow flexor strain. The move is retroactive to June 17. Since throwing his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners April 21, he's gone 4-6 with a 7.47 ERA and a .293 opponent's BA against in 53 innings. On the season, he's sporting a 6.01 ERA with 63 K's and 31 walks in 67 1/3 frames.

His 14.1 HR/FB speaks to his inflated ERA, but he's not helping himself in the command department (4.14 BB/9). An increase in fly-ball allowance means he'll continue to live on the edge. He's droppable in shallow leagues, and upon his return, he's a safer bet playing the matchups.

Dylan Axelrod, 27 in July, will shift to the No. 5 rotation spot, where he made one start against the Detroit Tigers on May 6 (4 1/3 innings, six hits, two earned runs, four K's). He lacks a swing-and-miss arsenal, and pitching to contact is his forte. He's been successful in the minors by exhibiting solid command; he'll need it in the bigs to avoid having his fly-ball tendencies snowball.

Facebook Twitter Google +

About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

Don't miss these great reports....

What do you think? Sound off!

Recent KFFL releases