Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Carlos Villanueva, Matt Harvey, more

by Keith Hernandez on July 16, 2012 @ 14:22:20 PDT

 


KFFL.com'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?

Carlos Villanueva, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

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Snyder packs a punch

Villanueva has stepped up in a big way for the Jays' rotation following serious injuries to Brandon Morrow (left oblique strain) and Kyle Drabek (Tommy John surgery). Villanueva has successfully converted from a reliever to a starter this year and is sporting a 2.68 ERA and 10.19 K/9 in 25 games (three starts).

Since his first start back on June 29, Villanueva has allowed just three earned runs in 17 innings, and he's fanned 21 and walked six. He struck out a career-high eight batters in his latest outing against the Cleveland Indians Sunday.

The Dominican righty showed a glimpse of his potential through 13 starts last year before a forearm strain sidelined him and led to his return to the pen. Villanueva has posted a higher K/9 as a reliever, which isn't surprising, but his 10.19 K/9 this year is well above his 7.82 career mark in that category.

He doesn't have an overpowering fastball or sharp-biting off-speed offerings, but Villanueva has been able to mix and match his repertoire enough to keep hitters off-balance. He can be wild at times, as evidenced by his 4.83 BB/9, but he can continue to provide roto value, even in shallow leagues. Plan for some regression, though; his ERA has been helped by a fortunate 85.5 percent strand rate.

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

Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets

The Mets have yet to announce a candidate to enter the rotation now that Dillon Gee (surgery to repair artery in right shoulder) is on the disabled list and will likely miss the rest of the year.

Miguel Batista may very well be the safe choice, but the Metropolitans last week were considering Harvey for a call-up. Harvey, the team's top pitching prospect, is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 98 1/3 frames with Triple-A Buffalo.

Harvey has plenty to work on, though, and the Mets may prefer to have him hone his off-speed arsenal consisting of a changeup and curveball with more starts for the Bisons. If New York opts for Harvey, you'll have to live with high walk totals and inconsistent results, but the K upside could be worth it in the right situation.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Watch
15-tm mixed:
Consider
NL-only:
Acquire

Chris Snyder, C, Houston Astros

The Astros placed Jason Castro (right knee effusion) on the DL over the weekend, which moves Snyder into the starting backstop duties. Castro's DL stint will be backdated to July 8, though, meaning he can return to the team in short order.

Snyder's disappointing power outage in 2011 can be largely attributed to a herniated disc in his back that eventually led to season-ending surgery; he played in only 34 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 31-year-old already has more dingers (four) this year in 130 at-bats than he did all of last season, and with more consistent at-bats, he can provide notable power in the short term. He's fanning at a career high rate of 27.6 percent, though, which doesn't bode well for much, if any, BA recovery. He's purely a short-term power asset, mainly in two-catcher formats.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Watch
15-tm mixed:
Consider
NL-only:
Acquire

Marwin Gonzalez, SS, Houston Astros

The weak-hitting 'Stros found themselves without one of their best offensive weapons Sunday when they placed Jed Lowrie on the DL with a sprained right ankle and nerve damage. Lowrie is a notoriously slow healer, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him out for an extended amount of time. Gonzalez was recalled to replace Lowrie on the roster.

While it's not entirely known if Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick, will see the majority of starts at the 6, he should at least see enough PT to warrant consideration in single universe leagues. He started and went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored Sunday. The other options: Brian Bixler, Angel Sanchez or Jonathan Villar. ... Yuck.

Gonzalez's decent first few months should convince skipper Bradley Mills to stick with him over career utility and bench man Bixler. However, his stick isn't formidable; he didn't show any pop in the minors despite hitting .333 for Class AAA this year. Only the truly desperate should dabble with this boring situation.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Acquire

Paul Janish, SS, Atlanta Braves

Jack Wilson was slated to take over the starting duties at short when Andrelton Simmons (fractured hand) went on the DL, but Wilson headed to the infirmary over the weekend with a dislocated right pinkie finger. That prompted the Bravos to trade for Janish.

It appears that Atlanta isn't ready to give starting duties back to Tyler Pastornicky, and Janish was the best middle infield option on the market. The Braves are clearly looking for Janish to provide sufficient D; anything that comes at the plate will be a plus.

Janish hit only .237 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 194 plate appearances with the Cincinnati Reds' top farm stop this year, and he owns a career BA of .221. He's merely a younger version of Wilson, so act accordingly if you have MI concerns.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Acquire

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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.

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