Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jaime Garcia, Mark Reynolds, Lucas Harrell, more

by Tim Heaney on August 16, 2012 @ 13:35:08 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?

Jaime Garcia, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Baltimore Orioles 1B Mark Reynolds
Reynolds wrapping up his slump?

Having last pitched June 5, Garcia (strained left shoulder) is slated to return Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Probably not a good idea to try him then, but he's probably still available in many leagues and shouldn't be sitting out there in deep formats.

Before being sidelined, the southpaw had an up-an-down year, but his peripherals reveal he probably shouldn't be carrying a 4.48 ERA (2.81 FIP, 3.71 xFIP). His 66.9 left-on-base percentage, unfortunately, reflects his main weakness and won't reach 2010 (75.0 percent), but given the fact he was pitching through the injury in his last action (and maybe some time before that), there's upside considering his recovery.

Though he had a rough go at Double-A Springfield, he fanned 20 and walked only three in 17 2/3 total rehab innings. Sure, he gave up 16 hits, but his aversion to free passes was a good sign he's nearing his normal skills. Though it might take him a few outings to streamline his stuff, those who crave helpful innings over the next six weeks can't pass him up.

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

Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles

Wilson Betemit is day-to-day with a sore wrist and is scheduled for an MRI soon. The arrival of Manny Machado, who's manning the hot corner, has sliced his playing time already to the heavy side of a first base platoon.

It's good timing, then, that Reynolds has started to sizzle in his last seven contests (9-for-25, six runs, three homers, nine ribbies), including a two-tater Tuesday. An oblique injury shortened his year, but when healthy he's shown his hacker ways as usual. Baltimore might have to throw him into the fire more often.

He showed a spark in June, and this could lead to another boost. Though his skill set could sink fantasy teams that become over-reliant on him, his hot streaks could carry those who merely employ him during them. Power potential of his magnitude shouldn't be as widely available now that he's showing signs of getting it back, and those with space should snatch him before a rush starts.

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

Lucas Harrell, SP, Houston Astros

The 27-year-old showed flashes of utility over his minor league career but has blossomed for the rebuilding Astros in his second MLB taste. Since his 3.63 ERA in 34 2/3 June frames, he's only improved: 3.03 in July and 2.37 in 19 August stanzas so far. He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of his last 10 starts, including his last seven, over which he carries a 2.06 ERA.

He's not a K artist, but the ground-ball specialist now emphasizes his sinker (Brooks Baseball)/two-seamer (Fangraphs PITCHf/x), depending on the source of pitch statistics. Either way, it has revolutionized his game, which can now fit the mold better for surviving with Minute Maid Park as his home, where he's been surprisingly better in 2012 (2.14 ERA there compared to 5.08 elsewhere). Harrell walks a tad too many (3.38 per nine) for his profile, but his .286 BABIP isn't supremely lucky for someone who focuses on forcing bouncers.

Houston said a few weeks ago that they might start monitoring Harrell's workload and go with a six-man rotation in September, so he can last the entire season in the rotation. This tempers enthusiasm slightly but won't curtail the deep-mixed momentum he's gained as a useful strike-zone commander who's coming of age. His indicators say he's performing near his expected levels, so there shouldn't be much of a downside looming.

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

Justin Germano, SP, Chicago Cubs

Since being acquired from the Boston Red Sox, Germano has been effective, allowing only two earned runs in three of his four starts while walking just five in 22 1/3 innings as a rotation member. His opponents included the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 30-year-old sinkerballer has ditched his four-seam fastball, per Fangraphs, but is a soft-tossing Harrell that isn't as effective in making the most of his contact-based approach. Maybe he'll do well in certain matchups (including his next one against Milwaukee), but tread carefully.

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

Will Smith, SP, Kansas City Royals

The second straight Diamond Market with a surging KC hurler? Why not? The 23-year-old southpaw has allowed three earned tallies or fewer in four of his five starts since joining the rotation in mid-July. He has struck out 25 and walked 13 in those 39 frames, over which he carries a 3.69 ERA.

He's getting some on-the-job training, including falling short but not getting crushed against the Texas Rangers earlier this month. Owner of a two-seamer, slider, curveball and changeup to go with his four-seam heat that tops in the low 90s, he'll need to stay crafty in order to earn relevance.

He's not an overpowering arm and still needs to round out his game, and the Monarchs might call on a youngster (Jake Odorizzi likelier than Mike Montgomery) for a September rotation try-out, which means Smith might be expendable.

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

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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