Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Kelvin Herrera, Jim Henderson, more

by Tim Heaney on April 8, 2013 @ 14:40:00 PDT

 

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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? Are they worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Hottest Pickups
Most frequently added in leagues polled

Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals

Greg Holland's rough weekend encompassed a BS-L combo Saturday and Sunday's save-chance-turned-ugly-hold that consisted of four ER on three walks and three hits. Despite allowing a run (charged to Holland), at least Herrera stopped "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and netted a closure.

Milwaukee Brewers OF Jim Henderson
Henderson may be CL soon

With "Pride (In the Name of Love)," Ned Yost defends his closer because his velocity's "Unforgettable Fire" has returned after a down spring. But Yost may tell him, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," because Holland's location makes it look like he's "Staring at the Sun."

It'll probably take more than "One" more gaffe from Holland "Until the End of the World" for his owners, yet his history of telling too many opponents to "Walk On" doesn't help. The "Sweetest Thing" for those who stash Herrera is that a "Beautiful Day" would come with the "Elevation" of the skills-laden former starter.

Justin Masterson, SP, Cleveland Indians

Some probably recruited him to stream on Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Rays, but the number of owners keeping him will probably swell after his second straight promising game, the first a caging of the Toronto Blue Jays. He's fanned one batter for each of his 13 innings, in which he's allowed just one plate crossing.

He's teased us before with his K-grounder pair, while his problems with walks and versus left-handed sticks remind us of his erratic ways; statistical fortune propped up his deceptively sparkling performance two seasons ago. But being a year-plus removed from shoulder surgery may allow him to regain some punch on his stuff, which excels when consistently low in the zone.

Don't bank on a repeat of 2011, but recognize that he has a decent chance of revisiting it, as long as LHBs don't leave him SOL.

John Buck, C, New York Mets

An early-season hot streak has lifted this typical fantasy afterthought. He's hitting the ball hard, so sustaining that will push him closer to the .281 BA in 2012 (hardly that high, though) than the .192 he posted last year. He takes walks often, so OBP leaguers probably will get a longer window of utility from him.

Of course, this is a sample-size alert. Buck's power is why you speculate, and you ride out these stretches in mixed leagues until they're used up and he reverts back to his K-heavy ways. Travis d'Arnaud probably won't arrive until sometime this summer, so Buck could continue dominating backstop AB until then. Two-catcher owners have little to lose in cautiously seeing where this goes.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

Jim Henderson, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Tommy Hanson
Hanson's career isn't over

Looks like Ron Roenicke is on the brink of ousting John Axford from the closer role. Grab Henderson immediately; he has his own flaws with control but hasn't had to fight Axford's demons with velocity and location.

Axford probably has a legit shot to get the job back, like he did last year, but if his problems run deeper this time, Henderson has the best makeup of any on-roster alternative to carry the flag permanently.

Denard Span, OF, Washington Nationals

The Nationals' leadoff man shouldn't be sparsely claimed, even with his utter lack of power and sputtering statistical start. Many might be put off by his 17 swipes last year in 568 plate appearances, but his early-career numbers say there's more in store, especially now that he's healthy, something he hasn't been during a full campaign since 2010.

He's working on his theft instincts and has already walked seven times in 27 PAs. Sustaining that pace would jack up his opps to commit larceny. There isn't much difference between Span, who's setting the table for Bryce Harper and a thump-packed Nats lineup, and Juan Pierre, who has Giancarlo Stanton and ... exactly.

Vernon Wells, OF, New York Yankees

Stop laughing and read. Maybe Kevin Long can work out another miracle. The Yanks' hitting coach, along with Wells, noticed that the new Bomber was getting out in front of too many pitches last year. A shorter approach to the zone may deliver sounder connections even beyond the two homers he clubbed in the opening week.

Anyone receiving at-bats in the Bronx confines has at least short-term utility, and Wells should extract another 20-homer season from his aging but hardly dead bat. He's a lineup fixture until Curtis Granderson (forearm) returns (probably next month), but if Wells catches fire, he should stay on the card when summer comes. A new scenery and swing may breathe some life into this expensive former carcass.

Tommy Hanson, SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

His first scheduled 2013 start (Texas Rangers at Arlington) was scary, but he acquitted himself well with a textbook-defined quality effort, complete with four K's in six frames; a spring triceps injury didn't seem to bother him, either. Constant tweaks to his delivery, along with his back and shoulder, have marred his stock in recent seasons, but pitching home games in one of the best pitching environments in the AL mitigates the typical league-oriented concerns.

He gets a cushy matchup with the Houston Astros in SoCal this week, and while a good effort there may inflate his worth, any good signs that are carried over may produce a waiver wire rush for the formerly hyped righty, as they have for Masterson. It may just take a few adjustments to keep Hanson off the DL and rediscover his lofty ceiling.

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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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