Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Evan Gattis, Chad Billingsley, more

by Tim Heaney on April 11, 2013 @ 12:30:00 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all'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

Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Chad Billingsley
Billingsley worth an addition

A two-homer, nine-RBI performance over his last two contests, including five Wednesday ribbies, will garner attention. The results were exaggerated (25.9 percent HR/FB), yet the 21 dingers Moss donged in 265 at-bats last year reflected his skills and high fly-ball rate. At least he's still hitting in the middle of a hot lineup. Plus, he squared up southpaws more soundly last year, proving he wasn't overwhelmingly lucky against them.

Unfortunately, despite its improvement last year, his craterous contact frequency and lofty .359 BABIP say last year's .291 clip was a fortune-fueled peak. How confident are you, with his already likely HR deflation, that he'll continue overcoming the, aka death to left-handed thump? Shallow mixers should ride his streak and remain prepared for its fizzling; deep managers will have a (cautious) utility for him as a platoon play when he cools.

Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco Giants

Thanks to his cutter, which allows the soft tosser to work more confidently on the plate, the reinvention continues for the formerly highly criticized, still high-priced lefty, who'll turn 35 in May of this contract year. He's thrown 14 shutout innings over two starts with four walks and eight punchouts, continuing the precision he showed last September and postseason.

He won't K many hitters, but he's forcing duller contact thanks to his diverse, sharper arsenal. Though he's a safer play at AT&T Park, the importance of his matchup and location stands to decrease if he holds this form. He's effective enough to have a spot-start role on most fantasy squads, at minimum.

Evan Gattis, C/OF, Atlanta Braves

Gattis has smashed three homers in 23 at-bats and hit cleanup since Freddie Freeman (oblique) hit the DL. His power was the late bloomer's selling point in making the Bravos' roster, in conjunction with Brian McCann's ongoing recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

Will Gattis or Gerald Laird become expendable once McCann returns? Maybe one of the extra outfielders will get the ax so Gattis can stick around as a backup corner fly-catcher. If Gattis consistently scrapes together two starts per week, that's enough to keep him relevant in two-catcher formats; a skilled part-timer sometimes trumps a mediocre starter.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

It's easy to recommend him; he just tamed the San Diego Padres in his first post-DL outing Wednesday and faces them again next week. However, that's overlooking the 1.76 ERA he's posted over his last eight starts tracing back to last year, when his season was cut short by a partially torn right elbow ligament. Billingsley threw mostly fastballs last night; he's re-establishing his curveball thanks to the preseason contusion on his right index fingernail.

San Diego Padres OF Cameron Maybin
Giving up on Maybin so soon?

Of course, any elbow complication could lead to Tommy John surgery; he often works tediously and gets himself in WHIP trouble; and his rotation spot isn't cemented, thanks to Chris Capuano's presence. With a cheap investment, though, don't ignore his intriguing body of work which holds a smidge of upside; he hasn't fallen short of a 7.28 K/9 in any season in which he's logged at least 147 frames.

Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners

Eric Wedge has yet to trust Guti to suit up every day because of the center fielder's history of health woes; you should follow a similar path. But he's a wizard with the leather at the 8; no one else on the club comes close, so this ease-in period could be a short delay to a promising year.

Gutierrez is just 8-for-31 but has three homers already. Given Safeco Field's RHB-friendly revisions and Guti's pull preference, he may find himself leaving the yard a few more times. With all his gears turning, he could serve as a power-speed buoy at the bottom of a five-outfielder lineup.

Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego Padres

A wave of drops has followed Maybin's 2-for-24 start, which has included just one RBI and is devoid of swipes, the sole reason people drafted him. Sure, his place near the bottom of the lineup can hurt his theft opportunities, and the most promising smidge of plate growth he's shown in the last few years was his .283 post-break BA last season.

Regardless, surrendering his rights in a deep league - especially those that require five outfield starters - is rash. There's still an offensive uptick hidden in his 27-year-old frame, and deep-league owners should at least bench or stash someone who stole 66 bags over his last two campaigns, right?

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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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