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?
Most frequently added in leagues polled
Tony Cingrani, SP, Cincinnati Reds
One of baseball's top pitching prospects is the rumored replacement for Johnny Cueto (strained lat), who's expected to be placed on the disabled list on Monday. Have a look at Cingrani's numbers on Fangraphs, and you'll understand exactly why rotisserie and head-to-head managers everywhere want to pick him up, even though nothing is official.
It's unclear how serious Cueto's injury is. Mike Leake (6.75 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 12 innings thus far) will almost certainly receive more than two starts to prove his mettle. Cingrani may not make more than a couple of appearances -- if Cincy calls upon him at all -- but there's a ton of long-term upside here if he sticks around.
Edward Mujica, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
The outlook for Jason Motte (partial tear of UCL in right elbow) hasn't changed. (It's not good.) Mitchell Boggs' has, however. (It's become worse.) The right-hander blew another save opp on Sunday. It's his second awful appearance in three outings, and his converted save chance on Friday didn't go smoothly.
Mike Matheny has praised Mujica for his recent ... execution on the job. He's getting dudes out. Boggs and, to a lesser extent, fireballing rookie Trevor Rosenthal, have not been so productive. Mujica looks like Matheny's solution at the back end, at least in the short term. He seems unlikely to be a long-term one if Motte is out for the year, but who knows?
Chris Carter, OF, Houston Astros
In 47 at-bats, Carter has batted .277 with four home runs. Those numbers will get fantasy owners to notice you right quick. The 26-year-old has been hitting the ball hard and far, which is nothing new, but the hits are coming a tad more frequently than they did for him with the Oakland Athletics.
As long as Houston continues to give him this kind of PT, Carter should be owned -- even through his inevitable cold spells. Prodigious power is his calling card, and he'll hand it out. Will his contact rate of around 70 percent and a strikeout rate of greater than one-third of his plate appearances affect his performance? Will that or the pending return of Fernando Martinez (strained oblique) affect his playing time? Not if first baseman Brett Wallace (.042 BA in 24 at-bats) continues to struggle.
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Adams amped up
Why would anyone in a mixed league want a player who's accumulated only 19 plate appearances in 2013? Well, he's 11-for-18 with three home runs, for starters. But those results are just some evidence that reports about the 24-year-old are true.
The Cardinal Nation's Brian Walton (also of KFFL partner Mastersball fame) shared this past spring that Adams seemed to have closed a big hole in his swing. Last year, this young slugger was one of the club's top prospects. This year, he earned a spot on the opening day bench and yet was all but forgotten in fantasy circles.
The Cards search for ways to get Adams into the lineup. If Carlos Beltran is injured, the club's immediate solution will almost certainly involve moving Allen Craig to right field and Adams into the everyday lineup. The potential here is immense. For those who can spare the room, however possible, the savings prior to a possible mad rush for Adams could be substantial.
Andrew Bailey, RP, Boston Red Sox
Joel Hanrahan (sore right hamstring) will miss several days, and if his condition doesn't improve much, he may end up on the disabled list. The right-hander hasn't fared too well in his 4 2/3 innings (one blown save opp and six earned runs allowed), either. He and his club's story is that the hammy issue has had a negative effect on his mechanics.
There may be plenty of truth to that tale. Hanrahan has, historically, had his share of problems with free passes and home runs, however. In the long run, he may not be Beantown's answer.
Operating in Hanrahan's stead, Bailey blew his first save chance on Monday. The Tampa Bay Rays' Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist came up with some excellent plate appearances against the reliever. Still, Bailey struck out two of the next three he faced to keep the game tied. The BoSox walked off with a W in the bottom of the ninth. Bailey has exhibited all the skills that made him a superb closer for the Oakland Athletics thus far, too, and he's his club's more reliable pitcher for the role in the long term.
Justin Maxwell, OF, Houston Astros
Two Astros in one report? Something has gone terribly awry.
Maxwell, 29, was the club's opening day center fielder, in case you aren't aware. His .229 BA, with 18 home runs and nine stolen bases, in 352 plate appearances with the club in 2012 helped to earn him the opportunity to do so. His spring results weren't much good, but here we are.
Impressively, Maxwell has fanned in only about one-fifth of his PAs thus far. In his career, he's made contact on about two-thirds of the pitches at which he's swung. In the long run (and probably even in the short term), his batting average figures to tail off from the .292 he's posted in 48 at-bats. Houston is establishing a positive environment, with an emphasis on situational hitting and awareness, for their hacking lineup, however. Say it continues to rub off on Maxwell? The counting stats should show up.
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.