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.
About Nicholas Minnix
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.
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