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
1B/OF Kyle Blanks, San Diego Padres
No longer firing Blanks
Blanks' avenue for more playing time opened up when the Friars realized Yonder Alonso had a fractured bone in his right hand two Fridays ago. At the time, it was believed Alonso could miss four-plus weeks, although he was hoping to return in a month. There is no timetable for his return, and now Cameron Maybin (knee) is back on the DL, meaning Blanks will be playing every day.
He's earned it, too, hitting .294 with four dingers and 10 RBIs in 34 at-bats since Alonso landed on the DL. He's shown better plate discipline in his fifth MLB season, and his power stroke remains (eight home runs this year in 135 at-bats).
The additional outfield eligibility makes him that much more attractive in deep mixed leagues. The Padres can't sit him now, and with a DL stint for Carlos Quentin (shoulder) possible, Blanks could continue to see regular at-bats when Alonso returns.
SP Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto is back from his shoulder injury, but Leake is in no danger of being shipped to the bullpen. That'll fall upon Tony Cingrani, if he's not sent back to the minors. Leake has the best ERA of the team's starters (2.76) not named Cueto.
After a rough first month, Leake has been exceptional since mid-May, going 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA and 31 K's in 40 innings (six starts). He's allowed three runs or less in each start since May 8.
Dusty Baker had confidence that Leake could hold down the back of the rotation early this season, and that patience has paid off. The key for Leake has been consistency; he's inducing over 50 percent grounders with excellent control, which is important while pitching at Great American Ball Park. As long as his command remains sharp, Leake will be good, but not elite.
2B/SS Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies
Shocker: Troy Tulowitzki (fractured rib) is back on the DL. Rutledge was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs and immediately delivered with a home run Friday night. He started at shortstop both Saturday and Sunday after playing the keystone Friday.
DJ LeMahieu and Jonathan Herrera can be mixed and matched in the middle infield alongside Rutledge with Tulo on the shelf, but Rutledge provides you with a better mixed league option that is eligible at both short and second.
More plate patience will help out his BA, but Rutledge has pop that can be dangerous with enough PT, as his six homers in 171 at-bats attest. He can also run a little, stealing seven bags in 73 games last season. Rutledge will be at least middle infield depth in deep mixed universes with Tulowitzki out, and he has the potential to be more.
Who are pickers ignoring?
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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