Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Marlon Byrd, Justin Smoak, more

by Nicholas Minnix on July 18, 2013 @ 13:59:46 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

OF Marlon Byrd, New York Mets

New York Mets OF Marlon Byrd
Byrd is the word

Understandably, it has taken awhile for folks to buy into Byrd's renaissance. Three months, though? Rare is the skepticism of the general fantasy population so scathing! Really, who else are the Mutts gonna throw out there? Byrd has a .271/.316/.502 slash line in 305 plate appearances. In July, the 35-year-old has batted .322 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

SP Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays

The wonders that a complete-game shutout of the freakin' Houston Astros will do for one's fantasy value, eh? Seriously, though, this was Tampa Bay's next big arm up coming into the season. His last five starts (1.69 ERA, 6.19 K/9 and 1.97 BB/9) demonstrate why.

Tampa Bay has helped Archer hone his command. As long as the Rays keep a spot for him -- no sure thing when Alex Cobb (concussion) returns -- he could be fantasy gold, with improved punch-out potential.

OF Eric Young Jr., New York Mets

Excuse me! Who else are the Mets going to throw out there? How about some guy they claimed off waivers from the Colorado Rockies about a month ago? Huh?

What a virtually risk-free shot for the Mets to take. Since he joined the club, EY Jr. has batted .308 and reached base at a .380 clip in 121 plate appearances. Oh, and he has eight stolen bases in 11 tries. His average will probably decline, but playing time is finally his for the taking.

SP Brad Ziegler, Arizona Diamondbacks

You may have heard: The Snakes don't really trust any of their presumed closer types to do that job -- at least, not on the regular. Kirk Gibson turned to Dirk Ziegler in two of his club's last three save chances. Might it have been all three if the righty hadn't pitched three days in a row to get the first of the pair? An ArizonaSports.com columnist asks, "Why not?"

2B Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox

Some fantasy owners must've recognized the wisdom in Tim's profile of Beckham last week. The formerly heralded prospect may finally have figured it out. "It" involved not trying so hard to figure out, it turns out. And he's become more aggressive at the dish. He's posted a .338/.361/.460 slash line since his June 3 return from the DL and a .396/.392/.583 record this month.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

Seattle Mariners 1B Justin Smoak
(Insert Smoak pun here)

1B Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners

Here ... we go ... again. Seriously, you're tired of giving this dude chances, aren't you? Everyone is. That's why he sits on free-agent lists despite a personal-best .272/.372/.431 slash line. Since Smoak returned from the DL for an oblique injury, in late June, he's been hammering: .333/.416/.603, including five home runs.

Jeff Sullivan, of U.S.S. Mariner on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, explains that Smoak's recent performance is actually just part of a sustained window of results that began with the switch-hitter's makeover in 2012. Compelling case, don't you think? Smoak may not save your season, but he finally appears to be delivering consistent CI value for deep-mixed leaguers.

SP Tyler Chatwood, Colorado Rockies

Diamond Market has to be a little nervous about this one. A Colorado pitcher? Particularly one who had a 4.96 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 46 games (37 starts) before he joined the Rockies? Yes, well, how about one whose ground-ball rate is 56.7 percent and fly-ball rate is 22.8 percent, great for Coors Field conditions? Who's posting a career-best 2.94 BB/9 in order to prevent the extra runs he handed out as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?

The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders wrote a feature on the right-hander earlier this month in which he shared that Chatwood's slider is a remade pitch, a lethal weapon against right-handed batters. He was one of the Halos' top pitching prospects just a couple of years ago. Is it so difficult to believe that he can't post a 2.56 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP? The former mark is due for a little correction, but overall, Chatwood is a much improved hurler.

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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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