Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jose Cisnero, Ivan Nova, more

by Nicholas Minnix on July 29, 2013 @ 16:05:00 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

RP Jose Cisnero, Houston Astros

This righty has been what most observers have called the Astros' most reliable relief pitcher (3.48 ERA), aside from Jose Veras. Houston dealt Veras to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, instantly making Cisnero the most desirable roto commodity in free-agent pools. He's the odds-on favorite to close now that Veras is gone.

New York Yankees SP Ivan Nova
Owners no go for Nova? Why not?

Cisnero, 24, was a starting pitcher until this season, when he became a bullpen inhabitant who stepped in for the occasional long-relief appearance. His 8.71 K/9 and 35 percent fly-ball rate suggest that he may have the tools to get the job done; his 4.14 BB/9 and other indicators suggest that his results won't improve without more growth.

Cisnero throws fairly hard, coaxes swings and misses and, again, is the pony with the worst payout in this race. Houston may well be tempted to give others, like Joshua Fields, a trial run or two in the ninth, too, however.

SP Scott Kazmir, Cleveland Indians

It doesn't hurt that Kazmir, 29, pitches on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. When the Tribe signed him off the scrapheap this past winter, they weren't expecting much, but lately, the left-hander has been tough to hit, making his 3.96 ERA to date a tidy bonus.

Rotisserie and head-to-head owners may have interest in hanging on to the left-hander for the long haul. In his last seven starts (45 innings), Kazmir is 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA and 35 strikeouts. What if more gravy is in store in Cleveland? Hate to miss out on that, wouldn't ya?

Kazmir has been throwing strikes two-thirds of the time, and his velocity hasn't been this good in more than five years. It might be time to give up on an arm that has disappointed you all year and hitch your cart to someone like this southpaw, before others catch on.

SP Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves

The Bravos have activated this right-hander from the disabled list in time for him to start their Monday tilt against the Colorado Rockies. Beachy, 26, has made his way back from June 2012 Tommy John surgery. He had a mild setback in mid-June of this year, but he resumed his rehab assignment a few weeks later and is reportedly ready to go.

The club needs someone to step up because of the unfortunate injury to Tim Hudson last week, and Beachy has been the most obvious candidate. Questions remain, however, considering how much he struggled with his command and control at Triple-A Gwinnett, at least statistically. There's no question that Beachy would be a help to fantasy teams, though, if he approaches the form that he displayed in the majors prior to surgery (3.07 ERA, 3.07 K/BB).

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

SP Ivan Nova, New York Yankees

Cincinnati Reds C Devin Mesoraco
Mesoraco messing up pitchers lately

Nova is worth repeating in a "Best Available" spotlight when he remains available in roughly three-quarters of the leagues polled. Fantasy owners have apparently had a hard time buying the 3.41 ERA and 9.00 K/9 he's posted in his 66 2013 frames. Well, guess what, folks? Pretty much all peripheral numbers support the performance.

Nova is in the midst of a breakthrough season. Somehow, this member of the Bronx Bombers isn't receiving enough attention for it -- at least not from rotisserie and head-to-head baseball managers.

C Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds

This 25-year-old has spent most of this month receiving the kind of PT that Reds fans (and hopeful fantasy owners) believed he'd prove that he deserves. Mesoraco has batted .317 with a pair of round-trippers, four doubles and nine RBIs in 60 at-bats as a result. He's hit the ball harder in 2013 than he did in his first two seasons with MLB exposure.

Mesoraco's upswing has coincided with Cincy's rising output on offense, so the youngster has laid the groundwork to convince his manager that it's finally time to pass the torch. Dusty Baker hasn't been inclined to play Corky Miller as often as he did Ryan Hanigan (strain in left wrist). Hanigan has struggled through a miserable season at the dish (.193/.293/.276) and is still experiencing pain in his wrist. Statistically, Mesoraco has proven to be Hanigan's equal -- at minimum -- while donning the tools of ignorance.

This could finally be a coming-out party for this high-upside backstop. Mesoraco is all too intriguing in two-catcher mixed leagues, where many options are less than illustrious.

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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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