Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Bud Norris, Danny Salazar, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 8, 2013 @ 15:52:18 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all'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

SP Bud Norris, Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles SP Bud Norris
B-more bought a Bud

In two starts with his new club, Norris has gone 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 13 K's in 12 innings. Encouraging is that one of those starts came on the road (even if it was at the San Diego Padres), where the right-hander has been ineffective for nearly two years.

The quantity of punch-outs is more encouraging. Norris registered a 6.43 K/9 in his 126 frames with the Houston Astros this season. The righty's swing-and-miss rate hasn't dipped quite like his K/9 has, it's worth noting. Perhaps his first two opponents aided his K total. Perhaps his K/9 is beginning to regress to his mean rate, something north of 8.00.

OF Cody Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks

This veteran outfielder is healthy, and this veteran outfielder is swinging it well. Get on board while you can, because Ross has been known to ride a killer wave for a month or more. He's hit .412 with three home runs in his last 34 at-bats.

OF Robbie Grossman, Houston Astros

Houston has gone total youth movement these days. (Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, it was only something like 92.4 percent youth movement.) Grossman, a switch-hitter, returned to a .198/.310/243 slash line from his first month-plus in the majors, most of it in May.

Since his recall: .472/.525/.806, with four home runs and three stolen bases. Grossman, 23, may fan more than a fifth of the time, but he takes plenty of pitches, too, and has a little pop as well as speed, if you couldn't tell. Just a guess: He'll play a lot and continue to lead off.

2B/SS Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins

Fantasy owners couldn't be sure of whether to trust this middle infielder who went on a hot streak for a few weeks prior to the All-Star break. Thanks to another warm spell, they may be getting their answer. Dozier has posted a .302/.338/.571 slash line in his last 14 games. He's made considerable progress this season, as a blogger from the Star Tribune observed.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

SP Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians SP Danny Salazar
How bizaare, Salazar being available

Now that the Tribe knows Corey Kluber (sprained middle finger on right hand) is out for at least a month, they can pencil in Salazar every fifth day in the short term. The righty has earned his opportunity. He had Tommy John surgery in 2010, and it was a tough road back. Make sure you read Paul Hoynes' piece on him (and note the radar-gun readings cited).

Salazar has recorded a 2.71 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a 12.48 K/9 in his 21 games (20 starts) in the minors this season, approximately two-thirds of them spent with Triple-A Columbus. He's walked a measly 24 batters in his 93 total innings on the farm. He's yielded five runs, on nine hits (two homers) and two walks), with 17 strikeouts, in two big-league starts (13 2/3 stanzas).

Salazar, 23, may have a rough start or three before 2013 is in the books. Roto and head-to-head managers can't ask for prettier peripherals and more strikeout upside than this for their title runs, though.

1B/OF Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies

Players with first-base eligibility that doesn't do fantasy owners any good are a dime a dozen. Ruf, 27, is probably not one of those types, but just in case he doesn't excite you, he has outfield eligibility as well. You can almost always find room for a player like him there. Tim urged you to pick him up about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He picked a good one. What's the holdup?

Ruf replaced Ryan Howard (knee surgery) about a month ago and hasn't looked back. To keep his bat in the lineup, the Phils are willing to play him in either corner outfield spot, boding well for his PT chances if Howard does return. Charlie Manuel can't find an excuse to sit him, regardless, right now. Ruf was batting .294 with a .400 OBP and four home runs before he went 2-for-5 with another ding dong on Thursday.

This is the same character who in Double-A ball last year belted 38 long balls, 20 of them in August. He has some pop, and the yard in the City of Brotherly Love has been known to accommodate, on occasion. Manuel has inched Ruf up the order, too. This dude is long gone in OBP leagues (or he should be), but those in other formats still have time to catch on.

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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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