Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Will Venable on fire, Martin Perez maturing, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 15, 2013 @ 12:35:00 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

OF Will Venable, San Diego Padres

This 30-year-old left-handed batter hit a low point just before the All-Star break, when his average bottomed out at .219, alongside a .265 OBP and .423 slugging percentage. Since then, in the span of 24 games (21 starts), Venable has batted .365 with five home runs, nine RBIs, 13 runs and four stolen bases in 91 plate appearances.

Venable seems to have become more aggressive, and that approach has paid off in the power categories. It may also be having a negative effect on his stolen-base output, and he sits a couple of days a week because he's in a platoon. Still, Venable provides solid depth in deep leagues and fills a box score when he's hot, so ride this for as long as possible.

SP Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves

Texas Rangers SP Martin Perez
Perez establishing MLB cred

This right-hander's return from Tommy John surgery didn't go as smoothly as hoped. Beachy's command and control eluded him at times during his rehab assignment, and that bled into his return to the majors. In his last two starts (14 stanzas), though, he's been vintage: nine hits, two runs, one walk and 10 strikeouts. Considering his upside if he keeps it up, he's a good get.

1B Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

In August, Belt has batted .415 with four home runs, nine RBIs and 12 runs. Eight of his 17 hits this month have gone for extra bases. Bruce Bochy plans to play Buster Posey at first base less often because of Belt's recent performance. Things are looking up.

You've already seen this kind of surge from Belt, you say, and you don't think it will stick? You may be right. But the third-year major leaguer picked up some tips from the Philadelphia Phillies' breakout star, Domonic Brown, who's similar physically. It's worth taking one more shot on Belt, just to see if he's ready to follow a similar arc.

1B/OF Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies

Since the Phils called him up, on July 6, Ruf has launched seven bombs, five of them coming this month. His average has leveled out as the power has revealed itself, which is to be expected. But the good news is that fantasy owners are really warming to this strong 27-year-old in mixed leagues. He's disciplined enough to produce steadily for the rest of the season.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

SP Martin Perez, Texas Rangers

Arizona Diamondbacks OF Gerardo Parra
Parra warrants ovation again

Perez throws hard (average fastball velocity: 93 mph), but in the upper levels of baseball, that ability hasn't translated into a big rate of K's. His stuff is heavier than it is swing-and-miss material, but he has demonstrated the ability to miss bats.

The once vaunted southpaw pitched well once Texas called him up, until he hit a rough stretch of three starts. In his last three (the last of which resulted in his first career complete game), Perez has renewed his focus. He's allowed only 12 hits, four runs and eight walks, with 19 K's, in his last 22 2/3 innings. Perez appears to be on his way to a breakout.

OF Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks

Cody Ross (hip surgery) will miss the rest of the season. It's an unfortunate development for the Snakes and Ross owners, but not for Parra, who had just begun to pick it up when Ross' injury occurred. The left-handed-hitting outfielder is 8-for-22 with a dinger and two stolen bases in his last five games.

The D'backs called up their top power-hitting prospect, third baseman Matt Davidson, on Sunday to replace Ross on the roster. Kirk Gibson said that Davidson will be a reserve more often than not as long as his club is in contention, however, meaning that Martin Prado won't play in left field too often. Parra, with a touch of pop and speed, is relevant again.

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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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