Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Xander Bogaerts arrives, Travis d'Arnaud takes over, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 19, 2013 @ 11:25:48 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

Boston Red Sox 3B/SS Xander Bogaerts
X-Man: First Class

3B/SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Another of baseball's top prospects is on his way to The Show. Just one problem with the hottest pickup going: The BoSox may use Bogaerts, 20, as a glorified utility player, at least in the short term. Boston has reportedly resorted to this measure to address its post-break performance against southpaws.

Of course, it'd seem like a crime to promote this .297/.388/.477 hitter (combined between Class AA and Class AAA ball) and not play him at least semi-regularly. A few BoSox are banged up, and there are no guarantees that Will Middlebrooks continues to hit well, like he has since his recall. Of course, Middlebrooks deserves free-agent attention, too, in case he does.

SP Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics

Diamond Market urged fantasy owners to pick up this 23-year-old right-hander last week, because his blossoming ability to fan batters and penchant for limiting walks and homers look like a good combo for success. Gray's eight frames of shutout ball against the Houston Astros at the end of last week ratcheted up interest, no doubt.

Gray has been a little "lucky" in the BABIP department, at least compared to his days on the farm. Be wary of possible corrections, but know that the upside is too good to ignore.

2B/3B Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres

Beginning with a pinch-hit appearance he made on Aug. 11, Gyorko has been slugging it for prospective fantasy owners: 11-for-30 with three home runs and four doubles in eight games (seven starts). The rookie's dual eligibility, pedigree and solid debut suggest that more may not be far behind, so fantasy owners are smart to pursue the hot Gyorko.

SP Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres

Why they love him: a 1.32 ERA, with 10 walks and 36 strikeouts, in five straight starts (34 innings) since his recall and insertion into the rotation.

Why it may continue: Petco Park (hey, it may help a little), the Friars' coaching staff, Ross' projected competition the rest of the way. Why it may not: Control has sometimes been a problem, his fastball has often lacked movement, and he doesn't have much of a track record.

Hey, everybody has to start somewhere, right? Few better places to do it than in sunny SD.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

New York Mets C Travis D'Arnaud
The future is now

C Travis d'Arnaud, New York Mets

When John Buck is ready for activation from paternity leave, the Mets plan to keep d'Arnaud on the 25-man roster and play him regularly. Although he missed more than three months of this season because of a fractured metatarsal bone in his left foot, the Mets clearly believe that d'Arnaud doesn't have much to gain by heading back to the farm for a couple of weeks, especially because he's expected to become the starting backstop next year.

The 24-year-old posted a .286/.420/.514 slash line in 131 plate appearances between three levels this season. Yep, d'Arnaud has 20-home run power, and he controls the strike zone as if he were a benevolent dictator.

He should contribute in two-catcher formats immediately, so anyone who's been playing a replacement-level type (or worse, or even better) in those formats should be interested in d'Arnaud. It's conceivable that he'll even convince those in one-catcher leagues, but they probably shouldn't dump their top backstop for him just yet.

2B/3B/OF Emilio Bonifacio, Kansas City Royals

The Royals bought low on the versatile and speedy Bonifacio, who's been filling in at third base often lately because Mike Moustakas (calf strain) is sidelined. Moustakas has returned to action, but he's not 100 percent. KC can't expect Chris Getz to continue to bat .333, like he has this month, either, so there's another spot at which Boni will be in the mix. Heck, Lorenzo Cain's oblique strain may open up time in the outfield, too.

Bonifacio had a miserable run of 4 1/2 months with the Toronto Blue Jays. It's clear that he needed some kind of change of scenery. Since he joined the Royals, he's collected five hits, including three doubles, in 19 at-bats and has stolen four bases in four attempts. The playing time may be Bonifacio's for the taking, his speed is difference-making, his eligibility is a big plus, and Ned Yost should let him run wild. Take a shot.

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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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