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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jedd Gyorko, Jarrod Parker, more

By Tim Heaney
Edited by Nicholas Minnix

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

2B/3B Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres

After the top prospect endured a homerless April, the preseason hype has come back around with a .333-5-8 May. His quick trigger and quiet swing have adjusted to everyday play, it seems. The 24-year-old's stocky, Dan Uggla-esque frame hides the fact that he's displayed solid contact skills throughout his professional career, so it's not just a scorching stretch.

Oakland Athletics SP Jarrod Parker
Parker: abandoned too quickly

PETCO Park already was slightly more favorable to right-handed power even before Gyorko arrived. The fact that San Diego's stadium ranks in the middle of the league for homers cements the fact you can't blindly point to it in attempts to discredit the youngster.

Strikeouts will rein in his batting average as the summer wears along, but it won't collapse, and a second baseman on a 20-homer pace, regardless of other numbers, deserves your confidence.

OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

Since he ended April 19 action with a season-low .240 cumulative clip, Brantley has posted a .339-2-22 line in 115 at-bats. Fantasy owners' interest is finally piquing. His consistently elite connection rates have made batting average his soundest asset, given the middling speed-to-steals and the absence of difference-making power.

Anyone whose dollar returns rely heavily on the team influence of runs and RBIs shouldn't earn blind faith. Brantley's on-base skills and plate discipline, however, improve the odds that he'll remain useful in five-outfielder lineups of deep mixed leagues for much, if not all, of the summer. He turned 26 last week and recently topped the textbook figure of 1,500 career at-bats that often produces a breakout campaign.

3B Eric Chavez, Arizona Diamondbacks

On the heels of a .440 May batting average, the Chavy Chase (Field?) community is growing. Chavez's power came back while playing home games in the Bronx last season, and Phoenix's lair has treated him kindly.

On the whole, he's making contact at a career-best rate (a whopping 87.7 percent so far) while also jumping on pitches in the zone. His batted-ball distribution (including 47.1 percent grounders, or nanananananas) doesn't play well for the plodding 35-year-old keeping a .366 in-play batting average. Finishing with something around 2011 (.263) or 2012 (.281), however, is possible.

Unfortunately, despite his slowing timetable for a return, Aaron Hill (hand) should be back sometime this year. This'll hinder, or eliminate, Chavez's avenue for productive mixed-league at-bats without another piece dropping from the lineup.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

SP Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics

Kansas City Royals 3B Mike Moustakas
Moustakas not a lost cause

Hopefully, you didn't give up too soon. A strained neck contributed to his early-season woes, as the twinge probably threw off his delivery. While the long ball continues to plague him (four allowed on May 6, when he started openly complaining about his neck), he's cut his walk rate and raised his punchout frequency significantly in May. He's notching the first-pitch strike more often, too.

Parker, at least in the immediate future, won't return to being the K-laden arm he was in the minors, pre-Tommy John surgery, but the total package, including an above-average swinging-strike percentage, remains an alluring piece to own. Not to mention he plays home games in Oaktown.

3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

It's a trust thing, considering his .176 average and doggish struggles, but this is the point of year when many get impatient, and stashes to wait out volatile commodities can pay off.

ESPN's Keith Law pointed to Moose, who's once again popping up a ton of pitches, exhibiting a longer swing stride and a more dragging path through the zone. (Insider subscription required.) Moustakas has cut down on analyzing his swing, at least via technology and micromanagement; he's continuing to work with hitting coach Jack Maloof via a tangible method inside the cages.

Maybe comfort is all the Greek needs. The 20 taters he clouted last year remain in play with the potential of an "A-ha!" moment. The desperate can't afford to pass up a chance at an overwhelmingly positive regression for a shaky position.


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