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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Ike Davis, Adam Eaton, more

By Nicholas Minnix
Edited by Tim Heaney

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

1B Ike Davis, New York Mets

New York Mets 1B Ike Davis
OK to (sort of) like Ike again

Speculation has carried on for at least a week, and it appears that the Mets have finally relented. Davis is on his way to Milwaukee to join the parent club following a 21-game stint with the Las Vegas Stars, New York's Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

Vegas' extremely hitter-friendly environment, not to mention the malaise of pitching in the PCL in general, makes it difficult to evaluate the 26-year-old's output since his demotion. Is it all that impressive that Davis batted .293 with seven home runs and seven doubles in 75 at-bats in that stretch? That he walked 17 times and struck out only 18?

No, sir or madam, this is an investment of faith. The organization asked Stars manager Wally Backman and hitting coach George Greer to work with Davis on the task of eliminating excess movement in the slugger's swing mechanics. According to the New York Daily News, appropriate parties report success in that venture.

Davis warrants ownership in most mixed leagues, no question. Patience may be thin for his prospective owners this time, but his .242/.327/.511 slash line from May 9 on (it includes 29 home runs) last season is evidence of the kind of return waiting for his new or patient owners should he demonstrate that he's rediscovered his stroke. Check him out.

C Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals

The Nats' co-chair at catcher missed nearly two months because of a strained right hamstring thanks to a setback midway through his recovery. It's the second time he's been to the disabled list this season, his first since having his knee reconstructed, because of an injury of that nature. One would expect that Washington has been pretty cautious this time around.

Ramos, 25, announced his return by collecting three hits, including one that dialed long distance, and five RBIs in four at-bats on Wednesday. Kurt Suzuki (.224/.281/.324) better get his stuff together if he wants to hang on to some PT in the nation's capital. Ramos clearly has more upside, and as the summer wears on, if he remains healthy, he should continue to receive more ABs. The Nationals remain starved for offense and would welcome the help.

2B Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles

It's a slow week in rotisserie and head-to-head leagues. Think Independence Day has something to do with that? Raul Ibanez remains one of the hottest pickups in the fantasy universe. Folks have also been jumping on Jacob Turner, Diamond Market's top rec from the beginning of the week, too -- perhaps not coincidentally because of his start on Friday ... versus the intimidating St. Louis Cardinals.

Roberts was a highlight of Monday's DM as well. Since his activation from the disabled list, he's collected only two hits, one of them a round-tripper, in 11 at-bats. He's perhaps the most popular new face among hot additions of the past week or so who aren't streamed starting pitchers. Astute fantasy owners have recognized that Roberts still brings something to the table, as long as it's not the trainer's.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

OF Adam Eaton, Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks OF Adam Eaton
Start Eaton him up

The Snakes' No. 1 center fielder before a sprained elbow ligament sidelined him in spring training, following some time spent in sim games, resumed his rehab assignment more than a week ago and is slated to play in the outfield for the first time this weekend. Assuming that he avoids additional setbacks, it's conceivable that the prolific thief will be activated before the All-Star break.

Kirk Gibson has the depth, and thus the luxury, of easing Eaton back into the outfield rotation. Not long after the Midsummer Classic, however, the left-handed hitter could approach preparedness for everyday duty.

The skills that made him a consensus top sleeper this past winter should still be present when he's in full swing -- say, for the season's final two months. Eaton's on-base ability (founded on his propensity to draw walks in more than a 10th of his plate appearances) will provide him with opportunities to contribute in a couple of categories, at least, even if he takes awhile to get his timing back.

Eaton, 24, stoked his roto hype by raking in spring training. He may not hit the batter's box running, but he'll stroll to first base often enough that 10 to 15 thefts in August and September are possible. He may pad a fantasy owner's run total if he gets back into the leadoff spot quickly.



 


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