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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Everybody wants Taijuan Walker, Matt Dominguez taking trots, 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

SP Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners

Walker will debut for the M's on Friday versus the Houston Astros. (Tasty.) Expect Seattle to limit his starts and, potentially, his innings/pitch count in each effort, which may cap his potential for multiple wins. (As if they don't handcuff him there already.)

Of course, even at this point, chasing wins can be disastrous, and he's worth owning for his potential alone. Control may plague him initially because he has stumbled a bit at Triple-A Tacoma, but he's worth a rational mixed bid (sorry, AL-only dancers will have to pay heavily) for his pedigree alone.

SP Ricky Nolasco, Los Angeles Dodgers

Houston Astros 3B Matt Dominguez
Dominguez powering through

In the parlance of Amy Poehler, Seth Myers and "The Miz": Really? You're all just catching on now? Someone who had three monthly FIPs of 3.72 or lower -- before LA nabbed him in July -- wouldn't improve by going to a slightly less emphatic pitcher haven and gaining legit offensive support?

Dude has jacked up his strikeout rate from 5.89 to 7.31, along with a corresponding uptick in opponents' swinging-strike frequency from 8.5 percent to 10.5. His slide piece and two-seamer look much better. It makes him less of a crapshoot than his former more contact-based self.

Nolasco's peripherals don't predict a downturn, and he's in an optimal place to combat his lingering homer allowance. Enjoy.

1B/OF Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics

Moss, who turns 30 next month, has brief sprouting periods in the ownership column when he goes on homer binges, including the trio he hit over Tuesday and Wednesday. He smacked one during Thursday action, too, to make it eight in August at the time of publication. His 25 taters have already topped his 21 from his breakthrough 2012, but, more rationally, his clip hasn't lived up to the lofty .291 precedent.

A normalization in his production versus southpaws constitutes the drop-off. This is the Moss you should expect the rest of the way: an outstanding play versus the majority handedness whose value is still driven by thump.

2B/OF Emilio Bonifacio, Kansas City Royals

This dice roll seems to have paid off, at least in the short term. He's hitting .306 and is 8-for-8 in swipe attempts since joining the Royals. The clip is probably a tad above his 5-foot-11 stature, but in the second half, he's putting out a ton of ropes -- 30.0 percent of his contact, to be exact, along with his typical grounder inundation of 50.0 percent.

Boni should continue attempting larceny, which remains Reason 1 to own him.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

3B Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros

Arizona Diamondbacks OF Adam Eaton
Eaton picking up pace

The lumber is catching up to his long-lauded leather: He's hit five homers in August while hitting .270 and gradually working his way up the order. He sat in the cleanup spot on Wednesday, his 24th birthday. Feels like he's older, but the haters (raises hand, guilty) surrounding his offense in recent years forgot he was in early stages of plate development.

Dominguez doesn't take enough walks to promise much more than that as a BA ceiling, and he's likelier, given all the pop-ups he's been prone to hitting, to hover closer to, say, .240. But he's showing more lift as he enters his formative skill years, and while he isn't approaching the widely celebrated benchmark of 1,500 plate appearances, he's compiled enough reps that he finally may be feeling more comfortable at the dish. He hits in a favorable park, too, especially for righty rocketeers.

If you expect a handful of fence-clearing shots at minimum the rest of the way while expecting tepid success elsewhere, you won't be disappointed. That'll do for many deep mixers.

OF Adam Eaton, Arizona Diamondbacks

If you missed out on Bonifacio, this two-hole batter offers some of the statistical elements you desire. See Eaton's .306 clip in August, along with 17 plate crossings. Plus, after the D-backs designated Jason Kubel for assignment and with Cody Ross (leg) dunzo, Eaton's everyday role looks secure.

He boasts the wheels to steal 25 bags consistently over a full season, so despite his slow output (he stole his first two bags of the year with one each on Sunday and Monday), his potential energy could soon turn kinetic. Eaton makes use of his talents by frequently putting the ball on the dirt or turf, as well.


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