Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

by Nicholas Minnix on August 2, 2010 @ 13:00:00 PDT

 


Fantasy baseball waivers and the acquisition of fantasy baseball free agents can make or break your season. Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets won't help you after spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, you will have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league.

Do you need to replace your fantasy baseball busts? Which fantasy baseball players can you ignore? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you fantasy baseball tips and insight to sort through the masses quickly.

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Watch Track player, add if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

 

Corner infielders

Lance Berkman, 1B, New York Yankees

The Yanks added the final piece to a pretty devastating lineup. Berkman will DH most of the time and is basically a rich man's Nick Johnson (wrist), especially if he keeps hitting in the two-hole.

New York Yankees 1B/OF Lance Berkman
Fat Elvis now wears Pinstripes

Berkman's stats have room to improve, and this move should help his chances to do so. Serious decline in Berkman's peripherals cautions AL bidders in terms of priority, though. The third-base eligibility of Texas Rangers' Jorge Cantu may be enough to make you pause and consider need, although his upside isn't nearly as great.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Kila Ka'aihue, 1B, Kansas City Royals

The Royals finally called up Ka'aihue with the intention of finding some at-bats for him occasionally. He's an OBP machine with serious power (.463, 24 homers this year at Triple-A Omaha), and has improved his average at the minors' highest level.

Unfortunately (this might sound familiar), KC has never given him much of a chance to prove it in the bigs, despite a little success in his extremely limited time. There are potential red flags regarding his average and thus ability to gain more PT, but he may be waiting to burst and worth a shot.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

Middle infielders

Cristian Guzman, 2B/SS, Texas Rangers

The Rangers acquired a short-term replacement for Ian Kinsler (leg) after all. Guzman offers little besides playing time and a chance to up your run total in the short term. Because it wouldn't be a stretch to see an injury or three down the road, too, Guzman can be OK depth. He has outfield eligibility in some setups.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Ryan Kalish, OF, Boston Red Sox

This past weekend, the Sox called up Kalish, invariably their top hitting prospect this year. At two levels, he has hit .294 with 13 homers and 25 steals this year. He may not be up for long, though; Boston will want him to play every day, wherever he is.

Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs) is due back soon, but Kalish is in the same position that other BoSox reserves have been in: Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew remain PT risks, so at-bats aren't far away. The organization loves Kalish, and they probably wouldn't hesitate to go to him again should the need arise.

He doesn't have the ceiling of a star, but he can be an above-average everyday player. Deep keeper leaguers who can't grab at one until he hits the majors should act.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Chris Perez, RP, Cleveland Indians

One more time: Kerry Wood is now gone for good (to the New York Yankees). Perez is Cleveland's closer, barring some kind of intervention, for the rest of 2010, and perhaps beyond. He has done extremely well in that role so far.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Another notice for those in full-retention keeper leagues who can't acquire players until they have been called up for the first time: Tampa is calling up Hellickson, its top pitching prospect (which is always saying something, these days) so that he can make a spot start and give the rotation a break.

The Rays would like to know if they can depend on Hellickson down the stretch and in the postseason, if needed, too. He's essentially ready, with nothing else to prove on the farm. He's 12-3, with a 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 123 K's and 35 walks in 117 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham this year.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - NL

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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