Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

by Nicholas Minnix on September 13, 2010 @ 13:30:00 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)
Consider Add for speculation or because of need
Watch Track player, consider if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

Middle infielders

Akinori Iwamura, 2B, Oakland Athletics

The A's picked up Iwamura after the Pittsburgh Pirates released him. The former Japanese League slugger hasn't fared well since a severe knee injury in June 2009, when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Minnesota Twins SP Nick Blackburn
Off the roto Blackburner?

Oakland appears willing to play him at third base, a position he last manned regularly in 2007, and they know he can handle the keystone. He's nothing more than a utility player for them. Maybe his career isn't shot and a return to familiar AL surroundings will aid him, down the road.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

Pitchers

Nick Blackburn, SP, Minnesota Twins

Don't look now, but Blackburn is keeping the ball down a lot more than he was earlier in the year. In his last five games (four starts), the right-hander has allowed 22 hits, seven walks and six earned runs). He's just 2-2 in that stretch, unfortunately.

Also unfortunate is that Blackburn doesn't generate many K's. He's not an overwhelming option, but he's likely to be largely overlooked thanks to his full-season numbers (9-9, 5.51 ERA, 1.50 WHIP). Assuming that he keeps using his off-speed stuff and generating so many grounders, he could be sneaky solid the rest of the way.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

AL-only: Acquire

Kyle Drabek, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays will plug in one of their top prospects for a few starts, beginning on Wednesday, to close out 2010. Drabek, a Philadelphia Phillies product, joined Toronto in the offseason Roy Halladay swap. He spent all year with Double-A New Hampshire, where he went 14-9 with a 2.94 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 132 K's in 162 frames.

Drabek spent about three-fifths of 2009 at the Double-A level, too. It's definitely time that the Jays advance the 22-year-old. He'll probably spend at least a couple of months of next season at Triple-A Las Vegas, perhaps most of it. He has quality stuff, particularly his strong curveball, and the ceiling of a No. 2 starter.

His walk rate increased notably after the switch in organizations. It's a warning sign, but perhaps also a sign that the club asked him to work on something. Either way, expect growing pains for the talented righty.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Consider

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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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