Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Mike Minor, more

by Nicholas Minnix on May 31, 2011 @ 15:42:31 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you tips on fantasy baseball players available as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. It's time to replace your fantasy baseball busts.

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)

 

Catchers

Chris Snyder, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bucs had to place Ryan Doumit (sprained left ankle) on the disabled list, making Snyder the main man nearly exclusively. Doumit is no stranger to injuries or longer-than-expected recovery periods.

Atlanta Braves SP Mike Minor
Minor back to majors

Snyder, 30, celebrated his newfound elbow room by going deep on Monday, two days after he went deep for just the second time of the year. He's hitting .289 with 13 RBIs in 83 at-bats. There's no secret to what you're getting: 20-homer power with a .240-ish batting average. The BA is scheduled to come down a bit, but the round-tripper production should escalate a little.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

J.R. Towles, Houston Astros

Houston had to push its tandem backstop Humberto Quintero (sprained right ankle) to the DL, too. Towles, 27, is known for his repeated flops out of the season's gate since entering 2008's campaign as the expected starter.

This year appears no different: a .205 batting average in 83 at-bats. He has three homers already, however, and his line-drive and walk rates are considerably better than they were in the previous couple of seasons. Prior to the season, he made a minor adjustment to his swing that has made a difference. While the hope is slim, there is some, at least.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Middle infielders

Jeff Keppinger, Houston Astros

Given the struggles of the Astros' other infielders, including free-agent acquisition and expected regular Bill Hall, it's no surprise that Keppinger became a candidate to start at the keystone. The super-utility man had foot surgery in spring training and returned from the disabled list at the end of last week.

The lifetime .283 hitter has contact on more than 90 percent of the pitches he has seen in his big-league career, mitigating the returns on his .289 career average on balls in play. He doesn't have double-digit power or speed, but he's pretty steady. He's 6-for-14 with two doubles and a homer in his first three games of 2011.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Tyler Colvin, Chicago Cubs

Alfonso Soriano (hamstring strain) joined Marlon Byrd and Reed Johnson on the disabled list on Tuesday. That transaction resulted in the recall of Colvin, who naturally made the club out of spring training after a great 2010 but was playing very little. Mike Quade and the Cubs believed that Colvin needed to play every day, and since he's back with the big club, one would expect him to get the first crack in left.

Colvin batted .254 with 20 home runs, 56 RBIs and six stolen bases in 395 major league plate appearances in 2010. He was playing sparingly (68 plate appearances) and couldn't get going (7-for-62, two taters) before his demotion, however. For Class AAA Iowa, he was hitting .260/.283/.500), but with only one dinger, in 12 games.

The left-handed slugger's quality showing last year seemed to make folks forget his history of high strikeout rates. He wasn't making good contact and couldn't find consistency as a bench dog. Maybe the time away and some regular ABs with the Cubs will turn him around. Soriano isn't expected to miss more than a couple of weeks, keep in mind.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Aaron Crow, Kansas City Royals

Ned Yost agreed with his closer: Joakim Soria should take a break from the backend bullpen job. Politically speaking, this move is extremely likely to be temporary. From a performance standpoint, if Soria cannot correct his issues, the root of which seems to be a mystery to the right-hander and his club, this stint for Crow (or others) could be quite lengthy.

Chicago Cubs OF Tyler Colvin
Can Colvin recover?

Crow, 24, has been a starter exclusively until this season. One of the club's top prospects hadn't fared well in that capacity, but there was no denying the potential of his strikeout arsenal. He has been stellar in relief (1.33 ERA, 8.67 K/9) and is perhaps the hottest fantasy baseball commodity. If for some reason he proves unable to handle the responsibility, KC has a couple of other youngsters who can help him.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves

The Braves' southpaw who lost the race for the No. 5 starter's spot to Brandon Beachy now finds himself in it for the next few weeks or so because Beachy (strained left oblique) is sidelined. Does Minor have another opportunity to prove that he belongs?

The 23-year-old's tantalizing indicators in the minors seemed to foretell immediate MLB success, but he hasn't delivered the expected returns in his first 10 starts. In his second fill-in spot of 2011 (the first came on April 6), he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, a run and two walks while fanning five against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gets the light-hitting San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Consider

NL-only: Acquire

Jordan Lyles, Houston Astros

When the Astros placed Wandy Rodriguez (fluid in his left elbow) on the DL this past weekend, they elected to purchase Lyles' contract from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Lyles, 20, is the club's top prospect. As ESPN's Jim Bowden notes, Lyles is known as a competitor who relies on deception with his handful of pitches and repeatable delivery. His stellar K/9 in the low minors has dissipated as he has climbed the latter, but he's still capable of posting an MLB rate between 6.00 and 7.50. He keeps the ball down and practices quality control. After a rough few starts to open for the RedHawks, he has largely been sharp.

Although the right-hander's spring numbers were stellar, Houston chose to have him begin the season in the minors. He'll debut on Tuesday night and may not last more than a couple of starts; the Magic Wandy is expected back as soon as he's eligible, on June 8. If Lyles' makeup and stuff, which should translate quickly to the bigs, help him to impress, Houston should turn over Aneury Rodriguez's spot, eventually, however.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals

This past weekend, the Royals revealed their original intent in their claim of Paulino from the Colorado Rockies: to move the right-hander into the rotation. He replaces Nathan Adcock. Bruce Chen (strained lat) could be back in a few weeks, but the Royals are uncertain when Kyle Davies (shoulder soreness) will rejoin the rotation. Fellow fill-in Sean O'Sullivan isn't long for his job.

Paulino unquestionably has great stuff, but control problems, hittability and injury issues have impeded his progress. His K/9 has held up in the majors (8.08, lifetime, in 227 1/3 innings). The right-hander believes that moving back to the rotation will aid his focus. KC agrees, or at least they're hopeful; the club had little to lose. Peripherally, Paulino's performance should have a better outcome in the roto cats. The Royals hope that a friendlier home park will help him overcome gopheritis, too.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Consider

Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays determined that Andy Sonnanstine was more helpful in the bullpen (or not much help in the rotation) during the absence of Jeff Niemann (back problems). Tampa called on Cobb, whose debut (four hits, four runs, four walks, three strikeouts in 4 1/3 frames) didn't well on May 1, to fill that spot in the interim.

The lauded prospect has for the most part posted stellar numbers in the minors, improving upon them even as he advances. This year, his first with Triple-A Durham, he as posted a 1.14 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, a 9.51 K/9, a 1.90 BB/9. The Rays also discovered that he was tipping pitches in his first MLB outing; one would presume that he has since corrected that issue.

Cobb brings considerable skill to the majors, but he has been quite fortunate in his first Class AAA exposure, according to the numbers. While he has a chance to be successful, his stuff, while very good, is reportedly not elite. Don't expect immediate translation.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Consider

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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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