Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL
Turning 27 in June, Chirinos, a former infielder, clubbed 15 homers in 264 at-bats for Double-A Tennessee last year and has decent power for a backstop. That position is far from settled in Tampa. Maybe he gets a look this spring, which would give him mono league flier value, but given his limited time behind the dish, it's a long shot.
Beltre lands in another power palace. He's coming off a career-best contact rate and nearly his highest batting average. Though his line-drive increase backs up the latter a bit, don't take that for granted, considering before 2010 he hadn't topped .276 since 2004. His power is looking more certain, though, after he kicked his fly-ball rate up to 2004 and 2007 levels.
This move makes it more appealing to grab him if you miss out on more desirable hot cornermen. Then again, planning your draft around waiting for him as your starting third sacker isn't a foolproof option, either, given his histories of injuries and erratic performance.
Though he'll probably get the first shot to close, Gregg has more competition for saves in Baltimore than he did in Toronto. At least you know what you're getting from his skills, including his closer-worthy K/9.
If you're expecting his control to improve, you're out of luck, but he proved his HR/9 from the previous year is more fluke than fact thanks to a grounder improvement. Count him among the numerous low-end stoppers with risky security. He's probably better than some, if not most, of those.
The highly regarded arm has a fastball that touches the high 90s. He still walks a few too many but has projectable mechanics and baseball knowledge. His top-of-the-rotation upside and mature profile might push him to the bigs for a 2011 relief cameo, a la Jeremy Hellickson last year. Check out Archer if that happens.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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