Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - Hitters

by Tim Heaney on December 12, 2008 @ 01:00:00 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove archive

KFFL delivers the fantasy baseball spin on each Major League Baseball Hot Stove deal that matters in your fantasy baseball league. Check back for frequent updates.

Ronny Paulino, C, Philadelphia Phillies

A strong 2006 season put him on the map, and a strong Dominican Winter League performance has helped him regain his stroke. He would need to supplant Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste to be a factor, though, so all you can do for now is keep an eye on him.

Felipe Lopez, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Lopez excelled with the St. Louis Cardinals last year, but his stolen base production sharply declined after three straight productive seasons in that category. The D-backs were tied for the third fewest stolen bases in the majors last year, so that might not change. Leave him for NL-only formats or the post-draft waiver wire in deep mixed leagues.

Luis Valbuena, 2B, Cleveland Indians

He was a moderate prospect with the Seattle Mariners, but he has a chance to start at second base if the Tribe tinkers with its infield. Don't bother with him in mixed, but he has potential in deep AL-only setups.

Cesar Izturis, SS, Baltimore Orioles

More of a defensive specialist, Izturis didn't contribute much on offense while with the St. Louis Cardinals last year, and you shouldn't expect him to this season. Ignore him outside of AL-only setups.

Ramon Vazquez, IF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Vazquez blossomed in limited playing time with the Texas Rangers last year. He can take the field at all four infield spots but might be the starting shortstop if the team trades Jack Wilson. NL-only universes: Pay attention.

Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

For information on this acquisition, please read Philadelphia Phillies agree with OF Raul Ibanez.

Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners

The talented youngster escapes from the cluster of Cleveland Indians outfielders and has a chance to make some noise out West. Watch him in deep mixed and AL-only games if he earns a full-time gig; he has a live bat and can swipe bags when given the chance.

Matt Joyce, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

This could be a coup for the Rays - they nab a young, powerful lefty-hitting corner outfielder, though he'll likely be in a platoon to start out unless the Rays can find an everyday option. He has deep mixed potential, though, even if he's in a timeshare.

Endy Chavez, OF, Seattle Mariners

There's a chance the slick-fielding Chavez could challenge for time in left field, but his feather-like bat doesn't help his cause. He's shifty, but he doesn't steal enough bases to warrant consideration for mixed games, though he could be serviceable as a deep AL-only reserve.

Jeremy Reed, OF, New York Mets

The Mets' corner outfield picture remains clouded as the Mets probably aren't done with their offseason moves, and Reed has had just 515 at-bats in the last three seasons. There isn't much upside here. NL-only managers should be the only ones even remotely concerned.

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove archive

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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