Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.
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Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants
Liddi: more chances to trot?
Though it's happening due to unfortunate circumstances for Aubrey Huff, Belt appears to be freed from the pine for at least the next two weeks. Anxiety disorders vary in cause and can be difficult to treat, so Huff's treatment could lead to an extended absence.
Belt's on-field exploits have been few and far between this year. Though his batting average won't be a season-long aid and Brett Pill will probably creep into southpaw matchups, Belt proved with his seven post-July taters last year that his power can be a significant asset.
All he needed was to be freed from Bruce Bochy's chains. This is at least a probationary period in which you shouldn't hesitate to employ Belt in case Huff's struggles linger and Bochy finally writes the 24-year-old's name in Sharpie on the lineup card.
Shallow mixed: Consider
Deep mixed: Acquire
Alex Liddi, 3B, Seattle Mariners
Molto bene: The Italian-born Liddi is off to a 9-for-24 start with two homers and five RBIs. Coming off his 30-homer campaign at Triple-A Tacoma last year, the righty masher is playing his way into frequent time against southpaws with upside for time against righties, as well. He can log time at first base and outfield, as well.
Mike Carp (shoulder) and Franklin Gutierrez (pectoral) should return soon, and Kyle Seager has at minimum primary platoon duty, but avenues still exist for Liddi to rise. Justin Smoak's recent health woes opened the door, but even with Smoak back in the lineup, his performance hasn't done anything to close it over time. Chone Figgins has iced down, as well, and Seattle might stop catering to him later this season.
Warnings include Liddi's history of poor batting-eye ratios and shaky contact skills, notably thanks to his difficulties with punchouts. Working in his batting-average favor, however, is his high line-drive rate, a trend he didn't show through most of his farm life but if continued would boost his potential in the clip column.
Safeco Field drains power, but Liddi's is raw enough to overcome that as he grows. His hot streak, potent fence clearing and potential eligibility at one or two extra positions are enough to justify a dice roll.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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