Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Dan Uggla, Carlos Gomez

by Tim Heaney on July 27, 2012 @ 13:40:51 PDT's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta Braves

Sure, you figured his second-half flurry last year was over his head. Those July and August binges pumped up his BA when in-play fortune favored him. Struggles similar to his 2011 first half have haunted him in 2012: He's 0-for-15 over his last five contests. In 130 at-bats since June 5, he's hitting .115 - hurtful, but not surprising, given his history of clip killing.

Milwaukee Brewers OF Carlos Gomez
Go, Go, Gomez

But only two homers in that window, and one since July 8? Salt, meet wound.

The likely July culprit is the fact that 42.1 percent of his fly balls haven't left the infield. He's getting under a ton of offerings. Something's off with his swing path. As Capitol Avenue Club's David Lee noted, the mechanics in Uggla's stocky lower body may be off, and he's been out in front a lot, it seems. He yearns to see more fastballs, but he hasn't been on them much this year anyway thanks to his flailing batter's box attempts. Same goes for his ineffectiveness in hitting pitches on the black.

Oh, the trials of the three-true-outcomes types; sounds a lot like Adam Dunn's roster-crippling 2011 woes.

He watched video of his cuts last June and started heating up afterward. Maybe he has done so already, given the length of his dredges, but we haven't seen him click yet. Uggla was hit in the head with a pitch Tuesday but appears to be OK. His production needs a smack upside the noggin', and maybe in due time, the health-imposed rest might have proven to clear his head.

Sometimes, all it takes is a small tweak for a batter to make stronger contact. Uggla's 19.3 line-drive percentage is actually his career high, so he has the foundation to get more lift if he can get more oomph on it. At least he's still taking walks, too.

If you haven't deactivated him, you should do so. Cutting him outside the shallowest of formats, however, isn't advised; he's at a point where he can just about only go up. Ditching him at his lowest point is counter-productive, considering his streakiness.

Other owners might have inquired about him. Does a proposal fill more dire needs than power? If you're in jeopardy of falling behind in another category and have your homers covered, consider shifting your efforts where they're more desperately needed.

If you're hurting for pop, hold him. That's his best statistical bet for his recovery. Gut feeling: In 2013, he'll be one of the best fantasy baseball draft bargains.

Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Over his last 10 games, Gomez has gone 10-for-30 with three dingers, seven RBIs, eight runs scored and - what those who've been waiting for him to show something want to hear - six steals. He has taken nine bags this month. Unfortunately, he hasn't been a locked-in starter despite his recent play.

The assumed Nyjer Morgan-Gomez platoon in center field might not last, though, thanks to Morgan's underwhelming showing. His defense will keep him in the playing-time mix, but Gomez and Norichika Aoki have been much better stick handlers this year. Corey Hart has essentially been the everyday first baseman but has slid into right field depending on the matchup; they're probably better off leaving him at the 3.

Much of Gomie's batter profile remains the same. He's a pull hitter with a below-average contact rate, nearly empty walk percentage and fly-ball pattern that doesn't constitute a significant power boost, despite his recent attempt to turn a foul ball into a tater.

But he's already matched his career-high homer total from last year in slightly fewer plate appearances. Plus, versus right-handed arms, the 26-year-old has actually hit six of his eight homers and has an 11-point BA advantage compared to his work versus southpaws. He actually posted a better clip against righties in two of the previous three completed seasons.

Will Ron Roenicke notice and go with the innovative reverse platoon? Will he stick to traditional platoon eyeball tests? ("He's a righty, so he must be better versus the opposite handedness.") Gomez had a .318-1-5 April with five swipes before a hammy ailment cut off his momentum. Maybe he's picking it back up.

The sell-mode Brewers might be willing to see what Gomez can do in full-time duty; Morgan is under team control until 2015 but could just as easily be ditched after this season by not being handed arbitration. Milwaukee may even sell off a piece like Morgan on the cheap if someone needs outfield depth.

Roenicke's club likes to thieve on the base paths, and steal-hungry owners can't write off Gomez's run as just another hot streak. It might be, but he helps you in that vital category that if you jump on board, you could get two months of elite production there and move closer to a title push.

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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 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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