KFFL.com'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?
Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Where there's Smoak....
It's a second straight sizzling September for the post-hype prospect. Clearing the Mendoza Line with authority, he's 15 for his last 33 with two homers and four RBIs.
Much of the credit, per Smoak, stems from the switch-hitter keeping both hands on the lumber in his left-handed batting while ditching the one-handed follow-through that power hitters often use. It's a significant step in combating the 25-year-old's long swing; compacting it has led to more plate appearances that have impressed Eric Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik.
Those two say the longtime disappointment remains in Seattle's 2013 plans, but Smoak will have to show more consistency. They'll aim to upgrade their O in the offseason, so Smoak remains on the bubble. While he's waiting on his fate, Smoak plans to undergo a new strengthening program this winter, which will aim to recover thump that his new connection strategy might be taking away.
The Smoak Monster has scared off most fantasy treasure seekers despite teasing elite production last September and in the last two springs. Prolonged contact woes and middling corner-infield power sent him back to reality post-haste. But the bump in liner rate and fewer empty hacks might finally set the foundation for a significant maturity next season.
Focus on the present: He's been much better on the road, but he's playing in Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle to close out 2012. Hot streaks often know not where they're located, though, so don't pass solely based on his environments if you're within grasp of a title. If you can't fully commit to him, activate him solely versus righties because of the positive alterations to his left-handed-box appearances.
If he lands in a hitter-friendly home environment, Smoak will command attention similar to the hype many gave him coming into 2012. (Oops.) Even if he stays in the Emerald City, mixed leaguers could find out, by calling his name in the last round of deep formats, if he'll capture the disjointed skills hidden somewhere in his already veteran base. Single-universe pursuers should be more inclined to test his latest late-season launching.
10-tm mixed: Consider
12-tm mixed: Acquire
15-tm mixed: Acquire
Chad Jenkins, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Jenkins will stay in Toronto's rotation, per John Farrell, after the right-hander's decent Sunday outing versus the Tampa Bay Rays in which he gave up one run on two hits and a walk in five frames. He fanned four while taking a hard-luck loss.
Though Jenkins might see a turn in the season's final half-week against the Minnesota Twins that would pique fantasy owners' interest, he's scheduled to face the New York Yankees next. His control and grounder-first mentality carry his approach; he doesn't throw particularly hard or punch out many hitters.
Maybe he'll catch the Bombers off guard because of his small scouting book, but how prepared are you to take that chance? The Minnesota game looks like a more alluring dice roll if there isn't much left on the wire and you need innings.
10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed: Pass
15-tm 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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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