Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

by Tim Heaney on July 22, 2010 @ 15:30:00 PDT

 


Fantasy baseball waivers and the acquisition of fantasy baseball free agents can make or break your season. Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets won't help you after spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, you will have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league.

Do you need to replace your fantasy baseball busts? Which fantasy baseball players can you ignore? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you fantasy baseball tips and insight to sort through the masses quickly.

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Watch Track player, add if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

 

Middle infielders

Scott Sizemore, 2B, Detroit Tigers

With Brandon Inge (hand) on the DL, Sizemore will likely share time at the hot corner with Don Kelly. It will not be a straight platoon situation, so the righty-hitting Sizemore still has a chance to jump into full-time duty with a decent showing.

Sizemore rebounded from his disappointing MLB stint with a .329-6-19 campaign and .907 OPS for Triple-A Toledo. The 25-year-old swiped just one bag there but has at least 14 swipes in each of his four full farm seasons.

His value depends heavily on BA and steals - maybe runs, depending on where he hits in the order. The Tigs have ample options to play third if Sizemore falters again, but there's little risk in trying him for depth, at least.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Rick Ankiel, OF, Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers IF Scott Sizemore
Trying third base on for Sizemore

There's a good chance Ankiel (quadriceps) will return to the bigs before Thursday's game. The vet is hitting .270 with four dingers and nine ribbies in 64 at-bats with Triple-A Omaha during his rehab. He should usurp Mitch Maier for center field duty.

The streaky Ankiel whiffs a ton and won't help your batting average without some luck. If you need outfield depth and crave power, though, he could be had for pennies on the dollar. Maybe health can help kick his fly-ball rate back up. Not much upside from his normal profile, but he can help nonetheless.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Jeremy Hermida, OF, Boston Red Sox

The BoSox activated Hermida, bringing back another name to their battered outfield. Expect him to be handed frequent PT, even with his struggles against lefties. He still hits plenty of line drives, which along with health could help his .255 BABIP and .217 BA rebound a bit. Hermida carries potential for another 10 homers if he heats up.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

J.J. Putz, RP, Chicago White Sox

The ChiSox appear to be going to a committee approach to close games. Bobby Jenks and Matt Thornton are likely owned in more leagues than Putz, who should be receiving more attention in this affair. The righty has rebounded from an injury-marred '09 with dominance (10.50 K/9) and pristine control (1.50 BB/9), thanks in part to increased use of his sinking fastball.

Putz can help your team even if he doesn't earn frequent save chances in this potential committee. Thornton could be used for situational setup appearances more often, now that Putz may display his talents in the ninth. Putz won't cure your save woes entirely, but he could nudge you closer to the competition in your standings.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Kevin Millwood, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Well, he's a warm body now with his return from the DL. Millwood's ERA stood at 3.89 after May 28. A 9.89 figure the rest of the way tarnished his efforts.

You know what you're getting: a bit of dominance (it actually has increased to 7.02 K/9 this season) and serviceable control, but very hittable. He relies heavily on run support to succeed in fantasy - Baltimore is starting to turn it on, and they might be showcasing him for a trade to a contender. He could turn into a decent matchup play down the stretch.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Dallas Braden, SP, Oakland Athletics

Get off my DL! The lefty returned Tuesday, allowing four runs (one earned) on 10 hits and a walk in 4 2/3 frames against the Boston Red Sox. He experienced a slight correction after his perfect game May 9 but was still serviceable.

Braden has shown skills improvements this year - notable grounder and control maturity, slight uptick in K's - but his deception-oriented strategy is prone to backfiring long term. He's crafty and can still round out a fantasy rotation for a stretch, but don't count on him much long term.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

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Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - NL

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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