Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

by Tim Heaney on June 15, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

Fantasy baseball waivers and the acquisition of fantasy baseball free agents can make or break a season. You may have adjusted your fantasy baseball cheat sheets over and over during spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, though, you will probably have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league.

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

Key

Acquire - Add player (in most circumstances)

Watch - Track player; consider adding if trend continues

Pass - Do not add player (in most circumstances)

Catchers

Henry Blanco, San Diego Padres

It looks like backstop Nick Hundley (wrist) could be heading to the DL; his left wrist will be re-evaluated Tuesday, June 16. Blanco, meanwhile, has been earning PT in Hundley's stead. Other than a .292 showing in 120 at-bats last year, Blanco's offensive resume is limited. The defense-friendly vet stands as a desperation No. 2 fantasy catcher in NLs.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Shortstops

Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

With the Halos giving second baseman Howie Kendrick a timeout at Triple-A Salt Lake, Izturis will inherit most of Anaheim's duties. The streaky hitter had a productive weekend in the role, going 5-for-9 with two RBIs. Though he put up a yawn-inducing start to the season (.275-0-7 April, .245-0-5 May), Izturis has flashed streakiness in the recent past (.338 last June) and can swipe some bags; dual middle infield eligibility helps, too. Recalled infielder Sean Rodriguez will probably take a little bit of Izturis' time, though.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Delmon Young, Minnesota Twins

Disappointment has haunted Young for the last few years, but he may have a chance to resurrect his 2009 campaign. Michael Cuddyer (finger) could encounter a DL stint, and Denard Span (ear) is scheduled to see a specialist to address his inner ear infection and dizziness (Joey Votto, anyone?).

DY still can't take a walk (50 K's, five free passes this year), but he has produced three multi-hit games in June. Untapped power-speed skills come with this tease, but he now has more certain playing time - at least for a brief period - to regroup. Assess the risk if you need another outfielder.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Delwyn Young, Pittsburgh Pirates

Blocked by the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield for his first three MLB years, the other DY has delivered this year. The Buccos have parked struggling outfielder Brandon Moss and installed Young in the lineup. Young, almost 27, has rattled off multi-hit games in each of his last four starts. He has just four homers in 246 at-bats, but he may be applying what he learned from those who kept him on the bench all those years.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Mitch Maier, Kansas City Royals

Coco Crisp (shoulder) has hit the DL with a right rotator cuff strain. Maier will step in. His minor league career showed a decent average (.299) and modest steals activity (12 in 345 Triple-A Omaha at-bats in 2008), but there's little here to suggest 2009 success for the 2003 first-round pick.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

Jason Michaels, Houston Astros

Michaels resurfaced in a big league lineup this past weekend with Carlos Lee (leg) being day-to-day with a leg cramp. Michaels (.189-0-4 in 53 at-bats this year) would presumably be the option to spell Lee for any long-term injury. That doesn't mean you should bother in mixed universes, though.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Acquire

Starting pitchers

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins

The Twinkies will bring back Perkins (elbow) from the DL and reinsert him into the rotation Tuesday, June 16. His drastic drop-off came when his early-season luck (2.48 ERA, .256 BABIP in 29 April frames) ran out. Let him float in the waiver pool until he shows he can overcome his contact-happy approach to replicate what he did when the season started.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

Josh Geer, San Diego Padres

Not exactly the trade Padres fans were hoping for. Ace Jake Peavy (ankle) will be out for at least one month (possibly more), and Geer will probably fill his shoes in the interim. The latter did little to offer hope Saturday, June 13 (seven earned tallies, four homers yielded in 5 2/3 innings). He has struck out just 31 in 58 2/3 frames for the year; that's not far from what his K patterns have been. Don't succumb to PETCO Park lust; the skills aren't there.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Fernando Nieve, New York Mets

Nieve was called up to start Saturday, June 13, and defeated the New York Yankees: 6 2/3 frames, two runs, two walks and two K's. The Mets have uncertain timetables for John Maine (shoulder) and Oliver Perez (knee), meaning Nieve should keep his spot for now.

Sure, he has decent stuff and moderate strikeout ability (6.70 per nine in three MLB seasons, 8.40 on the farm), but mixed players shouldn't feel compelled to find out whether he can build on his first MLB victory since 2006, especially since the Mets have mixed and matched backend starters all season.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Relief pitchers

C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers

The Rangers placed stopper Frank Francisco (shoulder) on the DL Sunday, June 14, and Wilson will resume closing duties at least for this week. Wilson should be owned in more leagues, and although Francisco is slated to come back from the DL Friday, June 19, Wilson should be stashed by Francisco owners and desperate save prospectors. Francisco's upper body has been vulnerable this year, and if the top dog's health falters again, Wilson gains more security.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

Facebook Twitter Google +

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.


Don't miss these great reports....

What do you think? Sound off!



Recent KFFL releases