Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

by Tim Heaney on August 5, 2009 @ 01:00:01 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

Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs

Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs
Soto: Close to a return

In his second rehab game with Class AA Tennessee, the struggling Soto (oblique) went 1-for-3 with a dinger to add to a 1-for-2, one-RBI outing in his first outing. He's on track for a return to major league action sometime this weekend despite reports that said he could come back as soon as today. Even when Soto returns, he'll probably still share time with Koyie Hill, who has held down the fort in game calling more so than offensive prowess.

With the way the catcher class has abused fantasy owners this year, you should probably grab Soto, if he was dropped, in preparation for his return. Soto is hoping to improve his .263 BABIP. In his last 38 June at-bats, he hit .289 with four homers and eight RBIs - a sign that he was starting to turn things on before he hit the DL in early July. 

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Third basemen

Chad Tracy, Arizona Diamondbacks

So much for the Josh Whitesell era. Tracy has roared back into consideration, starting at first base Tuesday for the third time in four games. Sure, he's 3-for-9 with two RBIs in his last two games, but it isn't like he has been smoking the ball; he's hitting .243 since the break. The D-backs will probably still incorporate Whitesell in tandem, so this isn't a huge spike in value.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Will Venable, San Diego Padres

The future continues to be now for the Fathers. Venable has started August on a 6-for-13 tear with two taters and three RBIs and has left the yard four times in his last six games. The Pads have been rotating Venable and fellow rook outfielder Kyle Blanks into the fold more often, and their recent rest of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez allowed Venable to flash some talent. Be careful of the playing time shuffle and his problematic batting eye ratio (36 K's, 10 walks); he could easily fall back to earth soon.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Starting pitchers

Clayton Richard, San Diego Padres

The latest Pads rotation entry didn't let the league change halt his momentum. Richard has now given up exactly one earned run in each of his last three starts (21 2/3 frames), including a 5 2/3, two-hit effort in his Pads debut. He takes the hill tomorrow against the New York Mets. His newly acquired PETCO Park factor aside, Richard has displayed intriguing qualities at times this year. It's best to play matchups (ahem, home starts).

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Relief pitchers

Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox

With closer Bobby Jenks (kidney stones) out for what could be a few days, the already valuable deep-leaguer Thornton would be the logical choice to earn save chances, though Octavio Dotel may be in the mix, too. Thornton has impeccable command (56 K's, 15 walks), and if this was what it took to get you to notice him in shallows, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised with his contributions even after Jenks returns. It's worth retaining him even after Jenks returns, and if the latter is delayed, it's a bonus.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Jess Todd, Cleveland Indians

The closer for the St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A Memphis club, the man with two first names was called up to the Tribe last night. The player to be named in the trade of infielder Mark DeRosa, Todd held minor leaguers to a 2.04 ERA and registered 25 saves (24 with Memphis) with sparkling command (66 whiffs, 13 walks) in 53 frames.

Todd has served as both a starter and reliever on the farm, and while he profiles as a future stopper he could serve either role this year. Like recently promoted Texas Rangers righty Neftali Feliz, Todd could have a grandiose non-saves fantasy impact.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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