Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

by Tim Heaney on August 14, 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)

Second basemen

Jayson Nix, Chicago White Sox

With Chris Getz (oblique) heading to the DL, Nix will assume the starting duties at second. Nix (.230-8-19) has stolen seven bases this year in just 152 at-bats but doesn't provide much else. Maybe - maybe - he can earn some last-ditch consideration in cavernous leagues; he has eligibility at shortstop, also. However, it doesn't appear Getz will be out longer than the scheduled 15 days.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Jeff Baker, Chicago Cubs

Manager Lou Piniella turned to Baker to spark the second base spot, and Baker has responded with an 11-for-19 five-game stint. It doesn't look like Mike Fontenot (6-for-25 in August) will be regaining that spot anytime soon. Baker is also eligible at third base in many setups. 

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Third basemen

Jack Hannahan, Seattle Mariners

With Adrian Beltre (testicle) slated to miss at least two weeks - possibly the rest of the season - with bruised manhood after failing his cup check, Hannahan has a chance to build on his post-June "rise." He's hitting .385 in 13 August at-bats but has been uninspiring for most of the year. The first time Beltre was on the DL this year, Hannahan platooned at third with Chris Woodward. This time, however, PT could also go to utility infielder Josh Wilson or Triple-A option Matt Tuiasosopo.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Watch

Shortstop

Paul Janish, Cincinnati Reds

The reported trade of shorty Alex Gonzalez opens up a starting spot. We're not certain Janish (.216-0-3) will fill it; he hasn't proven much in limited time. It may be 26-year-old Drew Sutton, who has been uninspiring in limited bigs time this year. If you're forced to dip into this pool, you better locate the exit stairs.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Outfielders

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
Adjustments have helped C-Gon

Showing faulty plate discipline in his earlier trip with the big club, Gonzalez was hidden against lefties for most of the season. However, he has been a revelation in August, hitting .424-2-7; he's also 8-for-9 in steal attempts this year and 9-for-23 with two dingers and six runs scored in his latest stint in the No. 2 spot. A leg kick taught to him by first base coach Glenallen Hill is working, and Gonzo has felt more comfortable that Tom Runnels, the former skipper at Triple-A Colorado Springs, is the new hitting coach.

The Rox are still incorporating Seth Smith into the lineup, and Dexter Fowler is back from a brief break after smacking into a wall. CarGo, however, will probably be a frequenter if only for his great glove work. He hit eighth against Pittsburgh Pirates southpaw Paul Maholm yesterday, but even a lower lineup spot against lefties shouldn't keep you from giving him a chance. Watch the Rockies' lineup card, but it'll be hard for them to bench him during a playoff race. 

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees

This may come as a "duh" inclusion after his two-homer, five-RBI game Thursday, but it's more so a reminder that he isn't owned in enough formats. He'll probably sit often against lefties (or just for the occasional day off), but Godzilla (.269-19-58 in 316 at-bats) has 10 homers AGAINST southpaws! At the very least, he's a handy bench option based on matchups.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

AL-only: Acquire

Starting pitchers

Scott Feldman, Texas Rangers

The latest addition to the 12-win club exemplifies the Rangers' revamped approach to the other side of a baseball game. Another success story from pitching coach Mike Maddux, Feldman has pumped out traditional quality starts in nine of his last 10 outings.

Warnings: You won't find dominance here (71 K's in 131 2/3 frames), and his BABIP is a lowly .265, though his career number is .282. Why he's succeeding: his low-90s cutter, which he's throwing more than twice as often in '09 than last year. His home (4.28 ERA) and road (3.50) splits will probably dictate your comfort in using him, but there's enough potential for him to outperform a spot at the back end of your fantasy rotation.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

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 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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