Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

by Tim Heaney on September 2, 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

San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey
How often will Posey strap it on?

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

With Bengie Molina (quadriceps) battling the injury bug after missing the last seven games, the Giants called up the super prospect earlier than they originally wanted to. Posey (.325-18-80 in the minors this year) poses a tempting offensive option for a run-deprived team, but a healthy Molina would cloud his schedule. The organization has hinted at frustration that Molina isn't playing through the injury. If they want to move to the future now.... Those in two-catcher leagues would understandably have more urgency to give him a try.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

First basemen

Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners

With Russell Branyan (back) potentially out for September and Jack Hannahan being an uninspiring replacement, Carp will have a chance to make some noise at first base with frequent PT. He put forth a .271-15-64 line in 413 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this year, along with a line-drive rate hovering around 20 percent.

He didn't do much in limited duty in his first go-round in the Northwest this year, but he was in the starting lineup Tuesday night. The lefty slugger may not play often, if at all, against lefties.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Shortstops

Omar Vizquel, Texas Rangers

The glove-heavy vet is the best bet to take over third base duties now that Michael Young (hamstring) will likely miss at least two weeks. With playing time at a premium in single-year formats, that's where nearly all of Vizquel's value rests besides a few stolen bases or runs scored - possibly.

The Rangers may also use Esteban German there or play Hank Blalock at first and shift Chris Davis over there from first. Neither of the first two is enticing unless Blalock gets hot again, but they're not rushing to give him PT.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

AL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Justin Maxwell, Washington Nationals

With Nyjer Morgan's (hand) season over, Maxwell could be on his last chance to claim a starting outfield job in the Beltway. Though he went 0-for-3 in the first game of his third stint with the club this year, he hit 13 homers, stole 35 bases and scored runs at Triple-A Syracuse despite an ugly .242 clip in 384 at-bats. A more closed stance and a shortened swing helped him start producing this summer.

Willie Harris may still be a factor in replacing Morgan, and Maxwell will have to earn time. Still, Maxwell's combo of power and speed potential makes him the more enticing fantasy pickup.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

With reports saying Grady Sizemore (elbow) may undergo surgery before the end of this season, you should be paying attention to his replacement. Trevor Crowe (oblique), who holds a similar profile to Sizemore, should be returning from the DL soon, but Brantley could factor in as well.

Just called up from Triple-A Columbus, the lefty stick swiped 46 bags and crossed the plate 80 times but went .267-6-37 in 457 at-bats. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4 with a run scored in his MLB debut Tuesday.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

AL-only: Acquire

Cameron Maybin, Florida Marlins

Talk about a 180. Maybin was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, but he will probably be used in a limited role for the rest of the MLB season. The much hyped talent backed it up in the minors this year, hitting .319 with three homers, 39 RBIs and eight swipes in 82 games as he fought through injuries. As long as his role remains diminished, so does his fantasy value.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Watch

Starting pitchers

Billy Buckner, Arizona Diamondbacks

Slated to replace Jon Garland (Los Angeles Dodgers) in the D-backs rotation, Buckner went 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 103 frames at Triple-A Reno, including a 3.13 ERA in 11 starts since his demotion in late June.

Buckner was erratic as a D-back earlier this season (8.63 ERA in 40 2/3 frames) but showed moderate command (33 K's, 15 walks). The 26-year-old lines up to start tomorrow at the Dodgers. It would be wise to wait through this outing before considering him.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

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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