Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

by Tim Heaney on September 4, 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

Yorvit Torrealba, Colorado Rockies

With fellow backstop Chris Iannetta trudging through August, Torrealba has taken advantage of late, bouncing back during a season in which he left for nearly a month due to family problems. He's carrying a 12-game hit streak (the longest active one in the majors) that traces back to Aug. 9, but he's hitting .378 with five ribbies over that span.

The Rox could use a veteran presence for the stretch run, and Torrealba's defense has been helpful. If he keeps Iannetta on the pine, he may be worth a look, especially if your league starts two crouchers.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Josh Thole, New York Mets

The Mets are allowing Thole to audition for the 2010 job. He made his big league debut Thursday and went 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base. He's expected to play regularly over the final month. Thole, who turns 23 in October, posted a .328-1-46 season at Double-A Binghamton, which also included eight swipes and 48 runs in 384 at-bats.

His superb batting eye should help his transition. He doesn't have much power potential to speak of, but the hitting skills alone should catch the eyes of keeper players and two-backstop lineup leaguers.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

First basemen

Nick Johnson, Florida Marlins

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers
Need to boost your average?

Johnson (hamstring) went 1-for-2 with an RBI in leaving the DL Thursday; he reassumes the Marlins' first base job. He was hitting .308 in the first half of August before going down. You know how injury-prone he is, but he can also wield a productive stick for batting average at times. He'll be prone to replacement in the late innings, also.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Outfielders

Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers

As the Brew Crew fades into Bolivian, they'll be getting back one of their knockout bats. More than a month after his appendectomy, Hart will begin a four-game stint with Triple-A Nashville Friday; if all goes well, he could be back early next week. The team hopes he'll be ready to serve regular duty upon his return.

Check to see if Hart was discarded in your setup; it helps to snatch him even if you wait him out on your bench. The streaky bat hit .305 in July before exiting action.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Starting pitchers

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kuroda should return this weekend

After rehabbing from a line-drive ball that smacked his head, the underrated righty is on track to return Sunday at home against the San Diego Padres. He delivered during a Sept. 1 rehab assignment for high Class A Inland Empire: five shutout frames, five hits, one walk and five K's.

As it lines up, after his outing versus San Diego, here's how he'll end the season: He's on the road against the San Francisco Giants, at home against the Giants, at the Washington Nationals and at the Padres. The Nationals arguably present his toughest scheduled assignment. Still, his road ERA has been slightly better this year (3.94 compared to 4.24 at Dodger Stadium).

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Pat Misch, New York Mets

Though a ton of caution goes into this review, Misch has allowed only three runs in his last 18 frames, which includes a four-inning relief appearance. In his last two starts, he went 14 innings while giving up the runs. Coming off his first career win in 13 MLB starts, the southpaw faintly reminds skipper Jerry Manuel of former Met Tom Glavine.

OK, let's not get ahead of ourselves; he lines up to face the Florida Marlins twice, along with a visit to the Philadelphia Phillies mixed in. He may be serviceable against the Washington Nationals, who struggle against southpaws. Misch isn't a dominant arm, so be wary.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Relief pitchers

Franklin Morales, Colorado Rockies

As we covered yesterday, Morales will assume closer duties for as long as Huston Street (biceps) remains incapacitated. Aside from a few hiccups, the southpaw has been strong since July and already had garnered mild consideration for a fantasy relief rental before his newfound save opportunities surfaced.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-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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