Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - NL

by Tim Heaney on May 4, 2010 @ 14:30:00 PDT

 


Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

Fantasy baseball waivers and the acquisition of fantasy baseball free agents can make or break your season. Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets won't help you after spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, you will have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league.

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

Key

Acquire Add player (in most circumstances)
Watch Track player, add if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

 

Corner infielders

Steve Pearce, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pearce probably will grab at least a portion of the scuffling Jeff Clement's playing time, along with some outfield work. Trying to shed the Quad-A label, Pearce focused on selectivity in Spring Training and has capitalized with a .349-2-8 line in 86 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Despite carrying three mixed-bag MLB stints in his pocket, he boasts 20-homer potential. Decent patience and flyball rates offer a solid foundation for him to build on his farm improvements. He'll probably have a long leash if he shows them a spark.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals

He was promoted to Triple-A, and barring a setback, he's expected to hit the bigs sometime next month. Don't wait any longer if Strasburg is floating on your wire.

Shallow mixed: Acquire

Deep mixed: Acquire

NL-only: Acquire

Clayton Richard, SP, San Diego Padres

Washington Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg
Strasburg: Closing in on bigs

The 26-year-old was a midrange prospect for the Chicago White Sox, but a two-year climb to K/9 mediocrity and improved control add to his top-notch worm-killing. If his opponents' .328 BABIP normalizes, it could balance out a drop in his 79.3 percent strand rate.

He'll probably give up more homers than he's letting on and remains a safer start at PETCO Park - duh - but there's enough upside that can make him useful all season.

Shallow mixed: Watch

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Tom Gorzelanny, SP, Chicago Cubs

Last season, he exhibited much better command (3.60 K/BB, 10.2 K/9) as a starter than as a reliever (1.57, 6.5, respectively) despite his rough campaign otherwise. Gorzy doesn't throw hard, but relying more on his already above-average slider has paid off. Spotty run support has also clouded his value.

Fanning 10 Arizona Diamondbacks helped pad his K/9, but there's promise here, especially if his groundball rate keeps creeping up. Rounding out your staff with an experienced, growing arm can't hurt as long as you are using a trial roster spot on him.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Jon Garland, SP, San Diego Padres

This stable innings gobbler pitches around contact to a safe, predictable double-digit win total. Garland likes groundballs, which gives him some legitimacy. The cutter he instituted last season has carried its success over to 2010.

He has little upside, if any, and has been lucky. Garland's 75.3 percent strand rate rests above his 70.5 career percentage, and his favorable .248 BABIP warns of a correction. A dominance improvement has only produced a subpar 5.91 K/9. His home-road splits favor PETCO Park, which dictates how you should use him; banking on anything else is dangerous.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Watch

NL-only: Acquire

Jeff Francis, SP, Colorado Rockies

Following a four-inning extended Spring Training outing, Francis will make two rehab starts at Double-A Tulsa. The moderately skilled Francis (shoulder) hasn't touched a major league mound since 2008 but will probably grab a rotation spot eventually if he proves healthy.

Shallow mixed: Pass

Deep mixed: Pass

NL-only: Watch

Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - AL

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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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