Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Daric Barton, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Adam Wilk

by Nicholas Minnix on April 10, 2012 @ 12:30:27 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.

Acquire Add (in most circumstances)
Consider Add for speculation or because of need
Watch Track player, consider if trend continues
Pass Do not add player (in most circumstances)

Batters

Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics 1B Daric Barton
Barton down with OBP

Entering the season, despite Bob Melvin's words to the contrary, it was uncertain how the A's would divvy up PT among all their options at first base and designated hitter. The picture became a lot clearer on Monday, when the club designated opening day first sacker Brandon Allen for assignment and reinstated Barton from the disabled list.

Barton, 26, is basically returning from August surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which is on his throwing arm. The left-handed hitter claims that the shoulder doesn't affect his swing. He's not a threat to hit more than 10 or 12 homers in a full season, anyway, so the loss of power isn't a concern. It could affect his ability to drive the ball, though, and he hasn't built up a great number of at-bats between his abbreviated spring training and four games for Triple-A Sacramento, where he was .368/.455/.684, at least.

His injury might not be as severe as Adam LaRoche's was, and the Washington Nationals' first baseman is off to a hot start. But Barton is also a couple of months behind LaRoche. It may take the A's regular first baseman some time to get going, but he can be useful in deep leagues, particularly OBP versions. He hit .273 and scored 79 runs in 2010.

Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed:
Watch
AL-only:
Acquire

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, New York Mets

The rookie center fielder received the call just one day after the team's season opener because Andres Torres (strained calf) aggravated an injury he was dealing with in spring training. Chris Hadorn's profile on Monday captures Nieuwenhuis' ability and upside. He's not a surefire prospect, but he's a good athlete and a battler at the dish.

He's off to a 3-for-8 start, with one home run. He's hitting at the bottom of the lineup, which sounds roto unattractive, but it's probably a plus for his patience. The Mets believe that Nieuwenhuis isn't far from being a part of their regular outfield and that he could be quite a player.

Torres has made no progress in his recovery and won't be ready when eligible, which is not at all unexpected. Nieuwenhuis, while platooning with Scott Hairston, has a legit shot to force the club to consider keeping him around when Torres returns. A calf strain can take many weeks to heal completely, especially for a player like Torres who relies on his legs a good bit.

Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Acquire

Pitchers

Adam Wilk, SP, Detroit Tigers

Jim Leyland has his Doug Fister replacement. Wilk, 24, was outstanding in his 2012 debut with Triple-A Toledo, pitching five one-hit, shutout innings, with one walk and six strikeouts. Detroit eliminated the southpaw from contention for their fifth spot in the rotation early in ST, but his impressive outing helped to convince the Tigers that he was their man.

Wilk doesn't profile as anything more than swingman or backend starter, so his roto prospects aren't great. He isn't likely to garner strikeouts at quite the pace that his Toledo outing may imply. He keeps free passes in check with the best of them, however - good news because he's also vulnerable to the long ball. There could be trouble in his first MLB outing of 2012, against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Fister's strain in his left side may sideline him beyond the two-week minimum for a DL stint, although they don't have an estimate for his timetable. If Wilk fares poorly, the Tigers have several other possibilities in the minors (and one in the bullpen) who could replace him.

Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed:
Pass
AL-only:
Watch

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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