Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Travis Snider, Ben Francisco, Brandon Lyon

by Keith Hernandez on July 20, 2012 @ 14:54:03 PDT

 


KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait or worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Travis Snider, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

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Lyon switching leagues

A 10-player trade that sent Ben Francisco and Francisco Cordero, among others, to the Houston Astros opened up a spot in the outfield for Snider. With Jose Bautista (wrist inflammation) on the disabled list, Snider should see regular playing time in the outfield. Anthony Gose, who was recalled earlier this week and also hits from the left side, will mainly play on days when the team opposes a righty arm.

The timing for Snider's call-up couldn't be better; he was hitting .438 with four homers and 12 RBIs in his last 10 contests with Triple-A Las Vegas, and he homered in his first at-bat Thursday before being pulled from the game. In total, he hit .335 with 13 dingers, 56 RBIs and two stolen bases in 209 at-bats with the 51s.

Snider's major league career has been defined by inconsistency, injury and disappointment. He's been shuttled frequently between the bigs and Las Vegas in an effort to correct his hitting flaws, most notably his faults against southpaws. The power is there, but lack of plate patience has left him with more questions than answers.

The good news: Snider displayed improved plate discipline with the 51s, fanning at a 17.1 percent rate and walking a career-high 13.8 percent of the time. A .283 average against lefties is encouraging, too.

At this point, he doesn't have much left to prove on the farm in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. With Bautista out, the Jays will give Snider every opportunity to prove he's figured out lefties. If he fails again, this post-hype prospect's time north of the border may be nearing an end.

Snider's power potential alone make him worth a gamble in deep enough leagues, and if he plays well in Bautista's absence, the Jays will likely keep him around after their All-Star outfielder returns - in favor of Gose.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Consider
15-tm mixed:
Acquire
AL-only:
Acquire

Ben Francisco, OF, Houston Astros

Francisco was seeing very limited playing time until Bautista's recent injury, but with his move to Houston, more at-bats could be on the horizon. The 30-year-old was hitting .240 with no homers and just two RBIs in only 50 at-bats with Toronto.

The 'Stros have plenty of bodies to patrol the outfield - Brian Bogusevic, Matt Downs, J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell and Jordan Schafer - but none has really stood out this year, and none of them has the kind of experience that Francisco brings. Not to mention, Schafer has a tough time staying healthy.

Two straight years of declining batting average before 2012 shouldn't give you any hope for help in that department, but Francisco has been known to catch fire in short bursts when he's playing frequently. Keep tabs on Houston's plans for him. It wouldn't be a surprise if Bradley Mills gives him a shot initially over other lackluster options.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
NL-only:
Acquire

Brandon Lyon, RP, Toronto Blue Jays

Lyon's move to the American League comes at a time when he was pitching extremely well for Houston (3.25 ERA, 35 K's, 11 BBs in 36 innings). 2011 was a disaster; he started off as the closer and was quickly demoted and placed on the DL with a detached biceps tendon and partially torn rotator cuff. His complete ineffectiveness and lack of velocity last year were direct results of his injuries.

Now, Lyon is posting a career-high K/9 (8.75) and respectable 2.75 BB/9. He'll be setting up Casey Janssen, who is firmly entrenched as the Jays' closer with Sergio Santos (surgery on right labrum) out for the year. However, Lyon's worth a look if you're chasing saves in AL universes in the event he spells Janssen, or Janssen is injured.

10-tm mixed: Pass
12-tm mixed:
Pass
15-tm mixed:
Watch
AL-only:
Consider

 

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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