Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Pickups of the Week: Chris Johnson, Manny Machado, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 11, 2012 @ 08:45:59 PDT

 


Who were the hottest pickups in fantasy baseball leagues? Can you trust them on your fantasy baseball teams?

Chris D. Johnson, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Last 10: .342 BA, 6 R, 5 HR, 16 RBI in 40 PA
Minnesota Twins 1B Justin Morneau
He's good, eh

Johnson was rockin' in his last nine games with the Houston Astros, but his move to the Snakes and a big-time power surge put him on the fantasy radar of those in shallow leagues in a hurry. Ride this while it lasts. Don't bank on it, but the improved surroundings may help him remain relevant in 12-team mixers from here on out.

For someone who strikes out nearly a quarter of the time, Johnson has an almost adequate contact rate. As Tim noted last week, the third baseman is streaky. The handful of ding dongs wouldn't be surprising now that he's in Arizona ... except that they've all come on the road.

Manny Machado, 3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles

  • 8/9: 2-for-4, 1 R

Which infield prospect is a better roto pickup? Jean Segura, whom the Milwaukee Brewers' called up at the beginning of the week, or the O's No. 2 prospect? Check out this past week's DMs for each (punch: Segura, Machado) for the bg info.

Bottom line: Machado spent his entire 2012 campaign, prior to his call-up, at the Double-A level, just like Segura did. Machado, 20, is one year and eight months younger, however. The No. 3 overall pick in 2010 has more upside right away because of acumen and ability to make adjustments much more quickly.

Scott Feldman, P, Texas Rangers

  • Last 3: 3 W, 1.19 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 14 K in 22 2/3 IP

The pitcher of whom Roy Oswalt has a voodoo doll may have discovered the secret since his brief return to the bullpen in mid-July: a good attitude. OK, the right-hander has three solid weapons, a couple of which have helped him induce more grounders in the past couple of months.

The real Feldman isn't nearly as bad as the one who moved to the rotation initially out of need, but he's not quite as good as the one who's sticking in it because of want (Ron Washington's). The control artist is a little closer to the latter version, however, so he may ride it through September.

Eric Chavez, 3B, New York Yankees

  • Last 9: .467 BA, 9 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI in 32 PA

The beneficiary of the absence of Alex Rodriguez (non-displaced fracture in left hand) has been en fuego. Chavez, 34, is also experiencing a resurgence that seemed nearly impossible before this season began.

A-Rod will be out for at least another five weeks. There may be some ups and downs, but Chavez is certainly capable of putting up quality numbers while playing on the good side of a platoon and hitting in that lineup.

Jim Henderson, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

  • Last 11: .310 BA, 10 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI in 36 PA

Twice, Henderson received the CHS treatment because of his sudden emergence as a closing candidate for the Brew Crew. Roto players across the universe took notice immediately.

The right-handed fireballer has a good slider, too, and he did improve his BB/9 on the farm to ... 4.12 this year. OK, there's definitely a chance that Henderson's control problems catch up to him in 2012. Of course, some of us kept thinking the same thing about John Axford.

Franklin Morales, P, Boston Red Sox

  • 8/5: W, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K in 6 IP

Tim's DM write-up on Beantown's (re-)addition to the rotation will tell you a little of what you need to know about the southpaw's prospects from here on out, and he points to a previous DM that gives you the rest of the goods.

Morales seems likelier to stick around this time. Aaron Cook may continue to fall apart, and Felix Doubront could be hitting a wall, too. Morales has more upside than either, easily.

Milwaukee Brewers RP Jim Henderson
New Brew Crew savior

Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins

  • Last 20: .354 BA, 16 R, 4 HR, 16 RBI in 88 PA

Some folks in shallow leagues needed just a bit of a reminder: When he's healthy, this Morneau fella is pretty darn good.

The 2006 MVP hasn't experienced any complications from past concussions this season. As long as he's upright, Morneau should be owned in pretty much all formats.

Ryan Doumit, C, Minnesota Twins

  • August: .393 BA, 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI in 29 PA

Like his teammate Morneau, Doumit has been putting up solid numbers for much of this campaign. A quality July (.307 BA, 10 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI in 96 PA) wasn't enough to make those in shallow leagues take notice, so the switch hitter went on a hot streak to get their attention.

Doumit has played a variety positions (and has slotted in at DH, which has helped to keep him healthy). The catcher eligibility and Minnesota's capable offense, when all are present, should keep him employed in many mixed leagues.

Steve Cishek, RP, Miami Marlins

  • Last 2: .200 BA, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB in 5 PA

Cishek has been leading Ozzie Guillen's "committee" of closing options lately. In fact, the righty has been the committee. He has the skills to keep that role for the rest of the season.

Thursday's CHS highlighted the one real obstacle for Cishek's value for the rest of the season: Miami's repeated desire to re-establish Heath Bell as an option in the ninth stanza. Bell has blown his opportunities a few times already (and his Aug. 9 appearance isn't earning him points), though. Cishek is a must-retain for the rest of the season for roto managers who are trying to pad their saves total.

Marco Scutaro, 2B/3B/SS, San Francisco Giants

  • Last 13: .346 BA, 5 R, 1 HR, 14 RBI in 58 PA

Wait a minute. So, this guy leaves the club that plays its home games at Coors Field for the team in San Fran, and now he's a hot property? The Giants' offense has been unusually potent lately, although most of their runs have come in three or four contests since they acquired Scutaro.

The 36-year-old is a solid player, and his eligibility at multiple positions is sweet. He's still not much of a force on offense. His grand slam - part of a seven-RBI night on Wednesday - is probably what caused him to appear near the top of free-agent lists and look like a great pickup.

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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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