Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Carlos Beltran, Kurt Suzuki, Chris Parmelee, more

by Tim Heaney on September 10, 2012 @ 11:46:09 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?

Carlos Beltran, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Washington Nationals C Kurt Suzuki
Suzuki restored

The decline has been slow and brutal from his MVP-like first half. Since June ended, he's hitting .202 with nine homers and 26 RBIs. Unfortunately, the tater he hit Sunday was his first in 24 games, over which he's batting .157. The fence-clearing came after he was benched Saturday.

Mike Matheny told the press that injuries have "compromised" the timing on Beltran's swing, which Joe Strauss said "has recently looked forced." A sore left knee and a left hand malady have been recent causes for the problem. Maybe the 35-year-old has been pushing too hard through these dings. More importantly, we don't really know how long these - or something else - have been affecting him.

His liner rate has stayed at solid levels with the passing of each month, and he's usually a fine player in September, but he's shown a little less lift recently, a symptom of his aching body parts. St. Louis may consider sitting him more often in the short term - they have flexibility via roster expansion - but in the thick of their Wild Card race, they'll probably want even a shell of the seasoned bat on the card as frequently as possible.

Any hint of damage with Beltran, especially when it involves his knees, should give you pause. A big part of his struggles might've just been correction of his torrid start. A cortisone injection on his left hand a few weeks ago might start helping him come around, but you'd be more confident if he had shown more sustained signs of progress there.

It's hard to have loyalty at this point in the year, and Beltran has hardly earned it. Shallow leaguers probably have given up on him. Was his Sunday swat a sign of him turning things around? Maybe he's over his lull; fantasy assessments of such stretches sometimes simply involve feel. This week, however, doesn't provide an alluring test of faith, at least in environment. St. Louis will play at pitcher havens PETCO Park and Chavez Ravine, and he's posted a notably worse clip on the road.

Weekly lineup setters face the risk of more dullness or the reward of Beltran catching heat again. If you're desperate for a spark, and you've stuck with him this long, it might be worth trying to strike the last match, but it could incinerate your chances in a close fantasy race.

Kurt Suzuki, C, Washington Nationals

Consider him rejuvenated following a trade from the Bay area and a significant swing adjustment made with help from familiar faces. Over his last 10 contests, the 28-year-old has raked to a .351-3-9 line. His cleaner hacks have squared up opposing pitches better, and his veteran presence will keep him as the majority receiver. The contact bat now making better connections should make his last few weeks quite productive.

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

Chris Parmelee, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins

Denard Span's shoulder woes gave Parmelee the chance at regular playing time, and he has held down right field since the speedster's DL placement. Parmelee's .359-3-9 line over the last 10 games hasn't been off from his stats at Triple-A Rochester (.338-17-49 with a 1.102 OPS over 228 at-bats).

His BABIPs against southpaws in both of his work environments say good fortune has helped, but he's hitting them hard, which justifies his performance a tad. The 24-year-old's progression and thump during his only stint at the highest farm level plays well for his Twins future, too; Ron Gardenhire is gaining confidence in him.

Span might return this week, which would complicate Minnesota's shuffle at designated hitter and the corner outfield spots. His health woes this year make that an uncertain bet, though. Considering his recent play and his place on the favorable platoon side, Parmelee should play enough, even after Span comes back, for you to stick with him as a rotational play, at minimum.

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

Russ Canzler, 3B, Cleveland Indians

Travis Hafner (back) is hurt again. That's less surprising than Canzler's six-game hit streak during which he's hitting .385 with a round-tripper and four RBIs.

Logging time at first base, left field and DH, he'll have plenty of outlets to strengthen his case for a 2013 spot, regardless of Lonnie Chisenhall's return from the DL. His 22-homer, 79-RBI registry at Triple-A Columbus might've merely been the product of him being 26 years old for his second go-round at the station, but he's displayed pop regardless of level over the last three years.

His accompanying clip will be more like the .265 this year than the .314 at Durham in 2011, especially since his 8.5 walk percentage and 23.7 percent strikeout rate look more like what he'll offer in the bigs than his previously optimistic figures. Still, nothing wrong with a useful corner-infield piece this late in the year.

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

Darin Ruf, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies will give "Babe Ruf" a shot in the bigs thanks to his 20-homer, 36-RBI August during a record-breaking campaign for Double-A Reading.

The 26-year-old's numbers look like those from a video game and were put up versus competition likely still addicted to such toys. Charlie Manuel, however, is quite interested in giving Ruf time whenever possible, which would most likely happen against left-handers, potentially spelling Ryan Howard or one of the corner outfielders.

The minors masher carries a short swing, which along with his wise batting eye could aid his transition. Sure, he'll hit air more often facing elite opponents, but he doesn't take long to reach the strike zone, which lowers his disadvantage enough to be more confident in him than most barnstormers.

It's ludicrous to ignore power potential that could help for three weeks because of his risks elsewhere; if you need help in the three-pronged counting category, he deserves a low-risk investment. For the long term, he could be another Mike Hessman. The chances of him at least being Jerry Sands, however, make him worth a roster-capping trial on single-universe or cavernous mixed dynasty rosters.

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

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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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