Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
Chris Heisey, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Ludwick had surgery on Wednesday to repair the torn labrum in his right shoulder, and he's expected to miss about three months. Call it Heisey's gain, because he'll play left field.
With regular PT, Heisey could hit about .260, belt 25-plus home runs and swipe 10-plus bases. That's pretty good production, at least for deep mixed leaguers. Plus, consider this: Even when Ludwick is back, he's unlikely to be fit to hit, especially for power. Shin-Soo Choo is also a liability in center field, whereas Heisey can play the position adequately. This is a long-term play with longer-term benefits possible.
Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Baltimore Orioles
This Asian import has already proven himself for a full season as a starter and has put up quality marks (4.02 ERA, 7.19 K/9 and a 2.66 BB/9 in 192 2/3 frames last season) against major league comp. Skepticism has been widespread, or at least enough so that he's available in so many leagues.
In his 2013 debut, Chen limited the Tampa Bay Rays to seven hits, two runs and no walks, with four strikeouts, but Baltimore went on to lose the contest 8-7. Chen is a more dangerous start in hitter-friendly parks (like Camden Yards) because of his propensity yield the long ball, but he's a skilled pitcher who should provide plus contributions in a couple of categories.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Cleveland Indians
Keep your eye on the Colorado Rockies' former ace. In his season debut, he pitched six frames against the Toronto Blue Jays, striking out six, walking two and yielding just one run. That's no Houston Astros, and the Rogers Centre is a launching pad, but Jimenez kept the ball out of the air more than two-thirds of the time.
The velocity was around 92, 93, with good movement, and the velo should probably be considered a positive. Jimenez spent the spring focused on taking a bit off in order to make sure he located well, and the Tribe has worked extensively with him on his mechanics. In 30 spring frames, against mostly big leaguers, the righty struck out 22 and walked only seven. He may not be an ace again, at least this year, but he could still be a very good pitcher.
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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