Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Chris Johnson, Lorenzo Cain, more

by Tim Heaney on April 22, 2013 @ 12:48:58 PDT

 

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Lorenzo Cain, OF, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals SP Wade Davis
Wade through muck to find Davis

Cain's .455 BABIP won't be sustained. Still, he boasts a history, farm and bigs, of above-average figures. He's showing sparkling restraint toward pitches outside of the zone and might be locking down the fifth spot in the order.

Unlike Johnson, at least Cain can keep his dollar returns afloat with stolen bases. Maybe offseason work on his running style will produce more. The 27-year-old isn't a solidified 20-homer weapon and could stand to improve his batting eye, but he offers upside across four or five categories, which makes him an attractive mixed depth piece with a noticeable, if not top-shelf, ceiling.

Wade Davis, SP, Kansas City Royals

The Royal flush continues: Davis has fanned 15 and walked just three in 16 frames so far. In Davis' return to rotation duty, his velocity has dipped -- a natural, typical side effect -- but his ability to punch out hitters hasn't, at least relatively among SPs, thanks to his cutter. (Remember that the cutter is en vogue when it comes to pitcher breakthroughs.)

He's been hit hard early, but as he establishes his mound pace while honing his diverse repertoire, he may take a significant leap. Deep miners shouldn't let him sit unclaimed, and shallow leaguers must recognize he could become more than a matchup play.

Kyle Kendrick, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Potential mirages for his 3.28 ERA over four starts lay in his elevated 83.3 left-on-base percentage and below-average 5.6 opponents' swinging-strike rate. Enemies' .303 hit rate reads as an anomaly but may stick if he continues allowing more liners.

In recent campaigns, however, he's frequently outperformed his predictive gauges for ERA. His cutter-sinker-changeup combo, as noted here this draft season, has simply made him a more effective pitcher, and few acknowledge it, even while he's inducing his highest pace of grounders since 2009. His hittable but polished methods will cost you little to test in most setups for his reliable innings.

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

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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