Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Dee Gordon, Phil Hughes, more

by Nicholas Minnix on May 6, 2013 @ 13:11:34 PDT

 

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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? Are they worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

Hottest Pickups
Most frequently added in leagues polled

Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

Miami Marlins SP Kevin Slowey
Slowey quickly gaining steam

Fantasy owners are wise not to play wait-and-see games with Hanley Ramirez's replacement. Gordon, 25, is a single-category difference-maker who was hitting .314 with a .397 OBP and 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts at Triple-A Albuquerque before his summons.

Gordon's struggles on D are why the Dodgers opted for Justin Sellers at short to open 2013 and why Gordon had begun taking fielding practice at second base while on the farm. The Blue ain't scorin', though, and he's likelier to help them change that. Don Mattingly has already allowed for the possibility that Gordon remains a regular when Han-Ram returns from a strained left hamstring, whenever that'll be.

Gordon is 3-for-7 with a couple of walks and three stolen bases in two contests. He keeps that up, and Ramirez will be playing at the hot corner, for sure. Gordon's drastically increased walk rate in a month's worth of play is encouraging.

Kevin Slowey, SP, Miami Marlins

As has widely been reported, Slowey, 29, recorded a winning decision on Sunday for the first time since 2010 by pitching seven shutout stanzas against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He could've received a W in just about any of his six previous starts, too, however, given his 1.81 ERA, 7.25 K/9 and 1.61 BB/9 in 44 2/3 innings.

An outstanding command rate has always been Slowey's calling card. Hits and, particularly, homers did him in for most of his tenure with the Minnesota Twins and one-year stay with a Cleveland Indians affiliate. Unsurprisingly, the righty's game seems to agree with Senior Circuit ball. Wins will probably remain elusive, but the good numbers may continue to come. Corrections will come sooner or later, so be prepared.

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins

If so many rotisserie and head-to-head gamers are reeling in Fish, then they seem destined to feel a little seasick, especially if they get a look at the chum. Floundering franchises frequently furnish feasible flings for unforeseen performers, for all that.

Keith discussed the merits of Ozuna last week, shortly after the Fish called him up to replace Giancarlo Stanton (pretty serious strain of his right hamstring). Ozuna, 22, has less than a month's worth of experience -- but counting, at least -- above advanced Class A ball. Yep, he's raw. He hits bombs, runs a little and is off to a hot start, however. He's one talented ballplayer, so some folks should be willing to see how long this lasts.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees

This right-hander's 3.60 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in six starts (35 frames) aren't doing him anything close to justice. Hughes may, in fact, be taking the step that seemed to be just over the horizon after his 2010 campaign (4.19 ERA) and which he revisited in 2012 (4.23 ERA) after a miserable 2011 fueled by his complacence.

New York Yankees SP Phil Hughes
Hughes has been huuuuuge

Hughes has registered a 8.74 K/9 and 1.80 BB/9 in 2013. A .343 BABIP against him is cracking his WHIP. His first two outings (a combined seven frames, with eight earned runs and four K's against two walks) of this campaign were borderline rehab starts. ST back problems were expected to delay Hughes' availability and likely to require a minor league outing or two.

In his last four games, Hughes has gone at least six innings, allowed no more than two earned runs and fanned at least six. He has a 1.93 ERA with 30 punch-outs and only five free passes in 28 stanzas in that stretch. His opponents haven't exactly been the dregs of the league, either: He shut out the Oakland Athletics for eight innings on Saturday.

Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Jay seems to have -- or, perhaps more accurately, the Milwaukee Brewers may have -- fixed whatever ailed his laborious swing and awful outcomes to open the season. In a four-game set at Miller Park, the left-handed hitter was 8-for-14 with a home run, six RBIs, three runs and two walks. He raised his average from .204 to .252 with that showing.

Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Jay made some serious adjustments not too long ago. They have, in a short span, achieved the desired effect. Jay, who's definitely more of a .300 rapper than a .200 crapper, has more room to improve and should do so -- as well as become a fixture at leadoff again for suddenly hot St. Louis.

Dayan Viciedo, OF, Chicago White Sox

The ChiSox's regular left fielder has missed about three weeks because of an oblique strain, but he's scheduled to begin a rehab assignment today. He should rejoin the parent club by sometime this weekend.

Viciedo, 24, had hit a mere .229 with two home runs in 48 at-bats and hadn't drawn a walk, so perhaps it was easy for mixed leaguers to discard him. Tank slugged 25 home runs in 2012 and is still a pretty good bet to reach that total before this season draws to a close, though.

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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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