Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jurickson Profar, Kendrys Morales, more

by Tim Heaney on May 20, 2013 @ 13:00:00 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all'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?

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2B Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers

Seattle Mariners DH Kendrys Morales
Time to find Morales?

Ian Kinsler's DL placement (right intercostal strain) clears the way for the nearly consensus top MLB prospect, who'll play Kinsler's spot. Profar has manned second base and shortstop on the farm. The beyond-his-years 20-year-old was posting a rate of numbers in his first Triple-A Round Rock action similar to his output at Double-A Frisco last season.

Barring another Texas injury, however, the switch-hitter might have only Kinsler's absence to convince them he should stick after the incumbent's activation. A slump would justify a demotion.

In most leagues with 12-plus teams, however, he deserves to be stashed for the long-term game, lessening the pain of a quick demotion while giving you ease of mind that a deep-league competitor won't benefit if Profar forces his way into the everyday lineup (outfield, perhaps?).

SP Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates

Thanks to 16 K's and two wins in his first two starts of the year, he's in high demand a few weeks after being listed as a "Best Available." The Pirates may have another success story with a talented but troubled arm that benefits from moving to a favorable Senior Circuit home park.

His WHIP will continue lashing his owners, notably from his walks column, but his new overhand delivery stands to streamline both the downward snap on his breaking stuff -- a trademark of his past dominance -- and Liriano's command. The likelihood of rough spots shouldn't prevent you from trying out his new ceiling, which should look more like 2010 (3.62 ERA, 9.44 K/9) than his ugliness from '11 and '12.

SP Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays

Overshadowed by Profar's return was the Saturday announcement of this 23-year-old joining Tampa's rotation Monday. He wound up going five innings, allowing three runs, five hits and one walk while fanning six Toronto Blue Jays, in his debut on Monday.

Odorizzi may wear this uni only a few weeks, depending on how long David Price (strained left triceps) must rest. The stand-in has the upside of a No. 2 starter but more comfortably fits as a middle-of-the-rotation piece. Despite his 47 punch-outs in 44 2/3 frames at Triple-A Durham this year, he doesn't break many radar guns, more often relying on guile and sequencing with his variety of breaking balls.

Homers have been a problem at Triple-A with TB and with his former organization, the Kansas City Royals. His precision-based work will probably sustain this problem throughout his career, but his potential for an above-average K/9 means he deserves a rental in redraft formats and ownership in most deep keepers. Remember, though, that Tampa has numerous young alternatives if he falters.

"Best Available" includes a Mariner, Snake, Friar

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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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