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?
Most frequently added in leagues polled
2B/SS Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners
M's couldn't hold him back
The M's summoned the 22-year-old switch-hitting prospect Monday in favor of the slumping Dustin Ackley (.205/.266/.250). Franklin was destroying pitching at Triple-A Tacoma, posting a slash line of .324/.440/.472 with nine doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs, 28 runs and seven stolen bases.
Seattle's first-round pick in the 2009 draft, Franklin is expected to primarily play second base, although he also has plenty of experience at shortstop. He spent a good chunk of 2012 at Tacoma, where he hit .243 with seven long balls and 29 RBIs.
Franklin's power potential as a middle infielder is what makes him so enticing. Excellent plate discipline and an understanding of the zone (20 K's, 30 BBs at Tacoma) will help him hit for average in the bigs. The fact that he can play both middle infield positions boosts his staying power if Ackley were to return.
RP Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians
Skipper Terry Francona named Pestano the closer after Chris Perez (shoulder tendonitis) landed on the DL Monday. Although Pestano hasn't been quite as good this year, he's been next in line for the last few years. His elbow ailment is behind him and he's tweaked his mechanics.
More on Pestano in today's Closer Hot Seat.
SP John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
It was justifiable to be skeptical in 2013 about Lackey, who's coming off Tommy John surgery. A biceps strain in his first outing compounded matters. Since returning, though, he's sporting an ERA of 2.55 with 32 strikeouts and only 10 walks, including a seven-inning, two-hit, eight-K performance against the Cleveland Indians last Friday.
It's a small sample size this year, but don't let his disastrous 2011 season and injury history cloud the fact that he's been dominant of late (no earned runs, three hits and 13 K's in his last two starts). His 9.08 K/9 and 1.13 WHIP are the best marks in his career.
Are we seeing the Lackey that used to pitch for the Halos? His velocity is in the mid-90s and his location has been spot on, as evidenced by his 53.6 percent ground-ball rate. He won't be this dominant all year, but this is a friendly reminder that there's still some of that old Lackey in the tank.
SP Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
A rash of injuries to the Cardinals' rotation has forced them to turn to Wacha, who'll make his big-league debut against the Kansas City Royals this Thursday. Well, forced may not be the right word here. Wacha was downright dominant at Triple-A Memphis, going 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 34 K's in 52 2/3 innings (nine starts).
Since being selected in the first round of last year's June draft, the 21-year-old righty has done nothing but succeed in the minors, quickly moving up to Class AAA ball. He has a nice four-pitch repertoire that he'll need to take advantage of in The Show to be successful.
Wacha's 5.8 K/9 at Memphis means he probably won't miss many bats in the bigs, especially in his first taste. His limited professional experience should also keep hopeful investors honest. He'll receive at least a handful of starts, but there's a good chance he's sent back down when St. Louis' other rotation arms are healthy again.
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About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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