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
SP Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
Streamers and prospect hounds alike have come running in anticipation of the promotion of Cole, the Bucs' top prospect. He'll fill in for Wandy Rodriguez, who left his last start with tightness in his left forearm but doesn't necessarily need a DL stint, on Tuesday versus the San Francisco Giants.
Cole is the 2011 No. 1 overall pick who reportedly touches 99 mph on the gun. He's posted a sub-3.00 ERA in his 200 regular-season innings as a pro, including a 2.91 mark, with a 6.22 K/9 and a 3.71 BB/9, in 68 stanzas for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cole, 22, hasn't been as dominant for Indianapolis as his ERA suggests. His command has been less efficient as he's climbed the ladder, suggesting that he may not be quite ready for long-term MLB exposure.
The Bucs don't have to commit to Cole beyond Tuesday; Jeanmar Gomez (forearm tightness), James McDonald (shoulder soreness) and Charlie Morton (Tommy John surgery) are nearing returns to action with the parent team. Rodriguez may be fine after some rest and a few side sessions, the first of which is scheduled for today. If Cole impresses, though, any or all of the three rehabbing righties could end up in the bullpen.
1B Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays
This piece in the Toronto Sun pretty much sums up what has attracted fantasy owners to the Jays' hottest hitter. Bluebird Banter examined the changed nature of Lind, who appears to have become a more patient hitter in the past season and a half.
Will this hot hitting become just par for Lind's course? There are a handful of hazards in assuming that it will, but the sacrifice of a little power for better outcomes more frequently on other batted balls this year should reduce his playing-time risk. Lind has been known to ride lengthy peaks -- and valleys -- so Lind will need more than his refined approach to answer the question.
OF Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays
Plenty of folks got that fever after Jim Bowden tweeted this past weekend that Tampa Bay is close to a promotion of one of the game's top prospects to the major league level. Bowden provided no context, however, making it unclear whether his tip was news, perhaps with a source, or just his estimation (because the rumored Super Two cutoff date is approaching).
A report from Roger Mooney, of The Tampa Tribune, contradicted Bowden's assertion. It would have odd timing, considering how the Rays have rebounded from a poor offensive start. The organization has stated on a couple of occasions that it won't promote Myers until it believes he's developed as they expect. We aren't likely to know when that is until it happens, so anyone asserting something ahead of time is likely just guessing.
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
OF Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres
Maybin we're amazed
Maybin is 5-for-18 with a home run and four stolen bases since returning last week from the DL, where he spent a month and a half for a wrist impingement that has given him problems on and off for some time. Surgery wasn't required, so it's unclear if he's past the issue for good, but that shouldn't matter at this juncture.
A healthy Maybin is simply a must-own. The center fielder with budding power swiped 40 bases in 2011 and 26 last season. A pain-free right wrist will certainly aid his efforts to raise his average, something he shouldn't have much trouble doing in the short term.
SP Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers
In spring training, the big breakout looked like it was just around the corner, didn't it? So what happened? This right-hander sports a 4.86 ERA through 12 starts (63 innings).
Take a closer look. After a dreadful performance at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 20 (nine earned runs, only two outs recorded), Porcello has been that breakthrough pitcher. In eight games (50 stanzas), he's generated a 3.24 ERA, struck out 51 and walked 10. One of those outings was a clunker, but the rest were quality starts, save one, which was still a proud outing at the Texas Rangers last month.
Porcello has teased fantasy owners before, but never like this. The K's are coming along like the rate at which he registered them in ST by relying on his changeup and an Uncle Charlie breaking ball more often. His ERA should continue to decline, even if it's slowly.
1B/OF Kyle Blanks, San Diego Padres
It's not often that two Friars batters make a list of good pickups for fantasy owners. Maybin was expected to cut off Blanks' avenue to PT, but San Diego realized that Yonder Alonso was going to need plenty more time to recover from what they initially believed was a bruise in his hand but later found out was a fractured bone.
Luckily, Blanks is a former first baseman. He's been a somewhat hot pickup because of his recent performance (13 for his last 32, with three home runs), which really picked up once he learned that the Padres still had room for him.
Blanks' control of the strike zone has improved considerably at the MLB level, but he hasn't sacrificed power in order to achieve it, as his six bombs in 114 at-bats attest. Health is great. There's a chance that Blanks proves he's too good to sit, with a shot at regular at-bats for the next month-plus.
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.