Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Brandon Moss, Michael Pineda, more

by Keith Hernandez on June 20, 2013 @ 12:27:52 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

1B/OF Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics 1B Brandon Moss
Gathering Moss

The Athletics are one of baseball's hottest clubs, and Moss is a big reason why. The lefty swinger went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple Wednesday night, and he has six home runs and an OPS above .900 in June. Despite his .237 average, Moss has cleared the fences 13 times.

Moss' power is for real, but his average won't shoot up to reflect his .291 BA of a year ago when he's striking out a third of the time he steps to the dish. A fortunate BABIP (.359) last year buoyed that stat, as did his uncharacteristic success against southpaws.

He hasn't figured out lefties, but the double-digit drop in grounders last year has stuck, meaning he's a good bet to hit over 20 bombs again this year. He has the pop to deliver, even at spacious O.co Coliseum. You shouldn't leave 20-homer commodities on the waiver wire.

SP Roy Oswalt, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have parted ways with veteran Jeff Francis in favor of another vet with former ace tendencies in Oswalt. He'll make his season debut Thursday against the Washington Nationals.

How much can we expect from a 35-year-old hurler who hasn't pitched in the bigs since October of last year? He was rocked with the Texas Rangers to the tune of a 5.80 ERA and 11 homers in 59 innings in 2012 while battling back and forearm ailments. Unfortunate hit and HR/FB rates plagued him, as well.

If Oswalt's skills are still intact, and his 2.16 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in five tune-ups at Double-A Tulsa hint they might be, you shouldn't overlook him, even if he's tossing in another unfriendly environment for pitchers. At worst, he could be a decent matchup play in deep mixed formats initially.

RP Joaquin Benoit, Detroit Tigers

Detroit skipper Jim Leyland is a little perplexed as to who he wants closing out ball games in the ninth. Jose Valverde has been the man for much of the season, but now Benoit has entered the fray.

It'll be a committee approach for the time being among Valverde, Benoit, and possibly even Phil Coke or Drew Smyly. Benoit, typically viewed as more of a setup man in his career, has the stuff to close. He may not be as flashy as Papa Grande, but he's gotten the job done, successfully closing out all four of his SVOs this year.

Save seekers need to jump on Benoit, even though his usage in the ninth may be sporadic and frustrating. Heck, his overall numbers (1.80 ERA, 10.5 K/9) will help regardless. Besides, if Valverde slips up any more, Benoit could see more chances.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

SP Michael Pineda, New York Yankees

New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda
Finally ready to debut in Pinstripes?

Remember this guy? The one the Yanks traded Jesus Montero for in January of 2012. Shortly after the swap, Pineda dealt with shoulder issues that later led to surgery for a torn labrum. He missed all of last season recovering.

The Seattle Mariners were quickly deemed the winners of that trade. Not so fast. Pineda's recovery is almost complete; he'll make his third rehab start in Florida today, where he'll throw around 80 pitches, and team brass is ecstatic that he's back in the mid-90s with his fastball.

Recovery from labrum surgery isn't easy and comes with no guarantees, but Pineda is young (24) and is showing excellent progress. Another three rehab starts could be all he needs before the Yanks deem him ready to return. When healthy, Pineda has the stuff to be an ace.

A full rebound might not come until next year, but Pineda can still deliver in the second half of 2013. He might already be owned in AL-only leagues, but start stashing him everywhere else.

1B Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers

Moreland hasn't played since June 5 after suffering a Grade 1 right hamstring strain. He went on the disabled list the next day, but all indications are that he'll return this Friday after going 6-for-12 with a home run in three rehab outings with Double-A Frisco this week.

Ron Washington pledged to play Moreland more against lefties this year, and he's delivered, going 20-for-72 (.278) with a homer against them. He's solidified his plate approach, as well, and is putting the ball in the air more often. His penchant for solid contact should keep his average afloat near where he's at now (.288) for the remainder of the year.

Lance Berkman could steal some PT away from Moreland at first base now that Texas has decided to find Jurickson Profar a regular lineup spot with Ian Kinsler back, but it won't be enough to dissuade owners in mixed leagues from owning Moreland. A decent average with 25-home run power -- what's not to like?

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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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