Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Derek Jeter, Andrew Bailey, more

by Tim Heaney on July 11, 2013 @ 12:35:00 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

SS Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox RP Andrew Bailey
Bailey will be closing again soon

Many formats with few disabled list spots were hosting The Captain on their free-agent list. The news that Jeter's belongings (gift baskets?) were shipped to the Bronx prompted a scramble for No. 2's services. The Bombers need his potential in the lineup, where he's batting second today.

He looked OK at the outset in his first few plate appearances, but remember that recovering from an ankle fracture depends on how quickly one regains playing strength and lower-body drive. Will that start rolling after nine farm at-bats? Maybe they're using this weekend as an extended tune-up because of the All-Star break.

Expecting a prorated total of the 15 homers he clubbed last year, regardless of health, was already lofty. Settle for the ceiling of a BA approaching .300 after an up-and-down battle, but it's safe to wonder whether this offense helps pad his runs and RBIs as much as it did in the past.

OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

Fantasy owners are revisiting their late-May love of MB, this time while trying to hop on his July run of 12-for-33 with two homers (both on July 7), eight RBIs (five on that day), seven plate crossings and a swipe. He's mostly hitting fifth for the Tribe, not a bad spot for someone with his contact skills, though it'd be optimal if he were hitting near the top.

Leaving the yard isn't typically a part of his game, but in what could be the start of his breakout years, its development wouldn't be shocking, because he's already old by baseball standards. As noted during his first waiver feature, Brantley will provide stability at the back end of any fantasy outfield.

SP Jeremy Hefner, New York Mets

Notice his last nine starts: 2.09 ERA, 1.09 WHIP with 49 K's in 56 frames. He hasn't coughed up more than three earned tallies in any of those. What the....

He's still susceptible to the long ball, and his batted-ball allowance hasn't differed much from last year, outside of a promising increase of pop-ups by about 2 percent. Run support and wins won't help him, but he's aiding himself as much as possible.

OK, maybe he's learning from the coaches, too: He's rotating his torso more during his delivery (a la A.J. Burnett, it would seem), which breeds more deception in his offerings. It's improving his punchout ability (7.04 per nine so far compared to 5.96 last year) to continue his monthly command growth.

His advanced metrics say this won't last, but the Mets secretly have made a habit in recent seasons of extracting excellent stretches from formerly discarded pitching assets. Don't dismiss the possibility that he's the next one, at least for the balance of this campaign.

Future saves, and two intriguing starting pitchers, available

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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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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