Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Alex Rodriguez appealing, Will Middlebrooks going off, more

by Nicholas Minnix on August 22, 2013 @ 10:02:57 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

3B Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez
His health ... enhanced

Since baseball's whipping boy has returned to action, he's batted .296 with a pair of ding dongs, six RBIs and a stolen base in 54 at-bats. He's also walked six times, against 15 strikeouts. What's most encouraging: He hasn't looked completely lost at the dish, unlike he did for much of last season's second half and the playoffs.

Observers have noted that Rodriguez's hip was likely affecting him for that entire period, and perhaps before that, so it has probably been some time since we've seen a healthy version of him. That's fair. He's no world-beater anymore, but he should continue to contribute, as long as he's injury-free.

OF Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers

If you didn't draft Chris Davis, do you want to miss your chance to pick up this Davis? This 25-year-old did a couple of short-lived stretches with the Brew Crew earlier this season, but now that Ryan Braun is in timeout and Carlos Gomez (sprained right knee) has sat for a week, Davis has received an opportunity.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound corner outfielder has posted a .324/.395/.648 slash line in his 81 major league appearances this season. That slugging percentage is largely the result of his six taters, four of which have come in his last 12 games (40 at-bats). His contact rate won't allow him to sustain that BA, but the power is really real, yo. As long as he holds on to that PT. ...

RP Tommy Hunter, Baltimore Orioles

Jim Johnson has been undependable, to say the least, this season. His nine blown saves and seven losses have forced Buck Showalter to consider other options in the ninth. Hunter, who's been revelatory since his shift to the bullpen, received the save sitch responsibility on Wednesday night and converted without a hitch.

Fantasy owners should definitely consider adding Hunter, if he's still available. Showalter may still have designs to rely on Johnson exclusively, in the long term, and Francisco Rodriguez, among others, is an option in the ninth, even though he's managing a mild groin strain. Closer Hot Seat has been monitoring this situation and will continue to do so.

OF Nate Schierholtz, Chicago Cubs

Schierholtz, a hot pickup to open this season, has been scorching again in August (.345 average, four home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 15 games). He's struck out 18 times in his 60 plate appearances in that stretch, too. Such results so frequently weren't a staple of his previous hot stretches this season.

The 29-year-old veteran remains a solid depth piece in very deep mixed leagues and may be worth the addition this time around, too. Fantasy owners should be ready to ditch at any moment, however, in case his seemingly aggressive approach of late becomes exploited by the opposition, making it difficult to keep this up.

Best Available
Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled

3B Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks
They found the WMB

As mentioned on Monday, Middlebrooks deserves fantasy owners' attention, even though Xander Bogaerts is the one getting a lot of it in the short time since word surfaced that he was headed to the bigs. Middlebrooks has batted .441 with a pair of jacks and seven RBIs in his 11 games this month, providing the BoSox with the kind of offense they expect from him and need period.

How long will the good times last? Impossible to say, because in the long term his BA should reside somewhere near the middle of the gap between his .288 from 2012 and .228 this season. Unquestionably, his power is legit, though, and as long as he's locked in, he's likelier to deliver numbers in related categories.

SP Jonathon Niese, New York Mets

This left-hander missed nearly two months because of a partially torn rotator cuff but returned to major league action on Aug. 11 with a mediocre showing at the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the surface (six innings, seven hits, four runs, one walk, five strikeouts), anyway, it was a mediocre showing.

Although Niese was quality, for the most part, in April, his rate of K's recorded was down notably, and his control was clearly lacking. It's fair to wonder if the shoulder injury that forced him to the DL in June (originally it was believed to be tendonitis only) hadn't begun to catch up with him in May. That month, he was awful, and he complained of a neck injury. He spent time working on his mechanics, but poor health was likely the issue.

In three starts since his activation, Niese has looked like the breakout pitcher he was in 2012. He's yielded 18 hits, six runs and five walks in 19 innings, with 23 strikeouts. Assuming that the southpaw stays healthy through the end of the campaign, he should score some very good marks.

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About Nicholas Minnix

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.

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