Fantasy Baseball Tips: The Curious Case of Kevin Kouzmanoff

      April 17, 2014 @ 12:27:14 PDT


Counting his RBI double in Thursday's contest, Kevin Kouzmanoff is carrying a 933-day hit streak. Seriously.

3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, Texas Rangers
Kouz not light on potential

Of course, that says "-day" and not the impossible "-game." Indeed, Kouz has wallowed below the fantasy baseball radar the past few years after he was traded from the Padres to the Athletics. He failed to catch on with Colorado, Kansas City and Miami after that.

The Texas Rangers took a chance on the 32-year-old in December. He rewarded them with a .370-3-12 spring in 54 AB. He probably would've made the Opening Day roster if Texas hadn't needed more speed and positional flexibility.

This DL trip for Adrian Beltre (quadriceps) is giving Kouz what seems like his millionth second chance. And, albeit in a small sample size, he's thriving.

He's always boasted lumber that, with the right breaks, could survive, albeit with frustrating inconsistency, in pitcher-friendly parks yet could take a big step in a hitter's haven. In 2011, he showed flashing signs of it in his time with the Rockies.

Now in Arlington, he has the combo of a tantalizing home park AND a deep lineup that breeds success for someone hitting fifth, which is what he has done in the last seven games, including Thursday's.

The righty stick isn't going to be a star, notably after this start crashes down, but he could play well enough to hang around even if Beltre comes back when immediately eligible. (If he is out for much longer, this is probably a moot point.) Mitch Moreland hardly is already best used in platoon duty. AL-only and deep-mixed owners can't write off Kouz being a handedness option and therefore occasionally useful, especially in daily-lineup games.

Of course, if the small odds of that post-post-post-post-post-post-post-hype breakthrough hit, he's in a fine element to take that belated next step.

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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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