Friday, August 31, 2012

How Many Weeks in Sacramento?

By Corey R. Cunningham 
The red hot Oakland Athletics optioned their prized prospect 2B Jemile Weeks to AAA Sacramento last week. Speculation is the A's will bring back Jemile in September when the rosters expand. The good news here is the A's are still winning, while Weeks gets his hitting back together from a hot 2011 season.

Before Weeks was optioned to AAA, he was batting .220, with 2 HR, 20 RBI, 54 R, and 15 SB in 437 AB. Weeks played 97 G last year, while hitting .303, with 123 H, 26 2B, 8 3B, and 22 SB. Perhaps its the fact the pitchers have figured out Weeks disadvantages at the plate, this is for the poor plate performance, although this year compared to last year he has double his BB, though his SLG has dipped more than 100 points, as well as his OPS and AVG, all three categories to which is important to a top of the line hitter.

Jemile has 6 games under his belt so far in AAA Sacramento and his hitting quite well and hopefully will be back with the big league club very soon. Weeks is hitting .462 with a .548 OBP, .615 SGL, and 1.164 OPS. He has 26 AB, 2 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 9 RBI and 1 SB. It is still early to tell how his production will be in AAA, although I don't suspect he will be in Sacramento very long.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

At 3B, Chase Utley...Huh?

Utley taking grounders at 3B yesterday.

Chase Utley to 3B? It is the position he broke into baseball at, but why would the 5 time 2B All Star want to make the shift? The reason is the Phillies are thin at nearly every position. With Polanco hitting free agency this winter, trading away their entire outfield over the last couple of years, and numerous injuries which have left the Phillies looking at every possibility on the defensive side. That is why he took grounders at 3B yesterday.
So does Utley gain value with 3B eligibility? The position flexibility is nice but Utley will be drafted again as a 2B. His current stats over the last 30 days rank him the 10th best 2B over that span. His slash line of 4HR, 12RBI, 3SB, and a .273 average is decent for a 2B but as a 3B he would rank near 20th during that duration. With bad knees and aging Utley may never be another 20/20 guy again but he still holds value at a thin 2B…At 3B he is less than average. If he did make the move to 3B it would only be until Double A star Cody Asche is ready. That probably isn’t until 2014. What I could see is that Utley move to LF at the tail end of his career if he still can continue to produce some power.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Career Minor Leaguer Gets His Shot

Some more of the fallout from the Boston trade has sent career a career minor leaguer to The Show. Boston’s new 3B is Mauro Gomez. He is also eligible at 1B in most formats. With Boston going nowhere fast this big power hitting Dominican is sure to get plenty of ABs down the stretch.  He has had four different 20+ HR season in the minors with a career .278 average to go along with a .334 OBP and an OPS just north of .800.
This right handed hitting CI has put up big years in Doubles while working his way up through the Rangers, Atlanta and now the Red Sox organizations, he had four different seasons with 35+ doubles and 1 over 40. Now at 28 this may be his opportunity to shine now that he is in the big leagues.  His 25% K rate is what has kept him in minors not to mention Youkilis and Gonzalez blocking a position for him in Boston.
So far this year in nearly 50 ABs he has a .292 average with a HR and 6 RBI to go along with 7 runs. Most of this damage came in 1 game against the Royals where he went 4 for 6 with a jack and 3 RBI. For those of you in AL only leagues and deep leagues it be worth keeping an eye on Gomez who should continue to hit in the 5 hole. At the magical age 27 for ballplayers remember that Gomez had a great year in 2011 with a slash line of .304/.356/.522 with 24 HR and 90 RBI which was enough to place HIM IN THE Top 10 for each offensive category for the International League.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Minor Leaguers Involved in Blockbuster Deal

By Corey R. Cunningham

Yesterday, we learned the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers exchange some major names in baseball. More so, they exchange major money as well. The Red sox received 4 minor league players Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Ivan De Jesus, as well as major league 1B James Loney.

There are many different view points on this subject, and many people can point fingers at many others, however, we will not get into that subject, but we will focus on the minor league talent that was sent east.

Allen Webster, in his second year at AA Chattanooga Lookouts, is 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 122 IP, 120 H, 63 R, 48 ER, 1 HR, 117 K, 1.455 WHIP and a 8.7 SO/9. Looking at these particular stats, the ERA is feasible, along with allowing only 1 HR in 122 IP, which is probably more impressive stat I have seen in a while. Webster more than likely will be assigned to AA Portland, however, with 122 IP, the sox might want to see him in AAA action.

Ivan De Jesus is more of the Nick Punto Utility man involved in this deal. Thus far in 2012 he has appeared in 23 G, getting 33 AB batting .273 with 4 RBI, 5 R, and 1 SB. De Jesus will not play much in Bean town, yet perhaps may get assigned to AAA Pawtucket, to receive more playing time. The Red sox just called up top SS prospect Jose Iglesias, another downfall for De Jesus.

Jerry Sands, who was a 4th OF in LA, will be no more than that at the current moment in Boston, yet the staff will more than likely give Sands more playing time than De Jesus. Sands has spent most of the year in AAA Albuquerque where he has a BA of .303, 24 HR, 101 RBI in 416 AB. Sands has continued to hammer AAA pitching, yet has not proven to being able to handle MLB pitching. In 61 games in 2011 for the Dodgers, Sands batted just .253 and in 2012 he has 9 games with the Dodgers and only hit .174.

Rubby De La Rosa who is coming back off from an injury was sent to Boston, and should be able to take over a spot in the depleted bullpen. La Rosa will be a nice change of pace from what the Sox are use to, and gives them another option in the pen, since Alfredo Aceves has been suspended by the team for 3 games. La Rosa has only pitched 12 innings in the minors for a rehab start and is facing some groin injury setbacks from his last rehab start in early August.

The future is unclear in Boston, as they did unload $260 MM from the team payroll, and it is unclear how it will be used in the future to build this team back up. However, in my opinion the Red Sox have one of the best and deepest farm systems in the Major Leagues and have the talent to compete in the near future. Even though Zach Lee was a top prospect for the Dodgers, and they were able to hang onto him, I do believe Allen Webster can be a No 3 or 4 starter for the Sox. Sands has an advantage for a right handed hitter in Boston with the green monster playing favors to all right hander’s. This is a starting point for the Red sox and their fans.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Return Of Marcum

A great SP sits waiting to be scooped up in some leagues. Many fantasy prognosticators do not advocate running a SP out there for their first start coming off a major DL stint, but this late in the season it’s time to take chances and move up the leader board. So who am I talking about…Shaun Marcum.

Marcum has not pitched since mid June and was having a decent season before his injury. The elbow now seems fine according to all accounts. Even if it was a little sore I feel Marcum would be on the mound to showcase his talents over his last 5 starts of the season. The reason…contract for next year. His 5-3 record and 3.39 ERA should be enough to bring many suitors but a strong finish with no injury should come close to netting him a 10MM+ yearly contract.

So we have a contract showcase and the best part for Marcum owners is the relatively easy schedule going forward. Yes many games will be on the road but his career road record is superb. He has a 28-18 career record on the road with a stellar 3.54 ERA. His match ups include @PIT, @CHC, @MIA, @STL, and NYM at home. He could easily pick up 3-4 wins and 30Ks down the stretch. So if you are in one of the leagues where he still available or you have been stashing him on your DL for the last 60+ days, feel confident in running him out there today and the rest of the year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dylan Bundy...not the only Pitching Prospect Shining for the O's

By Corey R. Cunningham

The Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Kevin Gausman in the first round of this past years June Amateur draft, 4th overall out of Louisiana State University. Gausman has pitched 9 innings of minor league ball so far, 6 IP in Aberdeen New York Penn League and 3 IP in High A Frederick.

Gausman pitched well in his 2 starts in Aberdeen, with allowing just 1 H and 5 SO, and a .167 WHIP, however, his 3 IP in High A Frederick were everything but smooth. Gausman allowed 4 H, 2 HR in Frederick.

During his promotion from Aberdeen to Frederick, Gausman made a stop in Double A Bowie, where he met his future Orioles teammate in RHP Dylan Bundy, where the two chit chatted about baseball, and their future with the Baltimore Orioles.

Many of the leagues I have played in still have Bundy on the FA market, his value is only in true Dynasty Leagues at the moment, and however, with the Orioles winning, his value might keep getting higher and higher for a September call up. I do think it is too early to bring up Gasman, however, one never knows how the Orioles think.

If Bundy is on your FA wire, I would go ahead and put him on your current roster and be prepared for him to sit on your bench for a while, with the forthcoming of him being promoted for a couple innings and perhaps a start in Baltimore.

In the next couple of weeks many teams will be introducing their young talent to the big star light and seeing how they can produce not only in the spot light of the MLB, but under the pressure of the big leagues, and whether or not they can hold a spot for the 2013 roster, or if they struggle, they will have to earn their spot once again in spring training.

In 2013, keep your eye on RHP Kevin Gausman in your minor league draft, and he should go in the top 10 picks of your Keeper league draft. Looks as if Manager Buck Showalter has a hold on things in Baltimore with the prospects, and perhaps he gives the nod to their promotion or not.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is Billy Hamilton's Speed Worth A Roster Space Today?

If and when do you pick up Billy Hamilton and his speed? In my big money Roto League I am currently in 1st place by 4 points. I am 2nd in SB (12 behind) the 2nd place overall manager in my league. I am also 16 ahead of the 3rd place team in SBs. If I overtake him in SB I have just about locked up a Championship.  The dilemma is, I currently have no roster space and I am not convinced the Reds will give him a call-up. If they do call him up. Will he only be used as a pinch runner?
Let’s look at what he accomplished this year; between two minor league stops he set the single season SB record of 146, eclipsing Vince Coleman’s previous record.  He is not the greatest of hitters but he has increased his BB-K ratio this year quite dramatically. He went from 52/133 to a respectable 77/101. Those extra walks are what put him in the position to make a run at the SB record.
With only SS eligibility and Cozart blocking any playing time it’s hard to justify a critical roster space for a player who may only contribute in 1 counting category. In addition I hate to pull the trigger so early and lose flexible roster space with a possible big payday looming with a championship. If you are in the same dilemma, I feel for you. Hamilton is only owned in 2% of leagues thus far but once the word gets out he is being called up that number will spike tremendously. If I do make this move for the Usain Bolt of baseball it will be before the end of weekend. I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Angels Staff & Their Scary Numbers

What happened to the Angles rotation? Is it time to sit their entire SP for the remainder of the season? Even when a powerhouse offense, like the Halo’s have, puts up 5 runs a game it can help a beleaguered rotation put up Wins or counting Fantasy stats.

Here is a sample of what is going on for the AL’s Southern California team’s once elite starting rotation.

Dan Haren, who I have owned all season, is now 0-2 in August with a 7.62 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. They have decided to skip his next start. His back issues are obviously a reason for concern.  I do not think I will start him for the rest of the year and try to conserve my innings limit down the stretch. Owned in 87% of leagues and dropping fast.

CJ Wilson is even worse than Haren. He has posted an August line of 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA and a WHIP of 1.98. He hasn’t posted a win in two months.  His last start he blew an 8 run lead. He went from dominating to serviceable to killing your staff in 2 month increments. Still owned in 95% of leagues…hopefully not on your team.

Ervin Santana has a helpful August brewing but his July soured any owner that started him in Fantasy. His July line might have been the worst in baseball with a 12.21 ERA and a WHIP of 2.29. Hard to believe he is still owned in 44% of leagues.

Then comes Greinke. I predicted he would finish 8-2 down the stretch after the trade. I was wrong. His July/August numbers look horrifying. For the last 8 weeks he is 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. If he has been anchoring your staff you have lost ground since the All-Star break.

The moral here is do not fall in love with your ace pitchers. If they are struggling sit them down, check the waiver wire and conserve your innings limit if need be. Only 40 games left folks. Your top pitchers have 5 starts left which include playoffs. Continue to monitor recent trends and get ready for some of the September call-ups on the mound. Also I predict their Pitching Coach gets canned this week.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Just Added...

By Corey R. Cunningham

In 2 leagues I just added LF Ryan Ludwick; and why not? Ludwick has been on a hot streak ever since 1B Joey Votto has been sidelined with an injury. Ludwick so far on the season is hitting .273 with 25 HR, 69 RBI and 43 R. Since the All Star break her is hitting .333 with 13HR and an OPS of 1.165. Ryan is on the FA wire in numerous leagues and is only owned in 50% of yahoo leagues. If you are a Melky owner and need a replacement that is producing or if you need to cut someone, you will want to grab Ludwick ASAP.

I grabbed Ludwick later than sooner, for I was lagging on the Ludwick train. He was hitting well a couple weeks ago and of course like most people I thought it would disappear. In Ryan’s last 12 Games he has 6 HR, 12 RBI, 10 R, 3 Multi Hit Games, and 15 H. He has raised his average from .260 to .273 and his SLG from .541 to .584. This is his most productive year yet out of the last 3 years and look for the hot streak to continue, if so Ryan has a deal for next year from Cincinnati. Which I just heard they are in negotiations.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Catching Help Down the Stretch

The recent move of Kelly Shoppach to the Mets has opened up the door for fan favorite Ryan Lavarnway. No, he won’t be the #1 Catcher in Beantown, but he will get starts behind the plate and should get all starts against lefties. With Ortiz still nursing an Achilles tendon injury his timetable for a return to the DH is uncertain. This gives Lavarnway some extra ABs as the DH.
If you remember, Lavarnway had great power in the minors last year when he hit 32 bombs. That will translate to the bigs, especially in home games. With Salty now hitting .229 in the dog days if summer the door is wide open for Lavarnway to walk through or in his case hit through. He was hitting .295 for the RedSox Triple A team in over 300ABs this year.  If you are in AL only leagues, 2 catcher leagues or very deep leagues it is time pick up Lavarnway for your push to the playoffs or a title.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Southpaw Prospect Down, But Not Out

By Corey R Cunningham

Arizona Diamondbacks SP prospect Tyler Skaggs was slammed hard Tuesday against Triple-A Round Rock. Skaggs was looking great in AAA for the Diamondbacks, and having more success than SP Trevor Bauer was having, and it was looking good for Skaggs to be getting a September call up, however, Tuesday might have put a call up on hold for another two or three starts.

Skaggs went 5 innings Tuesday night, allowing 8 R and 10 hits, while giving up 2 BB and striking out 4 batters. According to yahoo sports, it was the worst beating the 21 year old has had since his first AAA outing. Put his promotion on hold just for another two weeks or so, as I see the Arizona front office giving him a promotion in the near future.

Tyler besides Tuesday has pitched very well for Reno, having an ERA of 2.91, in 9 games, pitching 52 IP, allowing 49 H, 22 R, 17 ER, only 4 HR, and having 45 K. Tyler was promoted to Reno from AA Mobile, after 13 games, and a 2.84 ERA, in 70 IP. He has pitched a total of 122 IP this year between AA and AAA with a 2.87 ERA, his innings pitch totals is down, so this is an indicator that a promotion is near. If you can afford to grab Skaggs in your dynasty league, grab him, as I feel he will be up to the big leagues for a permanent spot in the rotation.

Skaggs was the gem piece that sent RHP Dan Haren to the Angels. Skaggs was the Diamondbacks top prospect before they had drafted Trevor Bauer in this past years 1st round of the June Amateur Draft.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zobrist Gains Added Value

All you luck Ben Zobrist owners…like me, your favorite super utility man just qualified at SS to go along with his 2B and OF eligibility. I traded for Zobrist early in the season when his value was at an all time low in my Dynasty league. Remember when he was hitting under .200? I scooped him up for Jed Lowrie and Wandy; this was after I plucked Lowrie off waivers the week before.

This new position eligibility gives him so much more value. This instantly places him as the 9th best Fantasy SS overall. He now has the 2nd best OPS (.817) for SS with over 300 ABs, this is due to the many walks he generates. Always a consistent 15/15 guy who could either add a few more HR or SB depending on what his manager wants him to do and always contributes with Runs. He was already a top rated Fantasy 2B but now it is as if he cloned himself for fantasy owners. You just have to love mid season position eligibility upgrades. As you may have noticed from many of my previous posts on gaining position eligibility and flexibility I love this type of player!!

I looks as though Madden will continue to pencil Zobrist in at SS since he has yet to commit an error, so that guarantees us (Zobrist Owners) SS eligibility for next year. If you have a chance to pry him away from another owner in keeper/dynasty leagues you should think about overpaying a little to gain such a valuable/flexible asset. Currently owned in 91% of leagues he could even be wasting away on your waiver wire.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trade Deadline

By Corey R. Cummingham

The trade deadline is coming to an end soon in every fantasy baseball league you play in, if it has not already passed. Look for this to be the most active teams will be all season, besides the FA wire.

If you need a SP, RP or offensive player, go get them. Give up whatever you need to get the player(s) you need. If you are on the verge of a championship team, then you have every right to give up what you need to, if its picks and players to gain the piece or pieces you need to become a championship team.

If you are on the verge of just being a playoff team, the chances of you acquiring a piece of ‘gold’ are slim, due to the price you will have to pay. You will more than likely need every piece you currently have in order to stand pat and join the playoff race. If you can upgrade, look at upgrading in small packages. Grab a "B" tier type pitcher and trade a "C" tier pitcher and a pick, small trades likes this will help you upgrade your team, slowly but surely for you to get into the playoffs.

Do not give up on your players just yet; give these guys a chance to perform, as you have about 3-5 weeks left of regular season play before the playoffs begin. Do not count out bad performances that have happened over the past two weeks as a predicting item that could occur in a few weeks where it will count.

Have faith in your playoff team, as it has stand pat during the whole season, no reason to doubt your current team now. Look over the FA wire one last time and before next week once the rosters expand for teams bringing up September call ups, there will be a diamond in the rough somewhere. If you are out of the playoffs, go ahead and sell, sell, sell. No reason to hold onto guys that you cannot keep, or perhaps grab draft picks for the 2013 season.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Closers to Grab

There are still chances to make up saves down the stretch this season. Some MLB teams are still in turmoil with closers due to inconsistencies and injuries.  The four teams that come to mind this week are all mostly west coast teams; Oakland, San Fran, San Diego and Milwaukee.

In Oakland Cook was the man for a good 60 day stretch but now he cannot go back to back games pitching. With at least 1 days rest he has a 0.24 ERA in 38 innings and with no rest he has given up 12 runs in 9 innings. Look to Balfour to get Saves down the stretch.

The Giants situation is very muddled. Botchy has plans to realign his bullpen. We have seen former closer Casilla in the 6th. We have seen Romo in the 8th and 9th, then we see Affeldt get a 4 out Save recently.  From this point on I feel it will be both Romo and Affeldt. If you need one, I would go with Romo and his 10.8K/9 along with his career 0.90 WHIP.

San Diego took another hit when Huston Street went down with a strained calf. There is no hurry to bring him back so in the mean time Gregerson and Thayer will be another closer by committee. Yes Thayer has done well this year but he wasn’t even supposed to make the team out of spring training. If I had to grab one it would definitely be Gregerson and his potent strike out ability for road games. At home either would be serviceable.

Axford went from bullpen help, to Closer, to Elite Closer, to fallen Closer , to demoted. After blowing another lead this year (8 blown saves) Axford has been emoted for the 2nd time. On comes Jim Henderson…who? I know…all 8innings pitched in the bigs Jim Henderson. He was fairly dominating in the PCL. He posted an ERA under 2.00 with a 56 Ks in 48 innings. Use at your own risk.

Boston’s Final Blow

By Corey R. Cunningham

I believe the injury to young Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks was the final nail in the coffin Friday night, as the young superstar took a ball off his right wrist. This is true for Fantasy players who own Red Sox players and theRed Sox fans. As a result of this injury his right wrist is broken and Bobby Valentine thinks Middlebrooks will be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Middlebrooks was hitting .288 with 15 HR, 54 RBI, 34 R and 4 SB. He was the replacement to Kevin Youkilis and he will be the long time 3B there in Bean town. Even though this is a crushing blow to all fantasy teams and dynasty teams, have faith, and keep Middlebrooks on the DL for next year.

This injury could lead to a lot of decision from the Red Sox organization, whether it’s to start bringing up younger talent from the minor leagues to get experience, and also this could be time for Carl Crawford to get his Tommy John Surgery. The Red Sox are 12 games out of first place in the AL East and 6 games out of both the Wild Card spots. I can simply say this is not the year for the Red Sox, it started off bad and it’s going to end worse.

If you have owned anyone in the Red Sox rotation you have been hurt in W, ERA, & WHIP. That is just one of the ralities of owning AL East SPs. The SP is just not up to par this year, with Lester having an ERA above 5, the Josh Beckett trade rumors, and last year’s mishaps in the club house, brand new manager, which I do not think is entirely the problem, however, I do think Bobby Valentine is not the man that should be managing this team. Felix Doubront cannot do it all; he has pitched well for this team, however, his past couple outings have been horrible to say the least. The only positive note is SP Clay Buchholz, who has turned it around since the first couple starts of the season; he has been on a tear lately.

SP Aaron Cook is just simply not going to get it done this year, and although I believe they upgraded the bull pen during the trade deadline, it did nothing for this year, and I still believe trading Josh Reddick was the wrong thing to do. What is done is done, look for Boston to bring up some young minor league talent to get a head start for next year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Minor League Updates

By Corey R. Cunningham 
In the near future September call ups will start happening as the rosters will start expanding and this is where future talent will succeed and this is where future talent will fail. Many teams have all ready called up future prospects, and more will continue to make the call. Here is a look at the future of MLB baseball, take a look and if you’re in a dynasty league these names will be appealing to you, so pay close attention.

Atlanta Braves SP Julio Teheran is failing at AAA Gwinnett and did no better in his spot start for the Braves on June 10th. This could have possibly leaded to the Braves signing RHP Ben Sheets and Paul Maholm. Look for Teheran to stay in AAA unless barring injury to a SP. Teheran has a 5.12 ERA in AAA with a record of 6-6 allowing 58 ER, 16 HR, 37 BB in 102 IP.

St. Louis Cardinals P Shelby Miller is having a similar year at AAA as Teheran with a 5.25 ERA and a record of 7-9 in 1.6 IP. Rumor had Miller getting the call up perhaps when they expand the rosters; however, the Cards did just acquire South Paw relief pitcher Brian Fuentes.

Texas Rangers top prospect SS Jurikison Profar is having a good year in AA Frisco hitting .282, 67 R, 118 H, 23 2B, 7 3B, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 14 SB and a .463 SLG. Mike Olt received the call from the Rangers, and Profar could as well in September, however, I do not see a position for him to play unless they move Kinsler to the OF.

Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon is pitching decent at High-A Bradenton with a record of 6-8 and a 3.83 ERA. Taillon has started 22 games this season, pitching 120 IP and having a WHIP of 1.16. Taillon will be on an innings limit so look for his arm to be shut down soon, approximately another 20-30 innings worth.

Baltimore Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy is a wild card play. Every year it seems Baltimore rush their young talented players, just as they did SS Manny Machado and having only played in the minor leagues for 18 months. Bundy is currently pitching for High A Frederick Keys with a 2.98 ERA, and having a WHIP of 1.20. Low A was no match for Bundy, yet Bundy is still dominating at High A, however, he is getting hit. According to local news articles, Bundy will be pitching in AA Bowie August 14th.

Arizona Diamondbacks South Paw Tyler Skaggs in taking names in AAA Reno. Skaggs has performed well in Reno as well as taking over for a September call up compared to top prospect Trevor Bauer. Skaggs is 4-1 in AAA with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Look for Skaggs to get the call sooner rather than later to Arizona as his IP has accumulated to 117.

The above named prospects will be appearing soon with their respective MLB home teams, Taillon will be arriving later in 2013 than most of the prospects. Take a look at the following list of top 100 prospects of 2012 that are currently in the Major Leagues.

Baltimore Orioles SS Manny Machado
Chicago Cubs OF Brett Jackson
New York Mets SP Matt Harvey
Pittsburgh Pirates OF Starling Marte
Texas Rangers 3B Mike Olt
Toronto Blue Jays OF Anthony Gose
Atlanta Braves SS Andrelton Simmons
San Diego Padres C Yasmani Grandal

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Machado Up...But Not At SS

The Orioles called up 20 year old Manny Machado last night. All you JJ Hardy owners do not need to worry. He is not replacing Hardy nor will he get much time at SS this season. He was called up more for his slick glove work than his hitting. He will get the majority of his playing time at 3B. He should get a solid 10 game look there and replace Wilson Betemit.
Machado only has 219 total minor league games under his belt with just 109 coming above A ball. The 3rd overall pick in 2010 ranks as a top 10 prospect though. His current stat line in the minors was a .266 Average with 11HR 26 doubles and 13 SB. With the Orioles in a playoff race they are trying anything to get a spark to catch fire and finish strong.
Machado is worth a flier in 1 year leagues and a must own in all Dynasty formats. Currently owned in 6% of leagues, I see that jumping to over 20% by the weekend. I expect Machado to hit 9th in the Orioles order and try to steal early and often when he does reach base. He could give you some needed MI help and will qualify for 3B in a week. Don’t anticipate any power numbers this year and he could be a drain on your team’s batting average too. I will take a wait and see approach before I pick him up on any of my teams.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Position Flexibility

With the season winding down and rookies being called up some players are moving around the diamond to fill injury holes and contenders need for their bat in the line-up. When this happens players gain unusual position eligibility. Here are a few names of players you may want to stash on your keeper/dynasty teams for next year. As you know having the flexibility of multi-position gives you an advantage in daily leagues. These players give you the ability to plug holes for the short or long term if needed. The one name that really sticks out is Prado. By the end of the year he could have all infield position eligibility. There is not another player in baseball with a .300 Average with 4 position eligibility.


Yan Gomes who qualifies at the moment at 1B and 3B could be eligible for Catcher by the end of the month. He only needs 2 more starts behind the plate. With JP Arencibia nursing an injury it will come quickly.


Dustin Ackley currently is a top 20 2B and was just one more start will gain eligibility at 1B.

Chris Johnson is on a tear in August with an OPS at 1.175, he only needs 1 more start at 1B to qualify.

Adam Rosales is a super sub with both 3B and SS eligibility. 2 more starts at 1B and he gains additional value going into next year.

Mike Olt was previewed by Corey here. He could be the 1B of the future for Texas. He only needs 2 more starts to qualify going into next year.

Martin Prado may be the most versatile player in baseball. With a couple of more starts at 1B he gains eligibility.


Adam Rosales like I said 2 inches above…additional value with only 1 more start at 2B too.

Martin Prado Ditto. If he gains 2B eligibility by the end of the year I am going after him in the off season thru a trade in my Keeper leagues.


Albert Pujols still needs 3 more starts to gain eligibility…doubt it happens but you never know.


Jean Segura should gain SS eligibility by month’s end to add some extra value going into next year if he can break camp as a starter. Here is the write up on him last month.


Eric Hosmer still needs 3 more starts to qualify…I would put this in the Pujols at 3B category.


Kris Medlen needs only 1 more start to gain duel eligibility. Should happen later this week. Though his low pitch count has kept him from capturing Wins. The Braves are pulling at the 75-80 pitch count.


J.A. Happ is coming out of the bullpen and needs 1 more relief appearance to go into next year with Duel eligibility. As a free agent he will get picked up for someone’s rotation in 2013.

Carlos Zambrano too needs 1 more relief appearance to qualify for RP. Is he worth owning? I had him on a couple of rosters briefly thinking the change of scenery and Ozzie would help him but I am convinced him time is done as far as Fantasy value goes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

That Olt' To Be Good

By Corey R. Cunningham
Michael Olt has been called up by the Texas Rangers, and to my surprise and perhaps others as well. The Rangers have a pretty good offensive lineup, however, looks as if this young AA prospect got the call to the big leagues. It caught me off guard, as I thought we would not have seen him at least until September if not until 2013.
Olt primary position is 3B, however, he has got some looks this year in Frisco at 1B and the OF, more so 1B. Olt has played 95 games at AA this year, hitting .288 with 65 R, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 28 HR, and 82 RBI. Those are very impressive numbers to have at that level, and one would think he will start in AAA next year. If he does have a productive month of August in the big leagues with Texas, perhaps Nolan Ryan and company will make a full time 1B out of him.
Mike Olt has played 3 games so far with Texas, and has a .286 BA, 3 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, and 1 K. With the power lineup like Texas, Olt batted 8th and 9th in the lineup playing 2 games at 1B, and a game at 3B. I see no point in keeping Olt in the bigs, if they plan on using him as a spot player, to me it makes them worse, and lose the AB's which are very important in a young career. Olt is going to be the power bat I believe to replace Josh Hamilton, as I do not think the Nolan Ryan Company will resign the Left handed slugger. Texas has too many up and coming prospects to worry with Hamilton, and they will need to resign other players as well.
I see Texas going after Zack Greinke this off season, and promoting Jurikison Profar and moving Ian Kinsler to CF, and having Mike Olt occupy 1B. Sooner or later, Elvis Andrus will need resigned and if the Rangers are willing they will have the money to do so. Look for Texas to be a power house for years to come and possible a decade if not more.

Vacation Over...Back to Work

After a long needed vacation without puters or phones, FBV will be back on track later today. Hope you are crushing your league and made some solid moves as the trade deadline nears in most leagues.