Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever run out of players to talk about for this series. After all, we are dealing with a finite source of things to talk about when dealing with 20-30 team leagues. Then I remember, I passed that point about two weeks ago. So here we are, boldly going where no fantasy baseball player ever wants to go. Yes, that was a Trek tie-in. Maybe it has something to do with the new movie coming out soon. As you can tell from my avatar, I’m certainly not anti-Trek. Yet, there seems to be a lot of angst with J.J. Abrams’ take on the franchise. I for one, being a fan since birth, have no issues whatsoever, even though the lens flares have given me skin cancer. So what if the new movies have lots of explosions? And shiny lights. And Canadian Bruce Greenwood. Yeah, I’m pretty sure William Shatner never got into a space suit and flew around asteroids. But what these movies presuppose is… maybe he should have?
Formerly of the Reds and Yankees, Chris Dickerson had a chance to be a contact/speed only guy at the Major League level back in 2008, but hasn’t been given a solid chance since then. Now with the Orioles, his career line of 267/353/405 shows that he has some ability. So far in eight games, Dickerson has hit 308/357/308, but is striking out in over 40% of his plate appearances. Small sample size, of course, but he’s always had trouble going with contact. At this point, MLB teams see him more as a contributor on defense, but, in fantasy, might be a good option for some steals.
Recalled from Triple-A, Cory Gearrin might be a cheap option for your bullpen. Working as a middle reliever for the Braves, he’s shown an ability to strike guys out and get ground balls with a good sinking fastball. He might be a useful under-the-radar reliever for both the Braves and your open RP spot.
The Royals like vacuuming local talent based on the whole Albert Pujols debacle, and one of those local kid’s is Hunter Haynes, who was selected 403rd overall in 2012. He’s a projection lefty, with good athletic ability. If we’re dreaming big, and we always are when pondering these unknown specs, you could see a mid-rotation starter and inning-eater type. And while there’s a lot of development time ahead, he’s still only 19. Keep an eye on him.
Recently called up by the Reds, I’m hesitant to call Donald Lutz any type of prospect. But in deep leagues, any help is good help sometimes. And the skill he does bring, power, does have fantasy value. A left-handed hitter, he will never have a good batting average because of contact issues, but could play his way into a platoon if the Reds are willing. If given something like 400 PA’s, I could see a 240/280/400 line with 10-15 homeruns.
Seth Maness is a control-artist pitcher, and was just called up by the Cardinals. In 2012, his Double-A numbers show off his impeccable command, as the starting pitcher was able to sustain an extreme 0.65 BB/9. You read that correctly. In 123.2 innings, he only walked 9 guys. The 46.0 innings he pitched previously in High-A affiliate of the same season, he only walked one batter. However, the other thing he doesn’t do much is strike guys out. I’m curious how his average stuff, but precision accuracy, will play in the Major Leagues as a starter. But that’ll have to wait, as St. Louis will be using him strictly as a reliever. This actually might not be a bad thing, as his velocity might go up an average of 2-3 MPH. If you have a spot, might be worth a look-see.
Back in 2010, there was a top-10 prospect in the Mariners system name Matt Tuiasosopo. He always had athletic ability, but there were always two outcomes for him. A solid 3B guy with power and contact abilities, or a useful utility player. Unfortunately, he never showed enough consistency for either, and soon became marred with injuries and an ineffective approach. In 88 career games, he owns a triple-slash of 193/255/323 with a 32.0% K/9. However, he’s found an opportunity for at-bats in a Tigers uniform, and is hitting pretty well right now. In 34 PA’s, he has a slash of 300/382/433 and is also drawing some walks. The BABIP shows a different story, but you can ride him while he’s solid, and hope that he stays somewhat relevant as the year progresses. There might at least be some chance at upside here, well, in comparison to Don Kelly.