How do you know who you can trust in fantasy baseball? It says here that you should hitch your wagon to this column – when I say you need to acquire a player (usually via free agency) you should!
I play in deep leagues (lots of teams and lots of roster spots). That means that “fringe” players are hugely useful — and that’s who I try to highlight.
You don’t need me to tell you that Robinson Cano is good — that’s obvious and shouldn’t be of use to anyone. But telling you to add Nick Franklin might be of use to you. After all, Cano was once in the same spot Franklin is now (a high-upside prospect who was an unknown at the big league level).
Let’s get to it.
Hot or Not Fantasy Baseball Players
Ryan Pressly, RP, Minnesota
Should you trust Pressly? Over the last month, he’s been a useful middle reliever. Sadly, he hasn’t put up numbers in the areas you need your RP to — holds and saves.
In the Yahoo! game, he’s ranked about 85th (and he’s the third highest ranked pitcher in several of my leagues in that time with zero-percent ownership). Digging beneath the surface a bit, he is about as long from being in the closer running as any effective middle innings guy. So although his stats have been sexy and he could be had for a song, I can’t see any real value here.
Ricky Nolasco, SP, MiamiI like Nolasco. His “stuff” is inconsistent but has the potential to be elite, and lately he’s been just that. He can be had in over four out of five Yahoo! leagues, and there’s no reason not to take a flier on him. He’s had over a K per inning in his last 41, his ERA and WHIP are outstanding, and his recent starts have had several gems.
Having said that, he struggles against good offensive ballclubs (TB, PHI), but tends have success against weaker hitting clubs. Always prone to giving up the HR, Nolasco is worth a stream against light hitting teamss at the very least.
Lots to like here — except for his ballclub, which is why he isn’t going to win a whole lot of ballgames. You can’t really win-chase, in my view. Wins are a category he isn’t likely to deliver in — but in lots of others, he is going to make up for it.
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, Colorado
De La Rosa has the ultimate curse against him: He plays in Colorado.
I can’t, in good faith, recommend a Rockies pitcher for that reason. They are ratio destroyers by default. However, in a pinch, on the road — I could get behind De La Rosa.
Having said all that, and with as much hesitation as I can muster, I need you to know that De La Rosa has been significantly better this season AT HOME then he has on the road. Adding to my disbelief, he has also pitched much better outdoors than indoors. In effect, strictly looking at the ratios, he is more likely to pitch well outdoors at Coors then on the road at [insert stadium here]. Will this continue? What does it mean? It means he is a cautious play.
As a final thought: I hope you have other fireballers on your team, because he is not going to be winning any strikeouts competitions.
Dillon Gee, SP, N.Y. Mets
A Fantasy darling because of his last two starts. Grab him if you trust Mets pitchers. I took a shot on Dickey last year and it worked out. I am totally not sold on Gee, but if he’s available (6% in Yahoo!) then I suppose you can give him a buzz. He may make you regret it.
John Lackey, SP, Boston
He’s been great lately. I’m not sold. Like any pitcher owned in less than 50% of leagues, you can give him a shot. But I think significant regression is coming from Lackey and I wouldn’t bother. Actually, I did stream him last week and I got nailed…so perhaps rational analysis escapes me because I’m mad.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Cleveland
What I like most about him is his much better than average K potential. I think he is about as likely as any pitcher to get slaughtered on ERA and WHIP, however. Far from trustworthy, he is good for a stream – but just not against his next opponent, the Tigers.
Growth Arms — Get Now, Win Later
Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado: The closer of the future for the Rockies and an electric arm. Add now. You’re welcome.
Tony Cingrani, SP, Cincinnati: Add now. Wait – he’s gone.
Tyler Skaggs, SP, Arizona: See Cingrani, Tony.
Cody Allen, RP, Cleveland: See Brothers, Rex. The future in Cleveland. Keeper leaguers, take note.
Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota: Add now. Killing it in AAA.
Michael Wacha, SP, St. Louis: I wish I had added him at the beginning of the season. If the Cards have a prospect, just add them to be safe. Always.
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