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September 7, 2012

Value Picks

Outfielders for 9/7/12

by Paul Singman

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Arriving
This week’s call-up of note is Adam Eaton (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 7%), a young Arizona farmhand tearing up Triple-A. In a noted hitter’s haven in Reno, Eaton batted an impressive .381/.456/.539 with seven home runs and 38 steals over 120 games. John Sickels has an informative write-up of Eaton over at Minor League Ball for those interested in details. The short version is that Eaton has been productive throughout the minors—particularly in batting average and stolen bases—but is undersized at 5-foot-8, leading some to doubt whether he can translate those numbers to the majors. So far, nothing has been lost in the translation, with two two-hit games to start off his major league career.

People seem to think the D’Backs will play Eaton if he’s with the big league club, but I’m curious how Kirk Gibson makes that happen with a healthy Chris Young (and unless there’s report of a setback, Young should be back today or tomorrow). The Snakes already have Jason Kubel, Young, and Justin Upton as starters and Gerardo Parra as a capable fourth outfielder, so I don’t see much room left for Eaton. Who knows, maybe Young will have a setback, or maybe the slumping Kubel will admit to an injury and an opportunity will present itself for Eaton. In NL-only leagues I’d gamble on one of those things happening; in mixed leagues I’d wait to see how things play out.

Hanging Around
It shouldn’t be too difficult to let Chris Parmelee (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 5%) stick around the VP ranks for another week given that he only batted .407 with three homers and eight RBI over the past seven games. It also shouldn’t be too difficult to find space for him on your roster, especially considering he’s about to face a string of hittable righties including Corey Kluber, Luke Hochevar, and Luis Mendoza. Parmelee tore it up in September last season and was a hip sleeper coming into this one, and all of the ingredients to whip up that storyline again appear ripe. Feel free to add him in all leagues.

Produce is all John Mayberry (Yahoo! 11%, ESPN 19%, CBS 26%) did the past week, with seven hits in five games including a homer. The upcoming week looks bright as well for the 28-year-old outfielder, with three lefties in queue over the next four games. Don’t be afraid to roll with him for now.

It was a “meh” week for Nate McLouth (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 3%, CBS 6%), who avoided homering or stealing all week. Playing every day, displaying both power and speed, and batting third (sometimes sixth), McLouth is still exactly the type of player you want as your fourth or fifth outfielder.

Departing
I have nothing positive left to say about Lucas Duda (Yahoo! 23%, ESPN 27%, CBS 27%), which is usually a good indicator that it’s time to put a player in the “Departures” section. So long, Dude-a.

Edge of the Radar
Mike Baxter (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) has been quietly productive in the Mets outfield of late. The strong side of a right field platoon with Scott Hairston is currently batting .285/.390/.444 in 144 at-bats this season, which should allow him to get close to regular playing time in September. In 2010 at Triple-A, Baxter hit .301 with 18 homers and 22 steals over a full season but unfortunately needed thumb surgery in 2011 and missed most of the year. He’s shown this season, however, that he has worth for NL-only leagues and could be worth an add.

Seth Smith (Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 1%, CBS 9%) finds his way into Bob Melvin’s lineup most days that the A’s face a righty, and he has been fairly productive too.  The former Rockie still hits his fair share of home runs; he has slugged 13 this season while hitting .248. Lately he’s been batting second, further aiding his value. He a definite own in AL-onlys and should be on a few more mixed league rosters too.

Anthony Gose (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 8%) is back in the bigs, steals desperadoes. The raw outfielder could get decent PT in the Jays outfield with Jose Bautista out for the year and Colby Rasmus slumping, but I would avoid him unless you are a desperate AL-only owner in serious need of speed.

DL Watch: Starling Marte (Yahoo! 9%, ESPN 4%, CBS 38%) is rehabbing at Triple-A and is set to return in a few days. Marte was fairly productive when healthy, so consider adding him in leagues where he was dropped.

It was a zero-homer week for Darin Ruf (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 0%), so that story just got less exciting.

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