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April 9, 2013

Free Agent Watch

American League, Week Two

by Paul Singman

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Each week, two members of the BP fantasy team will provide a rundown of potentially valuable players that are available as free agents in most fantasy formats across the major platforms. We will run one column on the National League and one on the American League each week, with Josh Shepardson tackling the senior circuit on Mondays and Paul Singman focusing on the junior circuit on Tuesdays.

Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals
Ownership: ESPN: 3.1% Yahoo!: 42% CBS: 31%
2013 Stats: 3.1 IP, 0 W, 0 SV, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

At the moment, Greg Holland is tenuously holding on to the Royals closing job. Oddly, his slow start last year is proving beneficial, as manager Ned Yost cited his struggles last April as a reason for patience. Still, Holland’s leash is one of the shortest in the AL, and Herrera is a more-than-capable replacement. Herrera is known for having the second-fastest average fastball velocity last year at 97.4 mph, behind only—you guessed it—Aroldis Chapman. Mixing this overpowering velocity with a nasty change and solid control makes Herrera particularly effective and worth owning in deeper mixed leagues, even if saves don’t come his way immediately.

Daniel Nava, OF, Boston Red Sox
Ownership: ESPN: 0.2% Yahoo!: 1% CBS: 3%
2013 Stats: 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, .500 AVG

After news of David Ortiz’s injury, it was Jackie Bradley who grabbed the headlines with an outstanding spring. Since the regular season has begun however, Nava has made all the noise with a .500 average, two homers, and six RBI in 17 plate appearances. If Bradley’s struggles continue, Nava could be the one earning the majority of the starts in left field for the Red Sox against righties. Given 450 plate appearances, Nava is capable of batting .250 with 10 homers and a handful of steals. He has also batted in the two-spot in the lineup twice this year and has manned first base once, adding to his value. He should be owned in all AL-only leagues and is entering the conversation for deep mixed leagues.

Blake Beavan, SP, Seattle Mariners
Ownership: ESPN: 0.1% Yahoo!: 1% CBS: 3%
2013 Stats: 5 IP, 0 W, 0 SV, 2 K, 9.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Please don’t take this as a general endorsement of Beavan the pitcher, who—over 254 career innings—has a K/9 under 4.0. However, the contact-heavy Beavan draws the historically bad Astros tomorrow, and that’s a matchup I can endorse. Consider streaming him for Wednesday’s start and then dumping him before he faces Detroit his next time out.

Jose Valverde, RP, Detroit Tigers
Ownership: ESPN: 3.4% Yahoo!: 22% CBS: 42%
2013 Stats: N/A

If you’re desperate for saves, you can’t let pride prevent you from looking in those embarrassing places from which saves can sometimes come. Valverde is one of those embarrassing places, and with the Tigers’ closing situation as clear as the Beijing skyline, you can’t ignore Valverde, even in 12-team mixed leagues.

Stephen Drew, SS, Red Sox
Ownership: ESPN: 2.1% Yahoo!: 9% CBS: 35%
2013 Stats: N/A

Concussion-related symptoms have so far delayed Drew’s Red Sox debut, but after a few successful minor-league games, he is slated to be recalled on Wednesday. In leagues without many DL spots, Drew is likely sitting on waivers. I’d considering adding him in all league types if you are weak up the middle. It has been a couple years since he was last worthy of mixed-league ownership, but the move to Fenway could help to fuel a bounce-back season.

Drew Smyly, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers
Ownership: ESPN: 0.8% Yahoo!: 4% CBS: 20%
2013 Stats: 5.1 IP, 0 W, 1 SV, 6 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Despite an impressive rookie season, Smyly lost out on snagging a spot in Detroit’s rotation. For now, he’s a long-reliever, but more likely than not, he’ll find his way into the rotation eventually. Smyly possesses good strikeout ability, having fanned nearly a batter an inning in 100 frames last year. Once he is a starter again, he will be relevant in all leagues, so those who play in deeper formats should consider adding him now..

Scott Sizemore, 3B/2B, Oakland A’s
Ownership: ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 1% CBS: 3%
2013 Stats: 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .250 AVG

The A’s second- and third-base positions are currently manned by Eric Sogard and Josh Donaldson, who so far aren’t doing much offensively. Sizemore is the primary backup at both spots, and I expect him to be given the majority of at-bats at either second or third in the near future. If he’s unowned in your AL-only league, I’d consider roster-ing the 28-year-old.

Shelley Duncan, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Ownership: ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 0% CBS: 1%
2013 Stats: 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, .286 AVG

With Luke Scott sidelined with a calf strain, Duncan has found his way into the Rays lineup more often than not in 2013, whether at designated hitter or in the outfield. By now, you should know the story with Duncan; he offers solid power against southpaws and not much else. He has, however, shown a penchant for home-run outbursts, especially in the early going. In AL-only leagues, it’s worth gambling on a Duncan power spree now that he already has one big fly in the bag.

Related Content:  Ownership,  Drew Smyly,  Shelley Duncan

15 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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SC

Looking at Shelley Duncan's game logs for the past five years, I don't see compelling evidence that he has shown a penchant for HR outbursts, at least not in any sort of statistically serious sort of way.

Yes, last season he hit 5 HR over a 2 week span, and hit 2 HR in two different games a week apart in 2011, but the sample sizes here are so small that I don't think there's any evidence to support the hypothesis.

I'd love to see if any players actually do show this sort of behavior, but it would likely be to very difficult to figure out for a player whose never hit more than 11 HR in a season.

Apr 09, 2013 08:28 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

Fair enough, the numbers don't quite support strictly interpreting my statement. I would just say Duncan is a player capable of providing a quick burst of power, even if you don't own him all year.

Apr 09, 2013 10:00 AM
 
ramtax

Jhonny Peralta is my MI. Would you take Drew in place of him?

Apr 09, 2013 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

Eh, you're probably better off sticking with Peralta.

Apr 09, 2013 10:01 AM
 
ramtax

Thanks. Your lack of enthusiasm for the two options mirrors my own. :-)

Apr 09, 2013 10:23 AM
rating: 2
 
BarryR

The mediocrity is always grayer on the other side of the waiver wire.

Apr 10, 2013 11:32 AM
rating: 0
 
bobbykester

Hi..In a 5x5 10-team AL-only, could you rank the following pitchers for me and draw a line separating those that I should roster from those that are not worth it...Thanks...OK, here goes:

Myers, McAllister, Corriea, Pelfrey, Axelrod, Guthrie, Mendoza, J Saunders, Tepesch, Bedard, Humber, Lackey, Roberto Hernandez...

Apr 09, 2013 11:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

I think McAllister and Guthrie stands out as no. 1 and 2 among that group. After I'd still go for Saunders, Axelrod, Bedard, Lackey (inj), and Hernandez. The other pitchers would need excellent matchups for me to use them.

Apr 10, 2013 10:53 AM
 
bobbykester

Thanks...

Apr 10, 2013 13:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BPKevin

Where would Joe Blanton fall amongst that group?

Apr 10, 2013 20:10 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

I'm not overly concerned by his first couple starts. I'd still rank him third, a tad ahead of Saunders.

Apr 11, 2013 12:31 PM
 
bzwolf

Does Smyly have any chance at getting holds? He came into todays game in the 7th for 2 outs. My league has 5 SP 5 RP slots. I have 4 closers (they were good auction values) so holds out of a SP slot would be stellar. I'm week on SP so if he gets in the rotation and is good, its a win.

Apr 09, 2013 12:49 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

Holds have such a loose criteria, really any reliever can get them so long as his team trusts to put him in games they're ahead. So far, Smyly seems to have that trust. He should make a good addition to your squad.

Apr 10, 2013 10:36 AM
 
BPKevin

FYI: Scott Sizemore has re-torn his left ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2013 season

Apr 10, 2013 20:12 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

A heartbreaking injury. I still don't expect Sogard to keep the job. I'd rather invest in Weeks, perhaps Grant green, and this does make is easier for Nakajima to play when healthy. Andy Parrino was the first MI recalled, but I don't see him as a long term solution either.

Apr 11, 2013 10:31 AM
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (04/09)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (04/08)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (04/15)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Hom... (04/09)

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