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May 1, 2013

Free Agent Watch

National League, Week Five

by Josh Shepardson


Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Ownership: ESPN: 0.7% Yahoo!: 2% CBS: 5%
2013 Stats: 4 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB, .244 AVG

Sanchez might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about lefty-mashers, but he has hit southpaws quite well in his career. He has 465 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, and in them, he has a triple -slash line of .295/.388/.505. His ability to hit lefties fits well on the Pirates roster, as manager Clint Hurdle routinely wisely sits Garrett Jones against left-handed pitching. Sanchez is making the most of his playing time against southpaws this year, and has already smacked two doubles and three homers in 25 plate appearances against them.

With starting right fielder Travis Snider battling oblique pain, Sanchez could be in line for increased playing time. Snider is currently day-to-day, but should the injury linger, Jones could find himself replacing him in right field often, with Sanchez picking up extra run at first base. He's no great shakes against right-handed pitching, but extra plate appearances would mean increased chances of contributing in the counting stats. He's not a mixed-league option, but Sanchez is a sneaky play in daily games and useful in NL-only leagues.

Kyle Blanks, OF, San Diego Padres
Ownership: ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 0% CBS: 3%
2013 Stats: 4 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, .281 AVG

Blanks is a repeat visitor to this column, yet he remains nearly universally unowned. He looked the part of someone who was only temporarily rosterable while Carlos Quentin served his eight-game suspension, but manager Bud Black has still gotten Blanks’s bat into the lineup since Quentin's return. Blanks has seen time in left field and has also started in right field, as well. As a converted first baseman, he's also capable of playing there. Blanks isn't getting penciled into the lineup for his glove, and the Padres are starved for offense, ranking 26th in runs. He has received the bulk of his at-bats from fifth and sixth in the lineup and is a cheap source of power numbers if he's able to carve out regular playing time. He doesn't need to be stashed in standard leagues, but he's a gamble worth taking in NL-only leagues, as long as there is a chance he'll be on the diamond somewhat regularly.

Delmon Young, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Ownership: ESPN: 1.1% Yahoo! 4% CBS: 21%
2013 Stats: 3 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .385 AVG (High-A and Triple-A combined)

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<< Previous Article
Raising Aces: There's ... (04/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Amer... (04/30)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Ca... (05/01)

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