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August 28, 2013

Five to Watch

September Call-Ups Unworthy of Your Immediate Attention

by Ben Carsley


September call-ups, when used correctly, can make for great late -eason additions to fantasy squads. When used incorrectly, though, such players can do more harm than good—especially to your rate stats or to teams with short benches.

So while the majority of columns you read in the coming days will extol the fantasy virtues of the September call-up, this one will instead preach caution. With that in mind, here are four likely call-ups—and one recent call-up—you should let other owners fight over in the coming weeks.

Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox
Few second-tier prospects were as hyped as much as Bradley was coming into the season. Many cooler heads tried to caution that a player with 271 plate appearances in Double-A probably wasn’t ready for prime time, and said cooler heads were correct. Bradley collected just four hits in 43 PA in the majors in April and May, and has seen just eight games in the big leagues since. That being said, the 23-year-old has been quite productive in Triple-A and is poised to play a role off the Red Sox’ bench come September.

Given that Bradley is putting up a .272/.373/.476 line in Pawtucket with a TAv of .305, it might be tempting for fantasy owners in deep mixed or AL-only leagues to pick him up. This temptation is probably coupled by the fact that that what playing time he does receive will see him emerged in a potent lineup and likely in an offense-friendly ballpark. Yet barring an injury to Jacoby Ellsbury or Shane Victorino, Bradley should remain on waivers in your league for a few reasons.

For one, Bradley isn’t likely to receive many starts in a productive Boston outfield. Instead, the playing time he does see is more likely to come as a defensive replacement or as a pinch runner (and even the latter is a role he might not be well-suited for, as he’s just six-for-12 in stolen base attempts). The Red Sox are also loaded with left-handed hitters, reducing Bradley’s likelihood of seeing time for platoon purposes. Long story short: I don’t expect Bradley to see more than 30 plate appearances in September, and he won’t do enough with that time to warrant a pick-up.

Zack Cox, 3B, Marlins
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Cox was considered a top 100 prospect by many publications (although not this one) before the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Then he hit .254/.294/.421 in Triple-A with the Cards in 2012, was dealt to Miami for Edward Mujica, and floundered in Double-A with the Marlins.. The precipitous fall from grace saw him lose much of his prospect luster before the season began, and he’s largely become a forgotten man in an organization rich in prospects but poor in everything else.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Matt... (08/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Positiv... (08/27)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Would-B... (09/06)
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Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Six Sep... (08/28)

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