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May 8, 2014

Free Agent Watch

Week Six

by Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre


Welcome back to our weekly walk through some of the players who may want to keep an extra eye on in your leagues. Mike and I will be tackling this topic on Thursdays again and focusing on a singular hitter and pitcher in four of the more popular formats: shallow mixed, deep mixed, NL-only and AL-only. These are certainly not the only players who are worth pickups, but it gives us a nice opportunity to write about players we have close tabs on in our leagues.

12-TEAM MIXED

Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
The early season returns on Owings were slightly different than his initial fantasy owners may have been expecting--though not in a bad way. During the first 22 games of the season, he was hitting .305 with four stolen bases, but had an isolated power of .073 (due to only five extra-base hits and no homers). This was a bit of a departure from the player who, not only posted double-digit homers in each of the last three seasons, but flanked it with extra-base hits to boot. Recently, that power has started to show a little more, as Owings has hits for extra bases, including his first homer, in the last week. With the ballpark likely to help him as the power flashes more and the strike zone control he's shown thus far, he's shaping up to be a better 2014 fantasy option than even some of his biggest prospect backers anticipated. He should be owned in all leagues that play a middle-infield spot. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: The good version of Starlin Castro

Roenis Elias, SP, Seattle Mariners
After spending the first few weeks of the season as a player whose name we really never properly learned how to pronounce, since it didn't figure to matter for very long, Elias has become one of the Mariners' best pitchers--and his stuff backs up the results. With a fastball that sits in the 92-94 MPH range and two secondary pitches (a change and a curve) that both get whiff rates of around 15 percent, this is not a flash in the pan. And on top of that, he's actually faced a reasonably tough schedule thus far with only two starts at home (against Texas and Los Angeles) and road starts against Oakland (twice), Miami (yes, that's a tough matchup because they don't lose at home) and in both Yankee Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. The Cuban left-hander is worth investing in across all leagues, as he's helping across the board—even his 37 strikeouts rank among the top 50 in baseball. His schedule even starts to get more favorable now, as his next three starts project to be home against Kansas City, at Minnesota, and then home against Houston. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: C.J. Wilson

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<< Previous Article
Overthinking It: Catch... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (05/01)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (05/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/08)

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