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May 28, 2014

Deep Impact

Week Eight

by Ben Carsley


Don’t go chasing long intros, just stick to the players and the predictions you’re used to.

Kyle Blanks, 1B/OF, Athletics
Of course the A’s acquired Kyle Blanks. It’s just too perfect. Oakland is doing all it can to utilize all the platoons ever this year. Blanks is a career .238/.336/.404 hitter against left-handed pitching. And this is an organization that’s taken plenty of chances on big-power prospects who’ve busted in recent years. Blanks is a natural fit, and he should eat away at the playing time of Josh Reddick (against lefties) and Alberto Callaspo (in general), neither of which are bad things for Oakland.

But is it a good thing for fantasy owners? Well... sort of. Blanks is leaving the hitting hell-hole that is Petco Park, but Oakland isn’t a much friendlier home ballpark. And as a short-side platoon option, Blanks might only see 150-200 PA this entire year. He can easily hit 10-plus homers during that time, though, and he’ll be worth a look if for some reason he heats up or is made to see more extensive time. But overall, you should only pick up the former Padre if you’re truly in desperate need of power, or you’ll probably just end up firing Blanks again in short order.

Charlie Culberson, 3B, Rockies
Is there any team in baseball that has more mildly intriguing, ultimately disappointing, fringy MLB infielders than the Rockies? Thankfully the answer may be no, as we have no shortage of options to discuss when a player like Nolan Arenado—enjoying a breakout year—is lost to injury for several weeks. With the immortal D.J. LeMahieu entrenched at second base, it will be left to Culberson and Josh Rutledge (#Butledge) to battle it out for at-bats at the hot corner.

Early lineups suggest Culberson has the edge for playing time, and while that’s surprising it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. I know Rutledge has his own fan club, but Culberson was quite good in Triple-A last season, and his power-speed combo is pretty similar to what Rutledge brings to the table. Culberson isn’t going to be an elite option, but if he can grab 100 PA while Arenado is on the bench, he’s a semi-intriguing option for those who concern themselves with leagues of this size.

Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
This week’s “run, don’t walk to the waiver wire” prospect is Franco, who suddenly finds himself on the cusp of MLB playing time thanks to a DL stint from incumbent Phillies third baseman Cody Asche. Franco is hitting just .211/.311/.358 in Triple-A, so the Phillies may very well decide he’s not ready for prime time. But his 9.3 percent walk rate is a great sign, and a .257 BABIP is dragging down the rest of his stats.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week Nin... (05/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Seve... (05/21)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Nine (06/04)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents:... (05/28)

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