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June 26, 2014

Free Agent Watch

Week 13

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

Jordy Mercer, 2B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
There’s no question that the season started brutally for the 27-year old shortstop. In fact, as recently as May 28, he still had an OPS of under .500. But since he bottomed out four weeks ago, Mercer has been hitting a cool .295/.323/.500 with five homers, 14 RBI and a stolen base thrown in for good measure. That’s more or less the pace he hit at in 2013, with some regression in slugging (let’s not get carried away with expectations here). Of course, he’s also only walked eight times in 245 plate appearances and has a strikingly low line drive rate (14.1 percent), so this is not a recommendation to fill your starting shortstop spot. However, a player with multi-eligibility who can pace for 15-20 homers while potentially hitting north of .270 is a great fit for a middle infield slot. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Asdrubal Cabrera with half the steals

Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
It’s purely coincidental that a Jake takes the spot here two weeks in a row. With Odorizzi, the scouting report has always been more or less the same: very athletic, good command profile, no true out pitch. This held true for the first two years of his major league career as well, but 2014 has seen a huge spike in his strikeout rate—in large part to the addition of a split-change to his repertoire that he now uses nearly a quarter of the time, with good results. At least when it’s not leaving the yard (four on the year so far). That said, he still remains a back-end option in mixed leagues because of the Rays’ general terribleness and the unlikelihood that his strikeouts will continue at this high of a level going forward. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Chris Archer

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week 12 (06/26)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (06/19)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (07/03)
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