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January 11, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Base, and Shortstop

by Michael Jong

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Hot Spots has two more small moves to discuss in this week's edition.

Edgar Renteria was recently the World Series MVP, in part for his three-run home run that helped seal the deal for the San Francisco Giants. He also had an injury-riddled season in his final year of a two-year deal in San Francisco during which he only recorded 267 (admittedly decent) PA. While his .276/.332/.374 would have been decent for a shortstop in real life, fantasy players are unlikely to accept such a performance in either NL-only or mixed leagues. Renteria is no longer fast enough to steal double-digit bases as he was in his younger days and that his once-decent power has recently dissipated (.096 ISO since 2008). If Renteria falters for a bit, Paul Janish may get a chance at the shortstop job, though the Reds have not shown much confidence in him either. Nevertheless, neither Reds shortstop should be someone to look for during draft day.

Adam Kennedy signed on with the Seattle Mariners as part of a group of players that are in the mix for filling in time at second base or as a backup utility role. Kennedy isn't in line for a whole lot of playing time, as Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan are the likely starters up the middle for Seattle, but with Wilson's injury history, Kennedy could be first in line as an injury replacement. Two years ago, Kennedy batted a surprising .289/.348/.410 in the bad offensive environment of Oakland, and last season he entered the year as the second base starter for the Washington Nationals, but Kennedy's 2010 season was a wash. His .249/.327/.327 line was bad in real life and particularly putrid in the fantasy baseball world, and even if you expect some regression in AVG back up towards a career .275 norm, Kennedy doesn't provide enough value to be considered even in single-league situations in case of an injury. He may be able to help as a one-category steals contributor, as he has swiped 74.2% of bags attempted in his career, but he only takes off often enough to garner at most 20 steals in a full season of play (attempted a steal in 10.9% of his career opportunities). This was another small depth move by a team that should not affect your draft day plans.

Michael Jong is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Michael's other articles. You can contact Michael by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
Prospectus Perspective... (01/10)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (01/10)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Rankings... (01/12)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (01/11)

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