CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Painting the Black: Th... (05/29)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/29)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (06/05)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Movin'... (05/30)

May 30, 2013

Free Agent Watch

American League, Week Nine

by Paul Singman

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Josh Phegley, C, Chicago White Sox
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 0%  CBS: 1%
2013 Stats: 29 R, 11 HR, 30 RBI, 0 SB, .329 AVG (AAA)

Simply put, Tyler Flowers isn’t doing a good job of filling the void left by A.J. Piersynzki’s departure from Chicago. In his first full season, the 27-year-old Flowers is triple-slashing a disappointing .198/.271/.339 at the plate. Sometimes a catcher can justify his playing time with stellar defensive play, but Flowers hasn’t been up to par behind the plate either.

This has led to calls for Phegley, the White Sox’ Triple-A backstop who is currently lighting up the International League. In 39 games, he is batting an outstanding .329 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. For a catcher, those numbers are especially impressive. And although he’s not known as a defensive wizard behind the plate, he’s at least been throwing out runners at an impressive 50 percent clip. The White Sox aren’t going to put up with Flowers’ replacement-level play much longer, so Phegley could see major-league action in the next few weeks, or even sooner. If called up, I wouldn’t expect Phegley to be a top-20 catcher or even play everyday. Still, he’s someone to keep a speculative eye on in two-catcher leagues because of his offensive potential.

Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota Twins
Ownership: ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 1%  CBS: 12%
2013 Stats: 60 IP, 4 W, 0 SV, 53 K, 2.82 ERA, 1.07 WHIP (AAA)

With the Super Two deadline slowly nearing and likely to pass sometime in early June, plenty of prospects will magically become “ready” for the major leagues. Gibson is basically assured to be part of that bunch, and AL-only leaguers should be awaiting his arrival. I won’t say eagerly awaiting since Gibson is more of a solid number-three arm than a marquee starter. The former first-rounder currently has a 2.82 ERA in 60 Triple-A innings. His 7.86 K/9 is solid, but suggests that strikeouts won’t play a big role in his fantasy value. I see Gibson as a 4.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, mid-7.00s K/9 type of pitcher, which could make him worth rostering, but mostly just in AL-only leagues.

Nate Freiman, 1B, Oakland A’s
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.1% Yahoo!: 0%  CBS: 1%
2013 Stats: 5 R, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB, .259 AVG

Freiman has been sneaking his way into the A’s lineup more and more recently, which is no easy feat when you’re 6-foot-8. His production has also been on the rise, as he’s raised his average from .220 to .267 and collected six RBI in the past week. The limiting factor to Freiman is that he’s a strict capital “T,” which rhymes with P and stands for platoon player, only drawing starts against lefties. This is because, against southpaws, he’s an All-Star, OPSing 1.000 in 43 at-bats. It’s a small sample, but it’s also somewhat telling that he’s got zero hits off right-handers in his 16 attempts. As much as his first-base platoon partner Brandon Moss is struggling, there’s no way Freiman draws regular starts against righties. Especially with Josh Reddick returning this week, the option of starting Moss in right field and Freiman at first is off the table. Still, even as a weak-side platoon player, I’d seriously consider adding Freiman in AL-only formats and any daily league where you can shuffle him in and out of your lineup as the A’s do with theirs.

Steve Delabar, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
Ownership: ESPN: 1.3% Yahoo!: 3%  CBS: 5%
2013 Stats: 60 IP, 4 W, 0 SV, 30 K, 2.33 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

After pitching lights out in his first 13 appearances of the season, Jays closer Casey Janssen has hit a small bump in the road. Before nailing down his 11th save last night in a perfect ninth, he allowed runs in his previous two trips to the mound. Normally, allowing runs in consecutive appearances wouldn’t be worth mentioning for a pitcher who has been so dominant, but Janssen also admitted to dealing with a “tender” shoulder recently. It’s important here to note that Janssen has undergone three surgeries on his right shoulder in his career, the most recent of which occurred this past offseason. Thus, any news of pain or tenderness in his shoulder, however minor, should be taken seriously. Janssen appears to be back on track after his scoreless appearance last night, but it’s worth knowing that the Jays have a mostly effective, high-strikeout reliever in Delabar behind him. Those looking to speculate for saves in deeper leagues should consider picking up him up until Janssen fully settles down.

Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox
Ownership: ESPN: 2.9% Yahoo!: 5%  CBS: 20%
2013 Stats: 15 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, .354 AVG

Bradley Jr. is back in the big leagues after a successful return to the minors, in which he triple-slashed .354/.457/.544. Rumor has it that he’ll operate in a backup role while called up, and is even likely to be sent back down when Shane Victorino returns from the disabled list on June 5. With that in mind, I’d hold off on bidding in all but the deepest of mixed leagues until more permanent playing time is secured. Considering how terribly he fared in the first couple of weeks of the season, it will at least be interesting to see how he fares in a limited at-bats over the next week.

Sonny Gray, SP, Oakland A’s
Ownership: ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 0%  CBS: 0%
2013 Stats: 60 IP, 4 W, 0 SV, 30 K, 2.33 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (AAA)

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that you should know who’s first in line to pitch for the Athletics if one of their starters goes down. A’s pitchers are both a fragile and successful bunch. If I told you that the pitcher currently in that position also has a 20-to-0 K:BB over his last two starts, I would hope that would catch your attention. Oh, it does? Well, you should want to know more about Sonny Gray then. The Vanderbilt product and 2011 first-rounder is impressing at Triple-A, with five wins and a 2.38 ERA in 56.2 innings. After struggling to strike batters out in Double-A last year, he’s managed to increase his punchout rate to a smidge above 9.00 this season. If promoted, I wouldn’t expect great overall numbers from the 23-year-old, but in AL-only leagues and 14-plus-team mixed leagues, he’ll be worth the hassle for his home starts. The A’s rotation is currently full, but a spot should open up in time.

Related Content:  Ownership,  Josh Phegley,  Casey Janssen

9 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Painting the Black: Th... (05/29)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/29)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (06/05)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Movin'... (05/30)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Pitching Backward: The Guy Who Makes Scherze...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of ...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Upton and Ubaldo in One Ugly ...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Hank Aaron's Hypothetical Fo...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Free Agent Pitchers: The Top T...
Premium Article Moonshot: A New View of Plate Discipline, Pa...
Premium Article 2015 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prosp...

MORE FROM MAY 30, 2013
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Triple Threat
Premium Article Dissecting the Draft: Examining Kris Bryant
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Movin' on Up
Premium Article The Call-Up: Alex Wood
Premium Article The Call-Up: Alex Colome
Premium Article The Call-Up: Michael Wacha
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: May 30, 20...

MORE BY PAUL SINGMAN
2013-06-06 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week 10
2013-05-30 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week Nine
2013-05-23 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week Eigh...
2013-05-17 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Loosening the Trade Lines
2013-05-14 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week Seve...
More...

MORE FREE AGENT WATCH
2013-06-13 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 11
2013-06-06 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week 10
2013-06-05 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: National League, Week 10
2013-05-30 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week Nine
2013-05-29 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: National League, Week Nine
2013-05-23 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: American League, Week Eigh...
2013-05-22 - Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: National League, Week Eigh...
More...