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June 5, 2013

Free Agent Watch

National League, Week 10

by Josh Shepardson


Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies
Ownership: ESPN: 4.6% Yahoo!: 9% CBS: 31%
2013 Stats: 5 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, .235 AVG

Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.

Expecting the 34-year-old catcher to duplicate his power output from last year would be foolishly optimistic, but he could plausibly retain some of his gains. Chooch is a .274 hitter in his career, and he has bested a .300 average in two of the last three years thanks in large part to making a ton of contact, with a good line-drive contact to boot. PECOTA projects Ruiz to hit .265 the rest of the year, but I believe he'll hit around .275. Chooch won't provide enough offense to project as a starting catcher in single-catcher, 12-team, mixed-league formats, but if he was cast aside in two-catcher formats, now is the time to grab him since he is an above-average second catching option.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
Ownership: ESPN: 0.4% Yahoo!: 10% CBS: 35%
2013 Stats: 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .240 AVG (MLB)/19 R, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 1 SB, .307 AVG (Double-A and Triple-A combined)

Yesterday, colleague Bret Sayre pointed out that Rendon had two errors at second base in just three games played at the Triple-A level. With that in mind, it is a bit surprising that the club promoted him to the majors yesterday. I, like Bret, expected more patience from the Nationals. Regardless, he's up, and he needs to be nearly universally owned.

Rendon's bat is big-league ready, and it will play very nicely at the keystone position. He may not play at second base everyday, and a few fielding gaffes could relegate him to a part-time role or a demotion, but for now it appears he'll get a steady diet of playing time with Danny Espinosa on the disabled list. Rendon's patient approach makes him extremely valuable in leagues that use OBP, but his ability to reach base could also prove helpful to standard leaguers if it allows him to move into a run-producing spot in a Nationals lineup struggling to score runs. He is a talented enough hitter to perform like a top-10 player at either third base or second base from now until the end of the season.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (06/05)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Amer... (05/30)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Amer... (06/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/05)

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