Injuries clear playing time (and VP spots) for Wise, Blackmon, and Podsednik.
The White Sox have lost Alejandro De Aza to injury and are turning to recent acquisition DeWayne Wise(Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 4%, CBS 3%) to fill the void in center. Between the Yankees and White Sox, Wise has had a surprisingly productive year, batting .300 with six home runs and nine steals in just 100 at-bats. No one expects him to maintain that pace, but he can contribute a little bit everywhere, making him a player to consider adding in all leagues.
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Two talented young Diamondbacks starters with different degrees of upside join the group.
Your usual host, Paul Sporer, is away this week crossing things off his bucket list. Things like meeting Robert Pattinson, teaching tortoises how to french kiss, making snow angels in horse manure, and trying to figure out why people find Curb Your Enthusiasm funny… or, you know, doing normal, work-related stuff. He wasn’t very specific… In any case, I’ll be filling in for him today with VP and tomorrow with Weekly Planner. Here goes…
Michael graduates one Value Pick and welcomes another one back, while the rest of his list keeps delivering value to fantasy owners looking for corner infield help.
Ownership rates for Todd Frazier(Yahoo! 40%, ESPN 62%, CBS 60%) are finally starting to match his 2012 production. He entered last week hitting .280/.339/.528 with 14 home runs and 28 RBI in 310 plate appearances. He burnished those credentials with 10 hits last week, including three home runs, and six RBI, for a .370/.379/.741 line that finally caught the eye of other fantasy owners—probably because of Wednesday’s monster blast to deep center field. Value Picks readers have been hearing about Frazier since May 15, so there’s no excuse for having missed out on this Rookie of the Year candidate.
Catchers dominate the Arrivals section of this week's VP with Rosario, Grandal, and Jaso joining the group.
It should come as no surprise that as a much-ballyhooed prospect that got off to a hot start, Manny Machado(Yahoo! 50%, ESPN 84%, CBS 79%) saw his ownership level rise to a level that disqualifies him for continued inclusion in Value Picks. Even with a couple of 0-fers over the weekend, Machado has made about as seamless a transition as the Orioles could have hoped for from a guy jumping from Double-A to the majors. His strikeout rate is right in line with his minor league levels, but his walk rate is way down. Don't let the walk rate fool you, though; his chase rate headed into Sunday was at 33.3 percent, just a bit above the league average of 30.5 percent. We aren't talking about a total hacker here. He's still really green, and he's hitting in the bottom third of the Orioles lineup, so if someone wants to overpay in a redraft league, let them. Otherwise, ride out his hot streak and hope Machado is able to take advantage of expanded rosters and perhaps some weaker pitching opposition in September.
Injuries to Carp and Schierholtz uncrowd the VP room and make way for Gregor Blanco.
Departures Mike Carp(Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 9%, CBS 8%) lasted all of 17 games in between DL stints, this time succumbing to a groin strain. The 26-year-old first baseman wasn’t hitting much anyway, so it’s time to move on.
Minor Minor joins a trio of talented yet underowned incumbents in this week's VP.
Another group of incumbents dominate this week’s Value Picks. There is quite a bit of talent sitting on the wire, especially in standard 10- and 12-team leagues, ready to be plucked for the stretch run.
Dale Thayer, Scott Downs, and the yucky Brewers closing situation are examined in this week's VP.
Arrivals Dale Thayer(Yahoo! 14%, ESPN 18%, CBS 15%) will someday be the answer to a fantasy trivia question that no one, anywhere, will ask: Who was Huston Street’s backup during his brilliant but injury-riddled 2012 season? (The guy with the silly name and great/awful mustache; that’s who.) Thayer once again leapfrogged the superior Luke Gregerson for the Friars’ closing job in Street’s absence, perhaps lending credence to the suspicion that San Diego doesn’t think Cool Hand Luke can handle the gig, whether it be physically or mentally. In any event, Street is out with a strained calf, which sounds benign enough, but considering the Padres just locked him into a long-term deal and the team is going nowhere this year, they won’t be in any hurry to have him back on the mound. It’s too soon to dump Street if you own him, but Thayer might warrant higher priority on wires where there are more than one saves option to be had.
Eric Chavez and Josh Vitters join a strong Value Picks list this week, as two VPs look towards their imminent graduation.
In mywrite-ups of Travis Hafner(Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 0%, CBS 9%), I often reference his fragility, but Hafner’s owners still have to be disappointed at the news that his injured back could sideline him for the rest of the season. If that’s true, Pronk finishes the year with a .239/.355/.453 triple-slash with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, respectable totals in all categories but batting average.
Breakout rookie sensation Manny Machado joins the VP crew this week.
Finally: a big week from Stephen Drew(Yahoo! 21%, ESPN 17%, CBS 35%). His batted ball data and plate discipline rates pointed to brighter days. This past week he raked, going 5-for-19 with one home run, five runs scored, and three runs batted in and a five-to-five walk-to-strikeout ratio. Drew is a good enough hitter to start at shortstop in mixed leagues, and his ownership levels will rise from fringe middle infield-worthy to match his starting shortstop talent level.
David Murphy gets full-time at-bats and Andy Dirks returns from the DL in this week's VP.
Departures Sam Fuld(Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) barely received any playing time this week, putting the fan-favorite into an at-bat-less reality he’ll have to accept while the rest of the Rays outfield enjoys good health. If injury strikes, Fuld should be a useful AL-only player, but until then, it’s safe to forget him.
VP returns to the land of healthy veterans this week, highlighted by Blanton, Colon, and Bedard (yes, we're just as surprised as you that Colon and Bedard qualify as "healthy veterans").
After last week’s look at a host of injured arms working their way back, today we jump back into the pool of healthy guys who are putting up useful numbers and could soon be doing so for your fantasy team. In fact, today’s pool is filled with guys we have already seen in VP, but they deserve another mention given their recent work.