Reeling from injuries and falling behind in the standings, the Diamondbacks turn to a powerful third-base prospect for help.
The Situation: With Eric Chavez hitting the disabled list due to knee and hip soreness, Arizona has called up third baseman Matt Davidson from the Reno Aces. Martin Prado was expected to see the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner during Chavez’s absence, with Davidson in reserve, but with Cody Ross now out with a dislocated hip, it remains to be seen whether the 22-year-old right-handed hitter is pressed into more consistent action.
Background: The Diamondbacks selected Davidson as a sandwich pick in 2009 out of Yucaipa High School (Yucaipa, CA). The third baseman immediately began to flash the power he had been touted for, belting 18 home runs in his first full professional season between A-Ball and High-A in 2010. After posting a .277/.348/.464 line in the California League with Visalia in 2011, Davidson was tasked with the challenge of Double-A and proving he wasn’t the product of a hitter-friendly league in 2012. He did not disappoint. Davidson put up a .836 OPS and launched 23 bombs with Mobile to begin solidifying himself as a prospect on the rise. The 22-year-old continued to prove the bat is trending in the right direction this year in Triple-A, and was named MVP of this year’s Futures Game after his go-ahead home run. Davidson entered the year ranked fourth on Baseball Prospectus’ Diamondbacks Top 10 Prospects list.
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A look at eight widely available players who could help your fantasy team down the stretch, depending on the format of the league in which you play.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees I couldn’t resist. In ESPN, A-Rod is only owned in 21.3 percent of all leagues. While there are certainly questions about how long A-Rod can play before the inevitable arbitration hearing takes place and the possible suspension goes down, A-Rod is a must start even in mixed formats. He has 20 HR potential at third base and if completely healthy could exceed that. Moral qualms are fine in real life, but in fantasy baseball you have to take the opportunities where they might come. —Mike Gianella
Paul presents a few likely-available hitters whose platoon splits against left-handers could help bolster your fantasy lineup.
As injuries cut deeper into the player pool with each passing day, fantasy managers are left to fend for themselves, to pick up the pieces and push on with their ballclubs. There are obviously different ways teams can plug in the holes that are guaranteed to strike everyone at some point during the season. The most direct approach is, of course, via trade—trading from surplus to plug the hole. Hitting the waiver wire is the most readily available option for mixed leaguers, and it doesn’t cost any of your current talent. The freely available talent won’t be as good as what you could get by trading some assets… or will it?
Today’s piece is going to apply to the mixed-league crowd and specifically those of you in leagues of 12 teams or fewer. We are going to focus on split advantages and leveraging those to increase the probability of replacing your broken All-Star with near-All-Star production. Sorry, single leaguers, but your waiver wires are usually picked clean of the prime meat by May 1 and bone dry by Memorial Day. This will also play well for the daily fantasy crowd, as these guys will often be extremely cheap options who can deliver premium production in the right matchup.
Rios, Ross, and Cuddyer highlight this week's Keeper list.
Alex Rios| Chicago White Sox
Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): Yes AL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
While Adam Dunn was struggling through his historically bad 2011 season on the White Sox, teammate Alex Rios was putting together a fairly disastrous season of his own. Overall, he batted .227 with just 13 homers and 11 steals—a far cry from the 21 homers and 34 steals of the year prior. Many fantasy owners gave up on him as a result, but Rios wasn’t done yet, rebounding to hit .304 with 25 home runs and 23 steals in 2012. Add in just over 90 runs and RBI and you get the 12th most valuable line as ranked by our PFM.
The tater trots for August 23: only eight home runs were hit on Thursday with five of them in one game.
There were eight games played across the league on Thursday. In those eight games, players hit eight home runs. Five of the home runs came in the ugly Angels/Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I can't say for sure, but this may be the fewest home runs I've ever seen on a single day since starting the Tater Trot Tracker.
Given their overturned offense, will the 2012 Giants be able to improve their won-loss record from 2011?
Not long ago, while discussing the anemic offense of last year's Mariners, we noted that 10 MLB teams scored fewer than four runs per game in 2011. Only two of those teams finished with a winning record. The San Francisco Giants represented the most extreme case; they won 86 games despite having the National League's worst offense.
That got me to thinking: How often has the team with the NL's worst offense finished with a winning record? The answer may come as a surprise.
There is celebration in San Francisco, while the Rangers are left to continue the hunt for their first world championship.
Fandom of the game itself provides a few reliable rewards. If you love baseball, you can simultaneously enjoy the beauty of a well-pitched ballgame and a game-winning three-run shot. Indeed, both things represent classic features, the stuff of victory and of defeat, now and forever. We all inevitably happen upon other elements, of course, and sample and promote them as a matter of discretion: bullpen hyper-specialization, little ball, the speed game, even the virtual oxymoronics of "productive outs." But the mechanics of the game reward the same things now that it did five years ago or 50: great starting pitching and three-run homers.