You know the drill by now. Two names that land back-to-back on Bret’s dynasty list for the position get thrown under the microscope—this time from a dynasty perspective. Today we’ll entertain quasi-starting options Marcus Semien and Nick Franklin. It’s worth noting that Semien will pick up shortstop eligibility relatively quickly, but for now he’s a second-sacker.
Stark wrote on Wednesday that the Blue Jays will come away with Santana only if his asking price falls into the range they have in mind. If agent Bean Stringfellow sticks to his guns, industry sources—both in other organizations and on the player-representation side—don’t believe that the Blue Jays will budge.
A look at some players who might be available to provide a late-season boost to your fantasy team, depending on the format in which you play.
Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners
You’re forgiven if you bailed on Franklin in standard mixed. A prolonged slump pushed Franklin’s slash down to 220/291/395. The power has been terrific, but everything else in Franklin’s game has been terrible. His strikeout rate skyrocketed, suggesting that Franklin was overmatched after the pitchers adjusted to him. Franklin seems to talented not to improve, but the Mariners don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to guys like Franklin. If you really need the power jolt, stick Franklin in your line-up, but I’d stay away from him in mixed unless it’s a keeper. –Mike Gianella
These five players' MLB clubs might not be going to the playoffs, but they could help your fantasy squad get there.
A good prospect is a terrible thing to waste, even if he plays for a bad team. This is a lesson sometimes lost on fantasy owners who will scramble to pick up the likes of Xander Bogaerts or Kolten Wong, but may overlook younger players who are stuck on squads mired near the bottom of the standings.
Yet, while you may need to pay a pretty penny or risk a high waiver claim on a flashy prospect from a first-place team, you can often find bargains by scouring your free agent pool for forgotten call-ups, rookies, or post-prospects on non-contenders. Maybe the casual baseball fan doesn’t care who’s hitting ninth for the Astros or holding down a rotation spot in Miami, but as a fantasy owner, you should. If used selectively, such players can provide significant boosts for owners in deeper leagues. With that in mind, here are five players most owners will have forgotten about who can help in select categories down the stretch.
The Mariners replace Dustin Ackley with Franklin, Seattle's fourth-best prospect on our offseason rankings.
The Situation: Second baseman Dustin Ackley came out of college considered an elite-level hitter who would quickly establish himself in the big leagues. Ackley has never fulfilled his potential in three seasons in Seattle, totaling a .237/.307/.344 line in 1,215 plate appearances. With his continued struggles (.205/.266/.250 this year) and a Seattle offense that is hitting just .241/.310/.392 as a team, changes needed to be made. Enter Nick Franklin. Franklin, the team’s fourth-ranked prospect entering the year, has been called up to replace Ackley, who was optioned to Triple-A.
Background: A first-round pick in 2009, Franklin signed for $1.28 million and hit .333/.354/.476 in a 16-game debut that spanned the rookie-level Arizona League and short-season Northwest League. The following year Franklin exploded with a .281 average in the offensively difficult Midwest League, punching 22 doubles and a whopping 23 home runs as a 19-year old. With lofty expectations in the California League in 2011, Franklin stumbled as myriad injuries took their toll. After hitting .275 in 64 games for High Desert, Franklin was tested with an assignment to Double-A Jackson where he ripped off a .325/.371/.482 line in 21 games. The Mariners returned Franklin to Double-A in 2012 and he again torched the Southern League with a .896 OPS and 25 extra-base hits in 57 games. He struggled after a promotion to Triple-A in the second half, hitting just .243, though he did knock 27 extra-base hits in 64 games. Back in Triple-A to start the 2013 season, Franklin made the necessary adjustments and has hit .324/.440/.472 so far this season.