Carlos Gomez (Yahoo! 28%, ESPN 49%, CBS 22%), along with, interestingly enough, Drew Stubbs, set the pace for the other VP hitters to follow this week. Gomez kept cranking out the production with six runs, a homer, and three steals—all while playing center every day for the Brew Crew. That uptick in playing time is key to his value and makes him rosterable in all leagues, which fantasy baseballers have started to notice.
It’s been an interesting debut week for Starling Marte (Yahoo! 21%, ESPN 31%, CBS 39%), who came through on the fantasy side of things (two homers, two steals) but not so much for the Pirates. His ownership rates are pretty high, so he graduates from this column.
Alexi Amarista (Yahoo! 15%, ESPN 10%, CBS 20%) had another quiet week, and considering he’s not even an outfielder, he’s getting booted from the VP ranks. What he is, though, is the Padres’ new everyday shortstop and leadoff man, so he should stay valuable in NL-only and 14-plus team mixed leagues.
Even with the recent trades that have cleared up the Blue Jays’ outfield, Anthony Gose (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 10%) shouldn’t be on anyone’s fantasy team. The young outfielder is simply overmatched, striking out in nearly 40 percent of his plate appearances. Time to cut your losses and move on.
Jordany Valdespin (Yahoo! 5%, ESPN 6%, CBS 6%) had a forgettable week, and the Mets are facing a couple of lefties this coming week with an off day, meaning there won’t be many at-bats for him. I still think Valdespin is an intriguing middle infielder long-term, and he was robbed by Gregor Blanco on this spectacular catch, but for now you’ll have to get your Valdespin updates elsewhere.
Sam Fuld (Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) isn’t an everyday player, but he sneaks his way into the Rays’ lineup enough to warrant ownership in AL-only leagues. He’s capable of getting hot and stealing plenty of bases, so keep an eye on him in mixed leagues too.
His slash line was an abysmal .157/.286/.337 when he was mercifully put on the DL with a shoulder injury in mid-June. During his rehab in Triple-A, he slashed an even more abysmal .182/.258/.273. This is a Mariners player we’re talking about though, so naturally Mike Carp (Yahoo! 6%, ESPN 10%, CBS 9%) is back in the majors. And guess what? He’s hitting! In his nine games since getting recalled, he’s batted .367 with a homer while playing first base every day. It was just last year that Carp batted .276 with 12 homers in half a season, meaning there’s fantasy relevance here even for mixed leaguers. At the very least, pick him up for his upcoming series at Yankee Stadium this weekend.
Nate Schierholtz (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 4%) asked and Nate Schierholtz received a trade out of
Alcatraz San Francisco to the much friendlier confines of Philadelphia. As Derek pointed out in his Trade Impact article yesterday, the move opens up a lot more playing time for Schierholtz, who should be able to take advantage of Citizens Bank Park’s shorter fences. One game into his Phillies career and he’s already homered. Schierholtz should provide enough pop the rest of the way to be worthy of ownership in 14-plus team mixers and deeper.
As you probably know, the Rangers called up powerful third base prospect Mike Olt (Yahoo! N/A, ESPN 1%, CBS 22%) from Double-A Wednesday night. I’ll spare you my summary of his talent and instead direct you to Kevin Goldstein’s analysis here. Basically, we can expect semi-regular playing time from Olt, with the occasional benching against righties. If he’s able to make the transition to the majors, he could become a regular in the Rangers’ lineup, playing at first, DH, and even in the outfield (where he made three starts in the minors)… basically everywhere except third base. His power is expected to translate, but the question is whether he’ll be able to avoid striking out enough to stay productive. I plan on making a fairly sizable bid for Olt in the 15-team Tout Wars Mixed league on Sunday, for what it’s worth.
A quick glance at Domonic Brown’s (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2%, CBS 20%) line at Triple-A leaves you unexcited: a .286 average, five home runs, and four steals in 60 games. This is especially true when you realize that we’re talking about an almost 25 year old in his third rodeo at Triple-A; it makes you wonder why people still have hope for the former top prospect. To be honest, statistically speaking, there isn’t much to hold onto. Brown obviously has a world’s worth of talent, however, given how highly scouts have ranked him, and with two months of everyday playing time, maybe this time he’ll realize it. To be clear, his ceiling is nowhere near that of a top prospect anymore, but if he can bat .260 with five homers and steals the rest of the way, he’s worth something in deeper mixed and NL-only leagues.