Out, out, brief intro!
Andrew Heaney, SP, Marlins
Remember Heaney? One of the better left-handed pitching prospects in the game, the 23-year-old had a rough introduction to life in the majors earlier this season. He allowed 15 earned runs across 20 2/3 innings and four starts and was relegated back to the minor leagues in early July. Heaney’s been decent if unspectacular in Triple-A ever since, and now finds himself back in the major leagues as rosters are expanding. With Henderson Alvarez possibly in line to miss some starts, that makes Heaney relevant for our purposes once again.
Heaney’s overall line in Triple-A is pretty uninspiring. He’s got a 3.87 ERA with a matching FIP, but he struck out 26 percent of the batters he faced while walking just 6.6 percent. If you’ll allow me a moment of cherry picking, he’s been particularly decent as of late, posting a 3.09 ERA in his last five starts and throwing seven quality starts in his last 11 tries. He’s not ready to come up and dominate, but he’s much better than he showed us in the beginning of the year.
Feel free to spend a little FAAB money on Heaney in deep leagues. He’s not going to carry you down the stretch, but he plays in a great home ballpark and odds are he’ll get a few favorable starts before the season is over. There’s the potential for Heaney to serve as a no. 3 fantasy starter in time, but for now expect a lot of strikeouts with a tolerable-if-unpleasant ERA when he pitches.
Dilson Herrera, 2B, Mets
In a somewhat surprising move, the Mets summoned Herrera to the majors last week after Daniel Murphy hit the DL with a calf injury. Herrera’s had a great year, to be sure, hitting .323/.379/.479 in 587 PA in the minors. All of those PA came in Double- or High-A, however, making a promotion to the majors quite the aggressive path for the Columbian prospect.
Late last week, Jeff Moore did a terrific job and Craig Goldstein sloppily cobbled together some words on Herrera’s call-up, which you can read here. I’ll echo Craig’s sentiment about Herrera’s long-term value, but I suppose I’m slightly more optimistic about his short-term value if only because he’s essentially guaranteed everyday playing time for the remainder of the year. The Mets will want to see exactly what they have in the young infielder, and while the likely scenario is they see a player who needs more seasoning in the high minors, Herrera can still provide some value to those in 20-team mixed or NL-only leagues in the interim.
Don’t go crazy on him when it comes to FAAB, but don’t expect a ton of more enticing middle infield options to emerge over the coming days, either. If you have a hole at 2B or MI and it really needs to be filled, Herrera has a chance to be quite serviceable, which is a compliment for a 20-year-old in the majors.
Kelly Johnson, UT, Orioles
Johnson continued his whirlwind tour of the AL East this week, moving from Boston to Baltimore with Michael Almanzar for Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus Jr. You may wonder why I’m writing about Johnson in this space, seeing as he’s not very good. But when you look at the O’s depth chart, you’ll see that none of their other third base options are very good either, and it’s quite possible Johnson will see significant playing time against right-handers down the stretch.
Johnson entered 2014 as somewhat of an intriguing sleeper candidate. The average age of a Yankees infielder headed into the year was 67, and Johnson figured to see plenty of time at second base, third base and possibly in the outfield, too. Johnson hit just .219/.304/.373 as a Yankee, so things didn’t go as planned, but he’s just one season removed from contributing meaningfully in the power and speed categories, even if he’s long stopped producing acceptable averages.
At this point in the season, you’re not looking for a savior: you’re just looking for a player who could reasonably give you extra counting stats or help your ratios for a few weeks. Johnson fits the bill there, as he’ll be batting in a good lineup in a favorable lineup, and only Jimmy Paredes and Ryan Flaherty stand in his way. If you’re desperate for MI help and can take a hit in average, Johnson could contribute a bit in the other four offensive categories this month.
Deep League Streamer of the Week: Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks
It’s not a great week for streaming, since many teams haven’t listed starters past Thursday and we’re in the “to hell with it, let’s see what this guy’s got” days of the season for non-contenders. But if you’re truly in need of some cheap innings, check out Collmenter pitching in San Diego against the Padres this Wednesday.
“It must be really easy to write about fantasy baseball at BP,” you think to yourself. “All you have to do is pick the guy pitching against the Padres.”
Yes, I am aware that this has been my strategy as of late. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Collmenter is going up against Andrew Cashner, so don’t expect a W, but if he throws six-plus innings while giving up two or fewer runs, I won’t be surprised. Stay tuned for next week, when I hope a crappy pitcher goes against the Padres so I have someone left to suggest!
Twitter Question of the Week:
— Jon Ackerman (@JonAck21) September 1, 2014
I don’t think this is an overpay, no: I think that’s just what it takes to land Trout. But that doesn’t mean I’m sure I pull the trigger here, either. Trout is the unquestioned best player in fantasy baseball, but Puig has top-15 player potential and is just 23 years old himself. Factor in that Bogaerts and Taveras were my no. 1 and no. 2 fantasy prospects headed into the year, and there’s a real chance for the Trout owner to lament this deal for years to come in a keeper league.
That being said, Taveras and Bogaerts as fantasy studs are really just ideas right now, whereas Trout is the safest bet in baseball. Unless he’s injured, he’s going to be a stud and he’s going to carry you for a long time. So really, this just comes down to an exercise in risk tolerance.
What you’re forgetting, though, is that I’m utterly incapable of judging Bogaerts objectively. You asked me this question because you wanted me to say “take the Bogaerts side,” so that’s what you’re going to get. The upside is just too irresistible for me here, even if there’s potential for me to still be muttering “I should’f kept Trout” when I’m 67 and arguing with Craig on a porch.
Player Namedrop of the Week: Nestor Molina (h/t Craig Goldstein)
Random RP Who Will Earn a Win: Anthony Swarzak, Twins
Random Backup Who Will Homer: Reed Johnson, Marlins
Xander Bogaerts Adjective: Persistent
Thank you for reading
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