D.J. Short

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Hope for Holland?

Thursday, August 04, 2011




AL ONLY

Brandon Allen 1B/OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

My immediate response when Allen was traded to the Athletics on Sunday? "Oh, that makes sense." With power and on-base ability, the 25-year-old looks like an ideal Billy Beane target. That being said, Allen isn't without his flaws. While he has posted impressive numbers in the minor leagues, he has a .213/.325/.404 batting line over 178 major-league at-bats and has struck out in 73 of them. Of course, these at-bats are limited samples over a three-year stretch, so it would be unfair to definitively say that he just can't hack it at the major league level. Fortunately it looks like he's eventually going to get a fair shake in Oakland.

Chris Davis 1B/3B, Orioles (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

Yeah, yeah. Davis has been given chances in the past and fallen flat on his face. I get it. The main difference now is that the free-swinger has moved from a team who is expected to win now to one who has every reason to exhibit some patience. With Derrek Lee in Pittsburgh, it looks like he's going to get the chance to be the regular first baseman moving forward. I honestly wouldn't bank on anything more than a .230-240 batting average, but would you really be surprised if he hit 10 home runs the rest of the way? Not me.

Charlie Furbush SP/RP, Mariners (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

Furbush was very impressive Wednesday in his first start since being acquired from the Tigers, allowing one run on two hits over five innings while striking out three and walking none in a win over the Athletics. The 25-year-old southpaw didn't his first baserunner until a one-out double by Conor Jackson in the fifth inning. The Tigers primarily used Furbush in relief this season, but he has averaged 9.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 as a starter over parts of four seasons in the minor leagues. It might be a good idea to keep him in reserve for his next start against Texas, but he's worth snagging in case he becomes the latest left-hander to find success pitching at Safeco Field.

Leonys Martin OF, Rangers (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: 0.0 percent)

I'm not going to lie, I have never seen Leonys Martin play. However, Endy Chavez has inevitably come crashing back down to Earth recently, batting just .182 over his last nine games. His struggles have caused Rangers manager Ron Washington to use Josh Hamilton in center field again. That's obviously far from ideal. Meanwhile, Martin is batting .316/.392/.464 with four homers and an .857 OPS over his first 52 professional games, including a .280 batting average and .344 on-base percentage over his first 19 games with Triple-A Round Rock. He still looks like a pretty solid candidate for a September call-up.

NL ONLY

Juan Nicasio SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 4 percent owned, ESPN: 3.2 percent)

I'm shocked to see that Nicasio isn't owned in more fantasy leagues. And coming off a 10-strikeout performance, no less. Sure, it was against the Padres, but the 24-year-old right-hander has allowed one run or less in four out of his last six outings. He has been nearly untouchable at home this season, posting a 1.58 ERA and 27/7 K/BB ratio over six starts, so I wouldn't hesitate using him against the last-place Nationals this weekend.

J.D. Martinez OF, Astros (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

The Astros made some dramatic changes to their lineup over the weekend, which puts Martinez in a position to play every day in left field. The 23-year-old has put up some gaudy numbers in the minors, including a .338/.414/.546 batting line and 13 homers over 88 games with Double-A Corpus Christi this season. While Martinez isn't going to help you in the stolen base department, he possesses decent pop and should be able to maintain a palatable batting average while getting on base at a solid clip.

Dee Gordon SS, Dodgers (Yahoo: 4 percent owned, ESPN: 2.5 percent)

Gordon will get the chance to show he's the Dodgers' "shortstop of the future" now that Rafael Furcal has been traded to the Cardinals. The 23-year-old has already impressed with his plus-speed, swiping 10 bases in 13 attempts, but he has also drawn just two walks over his first 99 major league at-bats. Doesn't exactly scream leadoff hitter, now does it? Gordon may very well turn out to be a valuable mixed-league option at shortstop in the long run, but those in NL-only leagues should be buying him strictly for speed purposes right now.

Nate Eovaldi SP, Dodgers (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: 0 percent)

Rubby De La Rosa is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery next week, which leaves a void in the Dodgers' starting rotation. Nothing official has been announced yet, but early speculation is that Eovaldi will take his place Saturday against the first-place Diamondbacks. Eovaldi, 21, has a 2.62 ERA and 99/46 K/BB ratio over 103 innings with Double-A Chattanooga this season. I wouldn't blame you if you kept the young right-hander in reserve this weekend, but he should absolutely be on your radar in NL-only and dynasty formats.


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D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
Email :D.J. Short



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