Friday, August 05, 2011

Gearing Up A.L. Week 19: August 8-14

Rising Up
Brett Lawrie (34% owned last week; 48% this week)
It's time. From a fantasy standpoint, Lawrie has been one of the most hyped prospects in baseball this year, and with good reason. John Sickels' scouting report sums it up well: Lawrie has a power bat and has started showing control of the strike zone this year. The combination is what makes Lawrie potentially special. Some minor league hitters have power, some have a good batting eye, but few have both. The only caveat I see is that Lawrie's power has dropped since his return from a broken hand. He had a home run every 16.7 plate appearances pre-injury, but only one in every 26 post-injury. This could merely be a small sample size gremlin, but hand injuries do tend to sap power in the short-term. If you're looking to add a big power bat, you might be disappointed. Long term, I see little not to like here, and if Lawrie's defense holds up, he could be everything with the bat that fellow Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion was supposed to be.

Trayvon Robinson (4% owned last week; 7% this week)
Robinson was acquired (some say stolen) in the three-way deal between the Red Sox, Mariners, and Dodgers that netted the Sox Erik Bedard. On the surface, Robinson was having a terrific year at AAA Albuquerque, blasting 26 home runs with a 564 SLG (270 ISO). You always have to make the PCL adjustment, though, and while Robinson's 940 OPS would make him a future All-Star in the International League, in the PCL it makes him look more like a future average-to-above-average everyday player. Robinson has also stopped running this year, dropping from 36 steals last year to eight this season. Robinson could turn into a star, but a 15 HR/10 SB outfielder also shouldn't surprise you if you FAAB him this week.

Possible Waiver Claims
I was asked in mid-June if I thought Dunn might still have Roto value in 2011. I said that he would. It's fairly safe to say now that I was incredibly and horribly wrong. If you still have Dunn on your roster, it's time to say goodbye. After a slight rally in May, the power continues to suffer and Dunn doesn't offer anything else that makes him worth hanging onto. I can't speculate on whether or not this is just one of those years or if Dunn is truly finished, but I think it's fairly safe to say that 2011 is a lost year, and that keeping him if you're contending now is a losing strategy.

Kearns is in a quasi-platoon against left-handers, mostly at Michael Brantley's expense. He isn't hitting left-handers, so why Kearns is on the Indians roster is something of a mystery to me. He shouldn't be on your roster either.

Alex Rios
It's definitely cut bait time in deeper leagues...although it could be argued that cut bait time was a month ago. Rios has been even worse than Dunn, and has possibly been the worst every day player in the Major Leagues this year. The White Sox should probably be pushing Brent Lillibridge or Alejandro de Aza out there over Rios at this point. But Ozzie Guillen isn't. Unlike Dunn, Rios provides a meager speed along with meager power. If you can stomach the batting average (or if it doesn't matter), Rios can actually be your 5th OF in A.L.-only...assuming you can take the salary cap hit, of course.

There are mostly familiar faces here for A.L.-only owners. Albers is purely an ERA/WHIP play in the deep Boston bullpen. Crain continues to be more of a wins vulture candidate than a saves vulture candidate. Frasor was moved to the White Sox last week and probably has even less of a chance to pick up the stray save than he did in Toronto. Kyle Farnsworth stayed put, so Peralta didn't suddenly luck into a 9th inning gig.

Back from the Minors/DL
Adam Rosales (minors)
Rosales is up to provide infield depth, but keep an eye on Scott Sizemore. Sizemore is 10 for his last 64 and hasn't really done much outside of a strong June and first few days in July. I doubt Rosales will supplant Sizemore, but he could steal some at bats now and again.

Denard Span (concussion)
The Twins were rightfully cautious with Span. The upshot of this is that he's probably completely healthy. The downside of this is that Span still has a little rust. He has had more value in OBP leagues this year, as he hasn't run a lot. While a .284 batting average is solid, it doesn't make up for the lackluster counting stats. Span is also part of a logjam in the Twins outfield. Unless there is a waiver trade involving Jason Kubel or Michael Cuddyer, Span and Ben Revere figure to lose some time, even though Cuddyer will play a little bit now and again in the infield.

In the Minors
Giavotella is listed here with an asterisk because the Royals haven't officially called him up yet. It seemed likely that Chris Getz might get optioned, but it sounds like the Royals will send newly acquired Yamaico Navarro down to Triple-A instead. I would suspect that they didn't call Giavotella up just to have him split the job with Getz, but Getz's presence wouldn't make me happy if I owned Giavotella. There is a lot of hype surrounding Giavotella's bat, but his numbers won't necessarily translate for Roto. The batting average is great, but Giavotella is under 10 HR/10 SB; he might "only" provide a somewhat empty .300 batting average. That's great for the Royals, but might not do much for you at all.

1 comment:

Scooter said...

Jeff Sullivan at Lookout Landing wrote an interesting analysis of his concern about Trayvon Robinson: