Friday, April 27, 2012

A.L. Gearing Up: April 30 - May 6

Rising Up
Pedro Strop (0% owned last week, 11% owned this week)
Why do sleeper lists annoy me? It's because guys like Erick Aybar and Paul Konerko are on them while true sleepers like Strop never are. But make no mistake: Strop is a big time sleeper who could wind up saving 10-15 games this year and could be the Orioles closer in 2013. Strop was a prospect way back in 2008 for the Rockies until a broken elbow ended his season after seven games. Since then, he's been on the periphery of prospect lists. He has done well in the minors but struggled with control in the Majors. Very quietly, he seems to have fixed this problem to some degree and is throwing mid to high 90s gas. Jim Johnson is still the man, but isn't much of a long-term obstacle based on his skills. Buy Strop in A.L.-only while you can and monitor in mixed.

Luis Perez (1% last week, 5% this week)
Perez looked like he might get a shot as a starter this year but is back in the pen, where he spent most of 2011. He has pitched well out of the gate, and may get a stray save opportunity now and again for Francisco Cordero, but his value is mostly as a back-of-the-staff middle reliever. Feel free to add, but keep your bids low.

Activated from the DL/Up from the Minors
Parker has future ace written all over him. The dilemma for most of us is that we don't have the luxury of leaving him on reserve and there's a good chance that he's going to have his ups and downs in his rookie campaign even if he does stick with the team. His outing against the White Sox was encouraging, but it was just one game, and you can't overpay for one game. In leagues where you can't keep minor leaguers, you're going to have to bid aggressively on Parker this week but know the risks. He could easily fail to earn double-digits this year...though he's an excellent prospect and as a result could go the other way and thrive as a rookie.

I can see why the Rays picked Allen up based on his power potential. He'd more intriguing from a fantasy perspective if he were right-handed and could spell Luke Scott or Carlos Pena against tough lefties. As a fellow left-hander, he's not a better option than either one of those players and can't play anywhere else on the field but 1B. Allen's worth stashing on a deep reserve list but that's probably his limit unless there's an injury.

Revere probably deserves to stick in the Majors over Clete Thomas but Thomas probably wouldn't make it through waivers if he were DFAd by the Twins. That's a shame for fantasy owners, as Revere would be a wonderful source of steals even as a bench option. Unless something changes, though, there's no need to pick up Revere at the moment; he's a three-day fill-in while Josh Willingham is on paternity leave.

In The Minors
Taylor is waiting in the wings if Coco Crisp has to go on the DL and could be activated sometime this weekend. Taylor could be a 15/15 HR/SB guy if everything breaks right, but I'm skeptical for many reasons. Not including this year, Taylor has never hit over .282 in two and a half years in AAA, with two of those years coming in the PCL. Yes, Sacramento isn't a bandbox, but the PCL is still a hitters' league, and Taylor's AAA numbers should still be better. Taylor is 26 years old, and while this isn't ancient for a prospect, there also isn't a lot of growth left here. I think Taylor could survive in the Majors as a starter, but he could also wind up on a bench or as a fourth OF. He's worth picking up if Crisp does go on the DL, but I'm not all that excited based on 89 great plate appearances in 2012.

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