Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Desperation Station - Hitters 4/19/08

In a deep league and can't seem to find that one guy who went undrafted to fill out your lineup? In Desperation Station we offer you a few under the radar players who could fill out your roster and contribute admirably.

Dan Johnson- Remember him? Johnson was Oakland's next of 1B/DH kin before a variety of injuries and younger players to replace him crept up quickly. Johnson has been given a few chances on the major league level and while he has shown good power he has never been able to stay in the line up long enough to accumulate more than 500 at bats in a season. Johnson won't dazzle you with his AVG, but with the right team and right situation he could be an effective RBI man.

That chance might have come Friday, when the Tampa Bay _______ Rays claimed him off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Currently Tampa is missing DH Cliff Floyd and 1B Carlos Pena has been nursing a hamstring injury so Johnson should be able to seamlessly join the fray and be able to become a productive bat in the middle of Tampa's line up. If he can muster an everyday gig between 1B and DH he should be able to hit 20HR over the course of the rest of the season with 60 or so RBI, and a .250AVG.

He is still only 27 so is still young enough to expect that he hasn't reached his full potential yet as a hitter. This is the type of sleeper 1B bat that can can have an impact for the rest of the season. He is prone to hot and cold streaks like most sluggers are, and the fact he doesn't hit well for AVG will perpetuate the cold streaks, so take note of that in head-to-head leagues.

John Bowker- The 24-year-old outfielder is getting his shot in the majors and had made the most of it thus far after 16 at bats. He is hitting over .400 and already has a couple HR on his major league resume. Bowker doesn't really have a set spot in the line up or on the field, but manager Bruce Bochy is trying to find a place in the outfield and even at 1B a position he isn't use to playing.

Normally I would advise staying away from a guy like this as a flash in the pan, but Bowker has shown good power numbers in the minors as well as an ability to hit for a decent AVG as well. I can't guarantee that Bowker will be a solid guy for the rest of the season, but he looks good now and he has shown the ability in the minors to continue his success which are both positives.

Clint Barmes- In 2005 he was having a great rookie season before breaking his collarbone and has never been the same since. He has since lost the SS gig to Troy Tulowitzki and has barely managed to hang on as a major league ball player. This season however, has been different. Barmes has been hitting like he is a rookie again and is off to a .433AVG to go along with a HR and a SB, forcing Clint Hurdle to find creative ways to get his bat into the struggling Rockies line up. Thus far Barnes has seen at bats at SS, 3B and 2B, depending on how many games your league's eligibility rules Barmes might be eligible at all 3 spots. As the season wears on there is a good chance that by late May he has seen 10 or so games at 3 positions in one way or another.

He won't hit over .400 all season, thats obvious, but if he can keep himself in the line up he can definitely hit .300, with double digit HR and SB. A middle infielder who can do that and play a variety of positions (especially the middle infield) has great value in the majors but also in fantasy, as a guy who can step in for an injured player, a guy on an off day or for a guy who is getting a routine day off.

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