Sunday, May 25, 2008

Top Pick Ups Around The Diamond- Week 9

C- Miguel Olivo

Hitting .290, with 6HR, 11R, and 19RBI will get you noticed. The Royal's offense is sputtering and they need bats with some life in them in the line up and that is exactly what Olivo is providing right now. Olivo has his 16HR in each of the past two seasons, playing in one of the toughest hitter's parks in all of baseball, so the 6HR is no fluke, the power is legit.

His batting average is roughly 30-40 points higher than it should be, so expect that to come down a bit, as Olivo's season will have some ups and downs. Another problem he could run into is the fact that KC still has John Buck waiting in the wings to reclaim his starting role, despite the fact he has never lived up to his billing as a slugger.

FSE VERDICT- He will post numbers comparable, if not better than what he was doing with Florida. Of course, he will need to keep hitting to stay in the line up and a slump or two could cost him serous at bats. Get him if you don't have a limit of adds for the season, and are desperate for help at catcher.

1B- Lyle Overbay

Has been around for a while now, and for a few seasons was a hot name around draft time, but he has never really done anything to distinguish himself in fantasy. Of course, that could be a good thing or a bad thing. He manages to put up decent numbers almost every season with about 18HR and a batting average that hits .300 when he is healthy. On the other had, he has never driven in 100 RBI and really doesn't offer the type of power you'd like to see from a 1B.

FSE VERDICT- If your 1B is hurt of named "Carlo Delgado," Overbay could be a decent fit to fill the gap until your starter gets back or is euthanized. Don't go out of your way to add him, and if he is your starting 1B, you should probably look to add a power bat to make up for his lack of pop.

2B/3B/SS- Maicer Izturis

If you've read my previous articles then you know I like utility infielders for their versatility in fantasy. Izturis isn't of to a great start, but with Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick both on the DL the Angels are turning to Izturiz on an everyday basis to man in the middle infield.

Izturis can hit a bit and when all is said and done should finish the season at about .270 or .280 with 5 HR and 15-20 stolen bases if he can keep getting at bats. Good numbers for a utility infielder, which is what he is.

FSE VERDICT- As with many guys on this list, Izturis is only good if you have an injury and need a guy to fill in. He doesn't produce enough runs, or hit with enough power to be a viable addition for the rest of the season.

3B/2B/ SS- Ramon Vazquez

Came in to play 3B when Hank Blalock went down and hit so well, Blalock will move to 1B when he returns from the DL. The move makes sense as 1B has been a hole for Texas all season and this is a way for them to get a 1B without having to go outside of the organization.

If Vazquez were to blow his knee out tomorrow and be done for the season on May 28, this would still be considered a "career season" for him. He is hitting .351, with 2HR, 16R and 11RBI, and with Blalock moving, it looks like he will be the 3B going forward.

FSE VERDICT- All that being said he is still 31 going on 32 in August and has no track record of being this productive over the long haul. Someone will grab him in your league, and that doesn't mean it should be you. Don't bother to take a flier on him. Players are career utility infielders for a reason.

OF- Ryan Spilborghs

I like this guy a lot. He has been able to post solid numbers in limited at bats over the last few seasons, but has never gotten an everyday shot because Colorado is already has a stacked outfield. Well with Brad Hawpe and now Matt Holliday going down with injuries Spilborghs will see consistent at bats for at least the next 15 days.

He is a decent power/speed threat, can hit for average and knows how to draw a walk. He has the components to be a successful player, it is just a matter of that playing out when getting everyday at bats.

FSE VERDICT- If you have room on your roster, or are missing Hawpe or Holliday he is certainly worth a look. Stash him there if you like, and see if he keeps getting at bats during the course of the season.

OF- Joey Gathright

One of the fastest men in the big leagues, Gathright has been on the field inconsistently this season for the Royals. But, much like Miguel Olivo, Gathright will be seeing more playing time as the Royals are starved to get their offense going and want Gathright to provide a spark with his speed at the bottom of the line up.

Gathright has serious speed and even if he can't get his batting average up to a respectable .280-.290, he will still be good for 40 stolen bases. Right now he has stolen 13/15, and that is without playing on an everyday basis, and receiving inconsistent playing time.

FSE VERDICT- This is a classic, one tool player. If you need that tool then he is your man. If you don't he is worthless and not worth a look. I recently grabbed him in a league where I am hurting for stolen bases, so I will indeed practice what I preach.

OF- Andre Ethier

With Andruw Jones down with an injured career... I mean knee, the Dodgers can finally play the outfield they should have been playing all season. Matt Kemp, Juan Pierre and this guy, Andre Ethier. Either is a young player, who needs everyday at bats to get himself going again after a slow May. He has 4HR and 2SB on the season and an AVG at .288.

He had a very successful April and with everyday at bats he can certainly get his groove back and begin to post solid numbers again.

FSE VERDICT- I like him.

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