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« Will Middlebrooks' 2,000 Feet of Homers | Main | Greinke Plays Keep-Away in Dodgers Debut »

Fantasy Baseball Diary: Free Agent Pickups

After the first week of baseball it’s time to worry about players with a.053 batting average or a 7.11 ERA and scour the waiver wire to find their replacements.

Just kidding.

After one week of games my opinion of players has not changed at all; it’s too early in the season to make any sort of conclusions. However, there are players that went undrafted in the majority of 12-team NFBC mixed leagues that you can pick up for cheap.

On Wednesday Roberto Hernandez was the first free agent pitcher to pitch for the Tampa Rays . After the Rays signed him to one-year deal worth $3.25 million I was skeptical. However, after watching his first start I believe he could be very viable fantasy pitcher. Compared to 2011, his last full season in the Majors, the average velocity of his sinker was the same (92 mph) but the velocity of his slider was 3 mph slower (83.5 mph). What he’s giving up in velocity, he’s gaining in movement, thereby making the pitch harder to hit. Moreover the decreased velocity creates a wider separation (in velocity) from the sinker, which will increase the effectiveness of both pitches. Tampa is known for taking underperforming pitchers and getting them to reach their ceilings (Fernando Rodney, Rafael Soriano). With a less than glowing box score of 6.2 innings, 4 earned runs and seven strikeouts now is the time to buy low on Hernandez in 12 team mixed leagues.

Franklin Gutierrez received the injury prone designation prior to drafts after missing a large amount of time the past two seasons with a myriad of fluke injuries. When healthy, which he is now, he’s a threat to hit 15-20 home runs with 20-25 stolen bases. To begin the year, he’s gotten a hit in every game he’s played in and looks to be a mainstay atop the Mariners' lineup.  

Chris Parmelee, a former first round pick in 2006, was one of my sleepers for deep mixed leagues in the pre-season because he finally started to hit in the minors, was going to get the opportunity to play every day in the middle of the Twins lineup and would have first base and outfield eligibility. Yesterday he went 2 for 3 with a home run. He has the tools to hit for a solid average and provide 20+ home runs. Parmelee is worth a flyer in 15-team mixed leagues.

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