Greg Holland | Kansas City Royals | RP | ESPN: 1.6 percent ownership, Yahoo: 10 percent ownership
YTD: 3.68 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12.27 K/9, 5.32 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 3.51 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.9 K/9
Holland had a rough start to the season, finishing April on the DL with a ribcage injury and a 11.37 ERA. Since returning though, he’s been the lights-out reliever we met last year, allowing one run in 16 innings with 19 strikeouts. His 3.68 ERA on the year still hasn’t fully recovered from the beating it took in April, but Holland is clearly an elite reliever right now.
Jonathan Broxton is the man getting saves in Kansas City, but his renaissance in the “Paris of the plains” is only helping to punch his ticket to a contender in July. Holland is the clear setup man here, and has a very good chance to be the closer around a month from now. Wild speculation encouraged.
Recommendation: Should be added in any competitive saves league (assuming non-competitive saves leagues exist).
Adam Lind | Toronto Blue Jays | 1B | ESPN: 24.8 percent ownership, Yahoo:19 percent ownership
YTD: .186/,273/,314 (Triple-A: .419/.477/.699)
Oliver ROS: .260/.314/.458
If sending Lind to Triple-A was the baseball equivalent of a “time-out,” I think the 28-year-old has learned his lesson. And while he’s crushing the PCL like it’s his playpen, replacement David Cooper‘s production has come a screeching halt. Lind should be back up with the big boys soon, and while he may never hit lefties, his power potential makes him a worthy addition in most leagues.
Recommendation: Should be re-added in 14+ team mixed leagues where he was dropped.
A.J. Griffin | Oakland A’s | SP | Not in player pool
YTD: (43 Double-A innings) 2.49 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 1.45 BB/9, 9.41 K/9
(36 Triple-A innings) 3.22 ERA, 0.96, 1.49 BB/9, 7.93 K/9
Oliver ROS: 4.54 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
The A’s rotation will soon be in a state of upheaval with Brandon McCarthy maybe hitting the DL, Bartolo Colon sure to be traded, and Travis Blackley‘s hold on the fifth spot tenuous at best. Even with Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden slated to return sometime in the second half, this presents the opportunity for a couple more young arms to jump up to the bigs.
Graham Godfrey already got his chance at the start of the season, but after four starts was 0-4 with a 6.16 ERA and returned to the minors. In Triple-A he’s pitched well and could be first in line to move back up. After Godfrey, people will probably think Brad Peacock—one of the near major league-ready arms the A’s received for Gio Gonzalez—but he hasn’t been particularly sharp thus far.
On the other hand, Griffin has been stellar in both Double and Triple-A this year. He’s no top prospect, ranked 19th in the A’s system by Sickels (Peacock is fourth), and has been spoken of very little on the interwebs. His numbers, however, speak for themselves.
Griffin has struck nearly a batter an inning this year and has done a tremendous job limiting walks, issuing a mere 13 in 80 innings. He’s not a highly touted arm so his stuff might not fool major league hitters, but he’s pitching well enough to deserve a shot. The A’s have a habit of producing quality arms, so add Griffin to your watch list.
Recommendation: Should only be considered in the deepest AL-only leagues. Otherwise just add him to your mental watch list.
Ryan Kalish | Boston Red Sox | OF | ESPN: 0.1 percent ownership, 0 percent ownership
YTD: (34 Triple-A plate appearances) .429/.529/.821
Oliver ROS: .267/.331/.430
Kalish’s season recently began due to offseason shoulder surgery, and, boy, is he making up for lost time. Currently in Triple-A, he’s posted the monster slash line you see above with three homers in seven games. Boston will likely give him at least a few more weeks to prove himself in the minors, but if he’s still hitting then, a call-up is certainly possible. Even though regular playing time probably won’t exist for Kalish given the mess that is the Red Sox outfield, by September I’d hope Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava don’t prevent the Sox from getting a good look at one of their top prospects.
With decent pop and speed, and the ability to put up a respectable .270-.280s average, Kalish could be a valuable player to own come September.
Recommendation: Can be stashed in deep AL_only leagues. Everyone else, just watch for now.
Franklin Gutierrez | Seattle Mariners | OF | ESPN: 0 percent ownership, Yahoo: 1 percent ownership
YTD: four PAs, one hit, one walk, one HBP
Oliver ROS: .245/.296/.349
You may remember in 2008 and 2009 Gutierrez was a solid fantasy player capable of 15 homers and 20 steals. Then, injuries ruined his 2011 season. Since then he’s been fighting to regain his health, and now, midway into the 2012 season, he finally appears healthy. In his first game last night, Gutierrez batted eighth and went 1-for-2 with an RBI single and a walk.
How he’ll produce is anyone’s guess—a .270 average with seven homers and 10 steals is about as optimistic as I’ll get with FraGu. At least he’s slated for regular at-bats as the Mariners center fielder, and in some leagues that makes him worthy of an add by itself.
Recommendation: Can be considered as an add in 16+ team mixed and AL-only leagues.