P-P-Power Up!: AL-Only Category Helpers
If you play AL-Only roto (which you should. Points are blech.), you should know this situation. You were relying on one or two guys to supply a majority of one category and then a 3 week cold streak or a DL-stint happens and all of sudden, you’re at the bottom of a category you expected to contend in. No worries friends, here are 3 players specifically designed to help you make up lost ground.
Jarrod Dyson, Outfielder, Kansas City Royals: Before Dyson went onto the DL, he was regularly receiving playing time over Jeff Francouer. Perhaps even more exciting is that Ned Yost has sat Frenchy down for Dyson’s replacement, David Lough. Right before Dyson got injured, Howard Bender of Fangraphs wrote that it was the time to pick Jarrod Dyson up. While in AL-Only leagues, he is already owned, the principle is solid. The tides were beginnings to turn, as Francouer was sitting more and Dyson was starting in non-platoon situations. In his major league career, Dyson has 56 steals and only 8 caught stealings. Part of the problem with the Royals scoring runs is the lack of a real leadoff hitter. While Dyson only had a .286 OBP before his injury, he was at a more respectable .328 last year and if he can return to that pace when he returns and is playing behind Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, he will score his fair amount of runs. A player who is on the DL and seen as a 4th outfielder is a pretty cheap fantasy commodity and if you are buying on Dyson, now is the time to do it.
Micheal Morse, Outfield, Seattle Mariners– I don’t know what more Morse needs to do to earn the respect of the larger fantasy community. It is true that he is playing in a weaker lineup and on the west coast, but is there anyway that Lyle Overbay is equal value for Morse? No, but that didn’t some owner somewhere from doing that trade, according to Morse’s CBS fantasy player page. Ever since his 2010 breakout season, Morse has hit .289, .303, and .291. Yet in 2013, he is hitting .244. Possibly from playing in Safeco, but more likely due to a much, much, much lower than career average .269 BABIP. You aren’t trading for Morse to get his batting average though, you are doing it to get the power that he is already supplying with 10 home runs this season. Even if his batting average doesn’t improve, you’ll get a solid power source in a lineup that has been better than most realize and will only get better as the M’s prospects get called up.
James Loney, First Base, Tampa Bay Rays– That’s right. I’m buying in. The Rays just know things about baseball that the rest of us are not privy too. This is a team that changed Fernando Rodney’s foot placement and got a 0.60 ERA season out of him. The changes that Maddon and the coaching staff have made have resulted in fewer ground balls, and more line drives which will drive a batting average. Loney’s .186 ISO is close to Russel Carleton’s found stabilizing point; yet another positive indicator. A more in-depth analysis of the mechanical changes can be found at The Process Report. Loney may eventually turn into a pumpkin, but it isn’t coming anytime soon. Chances are, the owner in your AL-Only league thinks that the other shoe is going to drop much sooner than it is and will give you a severe discount for him.