Rotoprofessor’s Picks Of The Week (Under-the-Radar Players To Watch): July 30 – August 5

Are you looking for an under-the-radar option for the coming week?  Here are who the Rotoprofessor staff recommends you consider:

Hitters:
Mike Carp – Seattle Mariners – First Baseman
(Eric Stashin)
Carp has eligibility at first base and outfield, which does help add to his appeal a little bit.  Recently recalled to take the spot of Justin Smoak at first base, he has the potential to be an under-the-radar source of power for those in deeper fantasy formats.  Early in the week Carp gets to take on a banged up Blue Jays rotation before going across the country to play three games at the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium.  The average could be poor, but this is the same player who combined for 33 HR a year ago between Triple-A and the Majors (12 HR in 290 AB) a year ago.  If power is what you are chasing, he has the potential to produce.

Alexi Casilla – Minnesota Twins – Second Baseman (Will Overton)
There is no guarantee that Alexi Casilla plays every day, but I think the odds are good he sees a lot of time this week. Despite the fact that Casilla is hitting just .229 he’s killing lefties this season with a .319 average. Two of the lefties being faced will be Jon Lester and Chris Sale, which is not going to be easy, but Casilla is a specialist in that he has good speed and if he’s getting on base he’ll get some steals. A team struggling to get stolen bases could use Casilla in a week where things are lining up for him.

Eric Chavez – New York Yankees – Third Baseman (Ray Kuhn)
Chavez’s opportunity is a temporary one resulting from Alex Rodriquez’s injury.  A-Rod will be out for at least another six weeks so even though he will only be playing against lefties, Chavez could prove to be worthy addition for those looking to either replace A-Rod or add some power from the corner infield position.  His average of .261 is not great, nor is his 20 RBI and 18 R in 161 AB, but he has hit 8 HR so far this season.  Expect that power to continue with some increased playing time and there should be a slight uptick in his R and RBI.  There very well could be better options out there, but Chavez is someone who has not been on many radars prior to this week whereas other options like Chris Johnson have been.

Josh Rutledge – Colorado Rockies – Shortstop (Eric Stashin)
He has been raking since being recalled, hitting .370 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R and 2 SB since being recalled from Double-A (where he was hitting .306 with 13 HR and 14 SB over 356 AB).  With Marco Scutaro now in San Francisco, Rutledge was moved to the second spot in the order just adding to his intrigue.  Yes, his .422 BABIP is inflated but he is hitting the ball with authority (23.9% line drive rate) and now offers more potential overall hitting in front of Carlos Gonzalez and the middle of the Rockies batting order.  Even if the average does start to waiver (which it will), he offers more potential to score runs and steal bases now instead of when he was hitting eighth.  He’s proven to be a great add in all formats.

Jordany Valdespin – New York Mets – Second Baseman (Ray Kuhn)
Valdespin has been producing when given the chance regardless of how clutch the situation is. Of his 7 HR this season, which for someone with 2B eligibility should not be taken lightly, 5 have been as a pinch hitter.  He hit key 9th inning homers both in Philadelphia and Washington so clearly he is player that can rise to the occasion.  The spotty playing time does not appear to be a problem for Valdespin as all he is doing is making his case to be in the lineup.  Over 102 AB he is hitting .284, has scored 20 runs and drove in 22.  He has also added 4 stolen bases and seems to have a knack for making things happen.  With the demotion of Lucas Duda and possible deadline deal of Scott Hairston, the Mets seem committed to giving him more playing time.  As he will get his at bats in the outfield, he could prove to be a wise addition to get some power from your middle infield position.

Pitchers:
Freddy Garcia – New York Yankees (Eric Stashin)

Garcia has pitched well of late, having allowed 13 ER over 30.0 IP in five starts since returning to the rotation (3.90 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 8.10 K/9).  The matchups are favorable as well, with him taking on the Orioles and Mariners (who he struck out 8 over 7.1 IP against them just last week).  He’s not a pitcher that I would want to depend on week in and week out, obviously.  However, if you are looking for a chance at W and a pitcher who is looking solid, Garcia is well worth rolling the dice on.

Wilton Lopez – Houston Astros (Ray Kuhn)
Lopez is the most talented hurler in the Astros bullpen. Following the trades of Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, along with the performance of Francisco Cordero and the current state of the Astros, it would not surprise me to see him closing soon.  For that reason Lopez should be added both as a keeper possibility for next season and on a speculative basis for those searching for saves.  Prior to then Lopez could prove to be a useful pitcher thanks to his 2.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 30 strikeouts over 38 innings.  What will make him a successful bullpen arm is his control, as he has only walked 5 so far this season.  He is a useful addition for those desperate for saves, those playing for next season and those who are looking for some ratio stability and are sick of trying to stream mediocre starting pitchers.

Kris Medlen – Atlanta Braves (Will Overton)
I went with a Braves starting pitcher last week and it worked out, but this one is a bit more of a gamble. Jair Jurrjens is headed to the bullpen for Atlanta and Kris Medlen will take his place and be in line for what would be two very good starts. Medlen is slated to start on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins and would start Sunday against the Houston Astros as well. Medlen has a history of starting in the past and has been extremely good in the bullpen with a 2.48 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 38 appearances. The Braves are in a market for a new starter before the deadline, which is the gamble of rolling with Medlen, but if Medlen gets these two starts he should do well in them.


Around the Majors: July 29: James McDonald Continues Implosion, Anthony Rizzo Thriving & More
Two-Start Pitchers: July 30 - August 5: Starters, Sleepers & Who To Consider

3 comments

  1. jon says:

    Wanted to add AJ Griffin to the pitcher’s list: 6 straight QS and he gets scuffling TB and TOR at home.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      My concern with Griffin is that he has benefited from a .230 BABIP and 88.4% strand rate, so you would think that there is a regression coming soon. Plus, both of those offenses do have potential, so I would be cautious with him.

      • jon says:

        I hear you, but he reminds of Vogelsong. Nothing spectacular but knows how to pitch. Vogel currently rocking a .250 BABIP and a 84% strand and has been succeeding with that for 18 months now. Obv sample size is smaller with Griffin, but I like it.

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