Here is a combination of players coming off the DL or being called up from the minors who have or are looking to make an impact. Keep in mind some of these players are mentioned just as a reminder that they’re available; they might be undervalued or valued appropriately.
Andrew Brown, 1B, COL, $2500 – It’s hard to consider Brown a prospect at 27, but it’s hard to ignore what he did this season at hitter-friendly Colorado Springs. Brown had a .961 OPS which included 24 home runs, 33 doubles and 98 RBI in only 390 at-bats. You can’t go wrong for the price and he should see time in the outfield for the rest of the season. Look for him to possibly see his eligibility change to the outfield and consider using him when he’s in the friendly confines of Coors Field.
Mauro Gomez, 1B, BOS, $2800 – Everyone knows who Carlos Gomez is given his breakout fantasy season but not everyone knows about Mauro Gomez. Gomez was named the International League’s Most Valuable Player this season after hitting .310 with 24 home runs and 74 RBI. He’ll likely platoon or split time with James Loney the rest of the season and has a lot of upside considering the International League isn’t as hitter-friendly as the Pacific Coast League. He’s at a decent price and should hit in the heart of the Red Sox order when he’s in the lineup.
Chris Parmelee, 1B, MIN, $2700 – Parmelee is back up with the big club after an unsuccessful stint earlier this season. Parmelee has nothing left to prove at Triple-A after tearing the cover off the ball to the tune of an 1.102 OPS that included a sharp 52:51 BB:K ratio. The Twins will likely be careful with Denard Span and his shoulder injury which could mean regular playing time for Parmelee. Just remember that Target Field isn’t considered a hitter-friendly environment.
Ryan Wheeler, 3B, $2500, ARI – Despite Arizona’s acquisition of Chris Johnson Wheeler has started to see semi-regular playing time. Wheeler was killing it at Triple-A Reno this season, hitting .351 with 15 home runs over 362 at-bats. Chase Field plays favorably to hitters and Wheeler has some solid upside when he gets the starting nod.
Brandon Barnes, OF, $2400 – Barnes is an interesting player in that he possesses the blend of speed and power that fantasy owners love. Unfortunately that skill set is yet to translate over to the big leagues after successful stints at Double and Triple-A this season. Between the two minor league levels (399 at-bats), Barnes hit at least .311 and had a total of 12 home runs and 21 stolen bases. For now, keep an eye on the Astros box score to see if Barnes starts to figure out big league pitching.
Players Looking to Rebound or Starting to Bounce Back
Here are some players who have seen their value drop significantly due to poor production recently. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. This section will also include players who seem to be turning things around as we speak but come at a discounted price due to their recent slump.
David Wright, 3B, NYM, $3400 – This is the lowest price tag Wright has seen all season, dropping due to only a .278 batting average during August. While the batting average isn’t terrible, he has managed just one home run and one stolen base over that stretch. However, Wright is still one of the premier third basemen in the league and it’ll only be a matter of time before he starts raking again. Until then, take advantage of his cheap price when constructing your lineup.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, BOS, $3100 – Saltalamacchia has been one of the few bright spots for Boston this season, as he’s tied for second among catchers with 22 home runs. After struggling to start the month, Saltalamacchia has gone 6-for-20 with two home runs over his last six games. With the Red Sox sporting a revamped lineup, Saltalamacchia could get regular at-bats while splitting time at catcher and DH going forward.
Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS, $3300 – A notoriously streaky hitter, LaRoche is in the midst of a slump and hasn’t homered since Aug. 4. Typically a second-half hitter, LaRoche came out of the gate strong this season after missing most of 2011 with a shoulder injury. He has a strange split going on this season, hitting left-handed pitching much harder than right handed pitching. Against lefties, LaRoche has nine home runs in 136 at-bats while hitting 14 home runs in 313 at-bats against righties. Therefore, don’t be scared off if LaRoche catches fire and goes up against a southpaw.
Adam Jones, OF, BAL, $3300 – Jones is headed to a breakout fantasy season. He’s already matched last season’s home run (25) and stolen base (12) totals, which were career highs. Jones’ recent power outage has led to a drop in his price, which is the lowest of the season. He finally hit his 100th career home run Tuesday night, his first dinger in 27 games. Now that the monkey is off his back, there’s a good chance he goes on a tear, especially in Yankee Stadium this weekend.
Josh Reddick, OF, OAK, $3300 – After being jettisoned out of Boston during the offseason, Reddick has been one of the more pleasant surprises in fantasy this year. He finished the first half of the season on a torrid pace, recording 20 home runs, 43 RBI and eight stolen bases before the All-Star break. Reddick has hit just .235 in August, but he has shown signs over the last week of heating up again. Over his last four games he’s gone 9-for-18 with three runs, two RBI and a home run. Here’s another player who won’t see his price stay too low for long.
We'll be switching this column over to football coverage next week, so look for it in the NFL section.
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