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FAAB Factor - AL: More Prospect Speculation

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez writes about baseball and football, in addition to hosting the award winning RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio. He is a native Texan and roots for the Astros, Texans, Rockets, and Rice Owls.

Starting Pitchers:

Jose Alvarez, Tigers Alvarez was called up to make a spot start for the Tigers on Sunday against the Indians, while Anibal Sanchez deals with shoulder stiffness. Sanchez's injury isn't thought to be serious and shouldn't keep him from making his next start, thus limiting Alvarez's value to owners. At Triple-A Toledo Alvarez had a 2.42 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 15 walks over 74.1 innings. He's only 24-years old and likely needs more time in the minors, before the team gives him an extended look in their rotation. Not considered much of a prospect, Alvarez isn't in the Tigers long-term plans. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Carlos Carrasco, Indians Carrasco was called up this week to take the rotation spot of Zach McAllister, who is out with a strained finger. In his debut he gave up six earned runs on 10 hits, three walks, and one strikeout to the Tigers. This week he'll have to ride the pine as he serves a seven game suspension for hitting Kevin Youkilis. At Triple-A Columbus this season he had a 3.21 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 14 walks over 47.2 innings. Until he shows the ability to command the strike zone better and leaves his temper at the door, he's best left on the waiver wire. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Samuel Deduno, Twins After a disastrous debut, Deduno has had back-to-back great starts, pitching a combined 13 innings with one earned run on eight hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts. His command is still not where it needs to be to achieve sustained success and he hit three batters in his second start, so there's still reason for caution. He showed real promise in the World Baseball Classic, when he pitched for the Dominican Republic and was missing bats with ease. This week he faces the Tigers at home, which should be a nice test for him. If he clears this hurdle, he might be worth a look in more mixed leagues. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Danny Duffy, Royals Duffy is currently on a rehab assignment as he continues to make his way back from Tommy John surgery. In his first three rehab starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas he has pitched 10.2 innings with five earned runs, 15 strikeouts, and four walks. The next step for him is to move his rehab starts to Triple-A Omaha, beginning on Monday. The team will want to stretch him out and see where his velocity is, before they decide to activate him, which could be later this month. Before his injury, Duffy was considered one of the better pitching prospects in the Royals system. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Kyle Gibson, Twins The Twins top pitching prospect, Gibson is likely close to making his MLB debut, now that the Super Two cutoff is quickly approaching. So far in Triple-A Rochester he has a 3.34 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 21 walks over 72.2 innings. He has been erratic this season, and at times alternated quality and disaster starts for stretches at a time, something that will have to change in the majors. Still, with the likes of Mike Pelfrey ahead of him in the Twins rotation, there's likely no reason left for him to continue to learn in the minors. He missed almost the entire 2012 season with Tommy John surgery, so don't be surprised if there's an innings limit on Gibson, when he does make his debut. Stashing him now in AL only formats would be a wise decision. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Josh Lindblom, Rangers With Alexi Ogando headed back to the DL, Lindblom was called up to take his spot in the Rangers rotation on Monday. At Triple-A Round Rock he had a 2.04 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 15 walks over 57.1 innings. He made a spot start for the team earlier this season against the A's, and the results were less than pretty as he gave up four earned runs over just 4.2 innings. This week he'll face the Indians and potentially the Blue Jays, both at home. With only one major league start under his belt, Lindblom is to be handled with caution. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Erasmo Ramirez, Mariners The Eraser made another rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday and pitched seven shutout innings with five hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. The team will likely want him to make a couple more rehab starts, before they decide to promote him, but it's clear that he's not far from returning to the majors. Harang, Bonderman, and Saunders have all had their moments, both good and bad recently, but none should stand in the way of Ramirez, who showed potential as a starting pitcher last season, when he posted a 3.64 ERA (3.52 xFIP) with 41 strikeouts and eight walks over 47 innings in eight starts. Stash him now, if you already haven't. Mixed: $4; AL: $16.

Yordano Ventura, Royals Ventura was promoted to Triple-A Omaha this week and performed well in his debut, as he allowed one earned run on one hit, four walks, and six strikeouts over five innings. He's a highly touted prospect within the Royals system and for good reason as he has an electric fastball that touches 100 mph and a great curve that he generates plenty of swings and misses on. Some question if he'd be better served as a high leverage relief pitcher in the majors, but he just passed Double-A Northwest Arkansas with flying colors and shows no signs of slowing down. It's not unrealistic to think he could end up in the majors at some point this season. At Double-A he pitched 87 innings over 17 starts with a 3.10 ERA, 99 strikeouts, and 33 walks, between last season and this season. Stash him if you can in AL only formats. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Chien-Ming Wang, Blue Jays Wang opted out of his minor league contract with the Yankees, signed with the Blue Jays, and will make his debut for the team this Tuesday against the White Sox in Chicago. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he has a 2.33 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 10 walks over 58 innings. The low strikeout total is nothing new as Wang is a sinkerball pitcher who induces a heavy amount of ground balls. Because of this his fantasy value is limited and owners should not seek him out in leagues that are heavy on strikeout rate stats. With another start scheduled for Sunday at Texas, Wang makes for an interesting option this week. Owners in mixed leagues can almost certainly do better. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Relief Pitchers:

Hector Ambriz, Astros Ambriz earned his second save of the season last Sunday, in place of Jose Veras, who had the day off. He hasn't been scored upon in his last nine outings and on the season carries a 4.39 ERA (3.82 xFIP) with 21 strikeouts and eight walks over 26.2 innings. Wesley Wright is likely the next man up in the pen for the Astros, should anything happen to Veras, but Ambriz has at least shown he's capable of closing games out, should he be asked to. Keep him in the back of your mind, if you're chasing saves. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Joaquin Benoit, Tigers Over Jose Valverde's last four appearances he has given up six earned runs on one walk and eight hits, four of which were home runs. This is the first rough patch that Valverde has gone through this season, since rejoining the Tigers and it gives us an opportunity to point out that if something should happen to him, Benoit would likely be the next man up for the job. Benoit has a 2.08 ERA (3.18 xFIP) on the season with 29 strikeouts and nine walks over 26 innings. He the team's top setup man and one of the better non-closing relievers in the AL. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Aaron Loup, Blue Jays Like the aforementioned Ambriz, Loup picked up his second save of the season last Sunday. Closer Casey Janssen pitched the inning before and got the win, in an extra-innings game. Loup has a 2.14 ERA (3.43 xFIP) with 25 strikeouts and five walks over 33.2 innings this season. Last season he was equally as effective with the Blue Jays, but did not earn any saves. Should anything happen to Janssen, Loup would be in the mix to replace him, so don't forget about him, if you're chasing saves. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Catchers:

Brandon Bantz, Mariners Bantz was called-up on Wednesday to help fill in for Jesus Sucre, who hit the DL with a sprained left wrist on Saturday. It appears that Kelly Shoppach will get the majority of the starts until Sucre is back or until the team deems prospect Mike Zunino ready to be promoted later this season. As for Bantz, he has very little upside to offer owners. At Double-A Jackson he hit three homers with a .217/.305/.292 batting line over 423 PA. Owners in even the deepest leagues can do better than Bantz. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Lou Marson, Indians Marson is currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus as he works his way back from a shoulder injury. He'll likely be ready to rejoin the team sometime this coming week, but with the way Yan Gomes hit in May, it will be interesting to see if the team decides to activate him or leave him in Columbus. Gomes can also play first base, third base, and the outfield, so it wouldn't be all that surprising to see Marson activated and another player sent away. No matter how it breaks down though, Marson has limited offensive upside with a career .219/.309/.299 batting line and five homers over 882 PA. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Kelly Shoppach, Mariners With Jesus Sucre now on the DL with a sprained wrist, Shoppach appears set to receive the majority of plate appearances for the Mariners. He holds a career .224/.313/.413 batting line with limited power. The biggest problem in his approach is that he doesn't make enough contact, which is never a good sign and predictably leads to him being a batting average drain. In leagues that use on base percentage, he's not as much of a liability. Owners in mixed leagues can likely do better. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Taylor Teagarden, Orioles Teagarden was activated from the DL on Tuesday, after dealing with a dislocated thumb. He rejoined the team as the backup catcher and has since made one start behind the plate, in place of Matt Wieters. A career .203/.267/.387 hitter, he is hitless over 17 PA this season. There's almost no upside here. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Josh Thole, Blue Jays The Blue Jays designated Henry Blanco for assignment this week and brought up Thole from Triple-A Buffalo, where he hit .322/.383/.510 with seven homers over 167 PA. He'll backup starter J.P. Arencibia, so his playing time figures to be limited, but he does offer some upside as he's a career .261/.331/.333 hitter, who makes decent contact at the plate. Moreover, he was R.A. Dickey's personal catcher last season with the Mets, so he figures to at least get a start every five games, if he settles back into that role. At 26-years old, he's one of more intriguing backup catcher options available in AL only formats. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Corner Infielders:

Chris Colabello, Twins Colabello is expected to be recalled this Sunday from Triple-A Rochester, prior to the team's doubleheader with the Nationals. He was optioned to Rochester last Sunday, after being up for a brief period. He is expected to stay with the team, after the doubleheader, thus he might have some lingering value this week and in the future. In Rochester he was swinging a hot bat with 12 homers and a .353/.417/.637 batting line over 218 PA. At 29-years old he's not your typical overcooked minor leaguer, as 2012 was his first season in the minor leagues of MLB. Previously he spent seven seasons in the Independent League. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Brad Hawpe, Angels Hawpe was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday to give the Halos some depth, as they played a doubleheader with the Red Sox. His stay figures to be a short one as he went 0-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts and badly misplayed a fly ball in his debut. Should he hang around a bit longer though, owners would be wise to avoid him as his skills have eroded from where they were back in his heyday with the Rockies. As a matter of fact, the last time he was even in the majors was back in 2011 with the Padres. He can safely be ignored in all formats. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Andy LaRoche, Blue Jays LaRoche was called up by the Blue Jays on Friday from Triple-A Buffalo to give the team some added depth in their infield. At Buffalo he hit .282/.358/.463 with seven homers over 204 PA. A former top prospect back in his days with the Dodgers, LaRoche offers minimal upside and will at best share time at third base with the likes of Edwin Encarnacion, Mark DeRosa, and Maicer Izturis. The last time LaRoche was in the majors was 2011 with the A's. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Chris McGuiness, Rangers With Mitch Moreland landing on the DL with a hamstring strain that manager Ron Washington thinks will not require more than the minimum 15 days to recover from, the Rangers called up McGuiness from Triple-A Round Rock. There he hit .275/.382/.477 with six homers over 228 PA. The team plans to use McGuiness only against RHPs, so he should see a fair amount of playing time between now and when Moreland is ready to return. He has plus power as evidenced by his 23 homers last season at Double-A Frisco over 530 PA. At 25-years old, he's a decent option for owners looking to replace Moreland. Mixed: $3; AL: $10.

Miguel Tejada, Royals Tejada made back-to-back starts at third base this week for the second time in the last two weeks, in place of the struggling Mike Moustakas. Moustakas hit .195 in April, .171 in May, and is now hitting .158 in June. Moreover, he has two extra base hits since May 10th. While sending him back down to Omaha might not be the best answer to his problems, there's no way it can hurt the team, when one considers how little is he producing offensively. Should that happen, Tejada would likely be the main beneficiary. On the season he has hit .306/.358/.449 with one double and two homers over 53 PA. At 39-years old Tejada is at risk to get exposed if he were to see extended playing time, but then again, that's exactly what's happening to Moustakas right now. Expect the Royals to make a move sooner rather than later, unless Moustakas shows them something. Mixed: $2; AL: $7.

Middle Infielders:

Mike Aviles, Indians With Asdrubal Cabrera hitting the DL this week with a right quad strain, Aviles is the new starting shortstop for the Tribe. He has a little bit of power and a little bit of speed, as he showed last season when he hit 13 homers and stole 14 bases over 546 PA with the Red Sox. This season he's making more contact and thus striking out a little bit less, but for the most part appears to be the same hitter. Considering Cabrera's injury could keep him out for 3-to-4 weeks, Aviles makes for a legit pickup in both AL and mixed formats. In leagues that use on base percentage, he's a bit devalued, as he does not take many walks. Mixed: $4; AL: $15.

Gordon Beckham, White Sox Beckham came off the DL this week, after dealing with a broken hamate bone in his left wrist that left him sidelined for nearly two months. Power is often slow to come back to those who have had this injury, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Beckham struggle initially to generate extra base hits. He did however steal two bases, showing that his legs work just fine. Beckham has disappointed since his debut, back in 2009, but is still only 26-years old and should not be forgotten in mixed leagues. Mixed: $5; AL: $18.

Juan Diaz, Indians Diaz was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday to take the roster spot of Asdrubal Cabrera, who hit the DL with a strained right quad. Since his call-up though, Diaz has not gotten an at-bat as Mike Aviles appears to have a strong hold on the position. At Columbus this season Diaz hit .211/.275/.316 with four homers over 208 PA, so it's clear he's not exactly entering swinging a hot bat. Unless something happens to Aviles, expect Diaz to have little to no value in most leagues. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Stephen Drew, Red Sox Drew got four extra base hits this week, as he starts the month of June off right. May was a slow month for him, but still better than his April, when really didn't show much power and dealt with a concussion. On the season he's striking out too much, but he's at least starting to show glimpses of his pre-injury form, from when he was with the Diamondbacks. Likely still unowned in a fair amount of mixed leagues, he has a chance to end up hitting for more power than most shortstops this season in the AL. Mixed: $8; AL: Owned.

Carlos Triunfel, Mariners After being optioned down to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday this week, Triunfel was called back up on Saturday to give the M's infield depth. At Tacoma this season he hit .303/.352/.478 with four homers and four stolen bases over 194 PA. And while he has appeared in five games and made 13 plate appearances, Triunfel is still looking for his first hit this season. Unless you're desperate for middle infield depth from a glove first defender on your team, do give Triunfel a look. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Outfielders:

Peter Bourjos, Angels Bourjos is scheduled to come off the DL on Monday, after having dealt with a hamstring injury that's kept him out since the end of April. Before he left, he was hitting .313/.370/.458 with two homers and a stolen base over 96 PA. His speed is his best tool and he figures to go back to playing in centerfield, once active. His power is something that has started to grow over the last couple of seasons, which is not surprising considering he's 26-years old. Manager Mike Scioscia will hit Bourjos near the bottom of the lineup initially, which may limit some of his run production. He should be owned in all AL only and in deeper mixed league formats. Mixed: $6; AL: Owned.

Mike Carp, Red Sox Carp hit a double and two home runs this week, as he pushed his batting line on the season to .317/.360/.659 over 89 PA. He's currently a backup outfielder, behind a healthy Victorino, Ellsbury, and Nava, but his production this season has likely earned him some more playing time than that of a normal backup. He can also play first base, which gives him a leg up on someone like Jonny Gomes, whose only other position is DH. At 27-years old, he can hit for power and shouldn't be forgotten in AL only formats, now that he's back to being a backup. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Nick Castellanos, Tigers Castellanos is reportedly in the mix to be called up, shortly after the Super Two cutoff has passed. So far this season at Triple-A Toledo he has hit .295/.367/.494 with 10 homers and one stolen base over 283 PA. The Tigers top prospect, Castellanos started in the low minors as a third baseman, but has since switched to an outfielder, as he is blocked at third base at the major league level by Miguel Cabrera. Scouts have praised him for his bat speed and think he could hit for average down the line. He's only 21 years old, so he likely hasn't developed or shown all the power he is capable of yet. When he comes up, the team could use him at either corner outfield spot. Mixed: $3; AL: $12.

Rajai Davis, Blue Jays Davis came off the DL on Tuesday this week, after dealing with an oblique injury that sidelined him for almost a month. So far he is 2-for-6 with a stolen base, since he has returned. The stolen base is a good sign as speed is Davis' best skill. Just last season he stole 46 bases over 487 PA with a .257/.309/.378 batting line and eight home runs. A backup outfielder for now, Davis' value is muted, until he gets regular at-bats. Still, in AL only and deeper mixed leagues he'll have some value right away because of his ability to steal the occasional base. Mixed: $2; AL: $10.

Jarrod Dyson, Royals Dyson is currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha, as he makes his way back from a sprained ankle. The team wants him to log 25-to-30 at-bats, before he's activated, which puts him about a week away from rejoining the team. Before he was injured, he hit .268/.286/.561 with six stolen bases over 42 PA. Last season with the team he stole 30 bases over 330 PA. When he returns, he'll likely go back to his spot as the Royals' backup outfielder, thus limiting his value to owners. Still, he has enough speed that he should not be forgotten in AL only and deeper mixed league formats. Mixed: $2; AL: $9.

Justin Maxwell, Astros Maxwell started a rehab assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi this week, as he makes his way back from a fractured left hand. Last season with the Astros he hit .229/.304/.460 with 18 homers and nine stolen bases over 352 PA. The low batting average is nothing new as there is plenty of swing and miss in his bat. The power and speed are legit tools and are the main reasons he's worth owning. When he does rejoin the team, manager Bo Porter has stated that Maxwell will be the team's starting center fielder, so playing time shouldn't be an issue. Expect him back in the coming week. Mixed: $7; AL: Owned.

Wil Myers, Rays As we get closer and closer to passing the Super Two cutoff, Myers continues to hit and show he's ready for a promotion to the majors. This week he hit two more doubles, a triple, and three home runs as he raised his batting line on the season to .286/.359/.515. As if that weren't a sign to get him stashed away in leagues, this weekend there was a report that Myers could be recalled within the next 10 days. If you're wondering where he would fit into the Rays lineup, consider that DH Luke Scott has hit .187/.300/.280 over the last 30 days with one home run. Moreover, Matt Joyce is already being sat against LHP, of which Myers succeeds against as a RHB. As the 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, there's nothing left for Myers to prove in the minors and the Rays know it. Mixed: $7; AL: $28.

Lyle Overbay, Yankees Overbay's value seemed to be down, once Mark Teixeira came off the DL, but this week the Yankees decided to give Brennan Boesch the boot and use Overbay in right field. He's never been a right fielder before, so the transition might be one that takes Overbay some time and could potentially affect his focus offensively, but it at least salvages some of his value to owners in AL only formats. Moreover, it's a sign that the team is not comfortable with Ichiro logging everyday playing time, which is understandable given his slow start to the season. On the season Overbay is hitting .284/.329/.522 against RHP with seven homers over 143 PA. Mixed: $2; AL: $8.

Clete Thomas, Twins Thomas was called up this week to give the Twins some added depth in their outfield, as they travel to an NL park this weekend. At Triple-A Rochester he was hitting .296/.385/.576 with nine homers and six stolen bases over 143 PA. Unless the team has soured on Aaron Hicks or Chris Parmelee, it's unclear as to how Thomas fits into the team's plans. Moreover, if the team really wanted a lift in their outfield, they'd recall Oswaldo Arcia, who is over his shoulder injury and is one of the team's better prospects. Mixed: $1; AL: $5.

Designated Hitter:

Jason Giambi, Indians The Giambino hit another homer this week giving him four over his last five games. Unfortunately he doesn't get enough playing time to be a real difference maker in anything but AL only and possibly daily formats. The power is encouraging though because if it weren't for that, he might not have a roster spot. At 42-years old, he's only going to face RHPs and even then, his name might not be in the lineup. Still, owners might be wise to see if they can ride his coattails to a few more homers in the short-term. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.