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The Daily Duel: A Diamond in the Ruf

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Teams continue to call up players plus some veterans come off the DL in this week’s “Newbies” section. It’s important to track everyone coming back into their team’s lineup as they could make for sneaky plays in tournament formats if your opponents aren’t keeping track of them.

Newbies

Ike Davis, NYM, $2400 – Some people just don’t know when to quit and apparently that’s the case for me with Davis. He was downright terrible to start the season and unlike a year ago, the Mets decided to send him down to Triple-A. Coincidentally, last year's trip would have been here to Buffalo while this season he was sent to Las Vegas. I haven't been able to confirm he was smiling when he was sent down. All kidding aside, the numbers looked great at Triple-A as Davis had a 1.091 OPS and maybe more importantly showed great plate discipline with an 18:17 K:BB rate. Since he's returned he's gone 4-for-13 with four walks, three strikeouts and two stolen bases. I still believe in him going forward especially considering what he did over the second half of last season.

Darin Ruf, PHI, $3100 – In all honesty, I might have skipped Ruf this week had it not been for the news that Ryan Howard will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. Ruf came out of nowhere last season with a 1.028 OPS at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and then came onto the daily fantasy radar with a 1.078 OPS in limited action with the Phillies. He was only batting .266 with seven home runs over 350 plate appearances before the promotion but that could be due to him focusing on playing the field. For now, it appears that he’ll be the every day first baseman for the Phillies while Howard is sidelined.

Grant Green, OAK, $2400 – Green is an interesting player to look at with his strong numbers at Triple-A Sacramento, posting a .874 OPS. While that number is inflated slightly due playing in the PCL, an OPS like that is impressive since he’s a shortstop (although likely to get second base eligibility eventually). Remember to check the daily lineups before selecting him, as Green will initially split playing time with Eric Sogard.

Adam Eaton, ARI, $3400 – Eaton finally made his season debut Tuesday night and was immediately put into the leadoff spot for the Diamondbacks. Before this season, Eaton hit at least .300 at every minor league stop and had a .382 OBP during a short stint (103 plate appearances) with Arizona last season. Most of his fantasy value in the daily format will be from his stolen bases and runs, although he could still develop some moderate power, especially considering his home ballpark.

Value Players Looking To Rebound

Here are some players who have seen their value drop significantly due to poor production in the season thus far. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. That being said, for most of these players there is either a track record of success or enough pedigree that they should be able to turn their season around sooner rather than later. As a result, they should provide good value in the near future.

Yoenis Cespedes, OAK, $3100 – If you’ve been a season-long owner of Cespedes, you might be inclined to be disappointed with his .223 batting average and three stolen bases. However, his 15 home runs, 42 RBI and 46 runs have made up for his overall stat line. Cespedes’ price has dropped over the last two weeks, as he has posted a .437 OPS with no home runs over that stretch. A small factor that may help motivate him or get him on track is being named to the Home Run Derby, something that was confirmed Tuesday night.

On Fire

These players have been some of the hottest hitters in the league recently. They are worth considering putting into the lineup regardless of the price they cost. Hot streaks do not always last, but there is no reason to sit a player down if he is smoking the ball.

Hanley Ramirez, LAD, $4900 – This is one of the crazier prices I’ve seen on a player, let alone a shortstop. After his trip to the disabled list, Ramirez posted a 1.086 OPS in June and has gotten hotter in July with a 1.364 OPS. He has multi-hit efforts in 11 of his last 19 games entering Tuesday night and has an OBP of .456. He’s not a bad play until the All-Star break (which couldn’t come at a worse time for him) given that people will shy away from him because of the price tag. That means he’s the perfect match if you find a cheap pitcher on any given night.

Alfonso Soriano, CHI, $3800 – Soriano has caught fire over the last few games, even with his name coming up in many trade rumors. After his bomb Tuesday night, he now has four home runs with seven RBI and two stolen bases in his last four games. At age 37, it’s quite a surprise he’s gotten the running game going, swiping more bags this season (10) than he did the last two seasons combined (8). Soriano’s value could increase should the Cubs take the hit on some of his salary and trade him to a better team and hitting environment, but remains a solid value right now.

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