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The O-Zone: Deep Thoughts
Posted by Joe Oberkrieser at 4/13/2007 10:31:00 AM
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Iím in a couple of deep leagues, so Iím always looking around and digging deep for potential value. Here are a few players who have caught my eye recently.

JOSH RABE, Twins

Rabe displayed a solid batting eye (37/35 K/BB) last year at Triple-A, so he might be able to hit for a good average in the big leagues. Heís also 28 years old, so heís at his peak. How good that peak will be remains to be seen, but if heís ever going to make a major-league impact, nowís the time.

More important for now, Rabe could earn significant at-bats. Jeff Cirillo and Rondell White are hurt. Playing time can be had at left field or DH.

Rabeís no superstar, but heís certainly worth a flier in a deep league.

ANTONIO ALFONSECA, Phillies

I thought Alfonsecaís days of fantasy usefulness were long over. And they might be. But the fact remains that Alfonseca is pitching well (2.08 ERA through four games) and is on the verge of nailing down the eighth-inning job in Philly. That puts him one step away from closing games -- and given Tom Gordonís injury history, itís no stretch to think Alfonseca could see some save opportunities.

I know Alfonseca has a crummy 2/3 K/BB. I donít think heíll keep pitching well. However, if youíre one of those fantasy players who punts saves at the draft table and tries to pick them up during the season, you need to be aware that Alfonseca could be a target.

TODD LINDEN, Giants

Nothing special here, but Linden does possess some interesting skill. He had a 44/29 K/BB at Triple-A last year, so his batting eye is OK. He also smacked 30 homers at Triple-A in 2005, proving heís got some pop. Combine that ability with his age -- 26 years old -- and you have something of a breakout candidate. Linden doesnít have a ton of upside, but that doesnít make him useless.

Expect Linden to rack up plenty of at-bats this year. Heís already spelling the struggling Randy Winn in right field, and with injury-prone Barry Bonds and Dave Roberts occupying the other two spots in the San Francisco outfield, there should be no shortage of opportunity for Linden.

DEVERN HANSACK, Red Sox

Hansack has a 20/3 K/BB in 10 2/3 innings at Triple-A. Bostonís fifth starter is shaky Julian Tavarez, and the bullpen has more holes than a mole-infested lawn. Hansack could get a chance.


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