As the season winds down, lets look at a pair of players that can help you make a late run…
Jesus Guzman | 1B | Padres | Ownership: 27% Yahoo!, 72.3% ESPN
Life without Adrian Gonzalez means five different first baseman in the team’s first 140 games of the season, and Guzman is one more start away from passing Brad Hawpe for the most on the team. He hasn’t stopped hitting since being summoned from the minors in late-June, first working as a platoon bat/pinch-hitter before forcing his way into more playing time. Guzman’s hitting a fantasy friendly .337 at the moment, with enough walks (7.6%) to make his OBP (.390) helpful in those leagues as well. Although he’s only gone deep five times in 210 PA, he’s a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts. There’s definite value here, especially if you roto-leaguers need help getting that average up.
It’s worth noting that top prospect Anthony Rizzo was just recalled and started yesterday at first, but Guzman was still in the lineup as the left fielder. He’s hitting too well for the Padres to simply bench him, so he might even pick up OF eligibility before the end of the season.
Mike Minor | SP | Braves | Ownership: 22% Yahoo!, 23.6% ESPN
The Braves have more starting pitching than they know what to do with, and it took a long-ish term injury to Jair Jurrjens for Minor to get a firm grip on a starting spot. The strikeout (8.61 K/9) and walk (2.48 uIBB/9) numbers are stellar, but there’s little chance that a 3.4% HR/FB rate is his true talent level when his season and career ground ball rate is just above 36%. Minor has racked up at least six strikeouts and allowed no fewer than three earned runs (zero, one, three twice) in his last four starts. He is prone to the high pitch count though, so it’s rare to see him out there beyond the sixth inning.
Minor will start against the Mets in CitiField on Thursday, and the rest of his starts line up against the Marlins, Mets again, Marlins again, and the Nationals.