Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch

Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Buy

Will Venable, OF, Padres: We can't promise the batting average will be playable, though Venable has hit .282 in the second half. We're in this story for the category juice (two homers, 10 steals over those 34 games) and the solid run production, especially when the Padres are on the road. He seems to like the No. 2 slot in the order, where he carries a .348.430.565 line over 22 starts. Consider Venable as a possible sleeper for 2013 as well, especially if San Diego finally moves in the Petco Park fences.

Scott Podsednik, OF, Red Sox: He's 36 and he didn't even play in the majors last year, but he's shown decent skills in a limited period with Boston (.375.402.458 over 96 at-bats, seven steals). While Bobby Valentine's crew is one of the most disappointing teams in the majors, don't blame the offense - the Red Sox are second in runs, trailing only Texas. Podsednik's playing time is secure now that Carl Crawford is down for the year.

Tyler Colvin, 1BOF, Rockies: It's been a challenge to keep him in the lineup all year - manager Jim Tracy is a serial tinkerer - but Colvin's spot is finally safe with Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer on the DL. Colvin's strikeout rate is a little worrisome, but nonetheless he's given us a .294 average in part-time duty, with decent power (14 homers) and speed (seven steals). And while Coors Field is driving most of the story, Colvin isn't a pumpkin on the road (.272 average, .476 slugging).

Sell

Colby Rasmus, OF, Blue Jays: He's fallen into some bad mechanics at the plate, swinging too early in the count and getting himself out against lefties. It adds up to a .176.228.280 slash over 32 games in the second half, with a measly three homers. Perhaps the presence of Jose Bautista will help in September - Rasmus was crushing the ball earlier in the year, in front of Joey Bats - though every numerical study about batter protection fails to validate the theory.

Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics: His plate discipline has collapsed in the second half, leading to an ugly .204.248.367 line, and he's also shown less aggressiveness on the bases. The A's still love Reddick for his right-field defense and his intensity, but perhaps he'd not best suited for the No. 3 spot in the lineup. An ongoing battle with a troublesome tooth may also play into Reddick's slump - maybe the recent fixing of that problem will go a long way towards fixing the offensive production. But if you can sell the overall stats on face value, you'll likely be overpaid in return.

Hold

Pedro Ciriaco, Utility, Red Sox: His minor-league profile is pedestrian and he's walked just two times compared to 23 strikeouts in The Show, but Ciriaco has his plus points, too (.344 average, eight steals, bats leadoff some of the time). And if you're limited in your bench spots or pickups, consider the utility that Ciriaco offers: he covers second, shortstop and third base in Yahoo! standard leagues. And like we discussed with Podsednik above, Ciriaco gets the undertow of Boston's lineup to help him out.

David Murphy, OF, Rangers: He's finally figured out a path against lefties, while he's continuing to crush righties like normal. And Murphy has always been a monster in Arlington: this year he's a .366.440.571 overlord in front of the home folks. Being in the most prolific lineup in the majors is another plus point. Enjoy the ride.

Avisail Garcia tweaks hamstring late in White Sox loss

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Avisail Garcia tweaks hamstring late in White Sox loss

BALTIMORE — Avisail Garcia could be the latest member of the White Sox afflicted by an injury.

The White Sox designated hitter tweaked his right hamstring late in Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles and will be re-evaluated Saturday. Earlier in the day, the White Sox placed reliever Daniel Webb on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow flexor inflammation. That comes after catcher Alex Avila and Kevan Smith also went on the DL earlier in the week.

“He looked like he twinged something in his hammy,” manager Robin Ventura said. “But everybody seems to be having something, so we’ll re evaluate and see him tomorrow.”

Garcia tweaked his right leg on the final play of the game as he tried to avoid the tag of Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. An injury couldn’t come at a worse time for Garcia, who tripled in a run in the second inning to keep a hot streak alive. Garcia is 8-for-18 on the road trip with four RBIs and has raised his average from .135 to .214.

Bears' rationale for drafting Floyd says as much about Pace as it does Floyd

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Bears' rationale for drafting Floyd says as much about Pace as it does Floyd

Hidden in all Bears GM Ryan Pace’s descriptors of the skills belonging to No. 1 draft pick Leonard Floyd was one even more revealing about Pace himself.

Four times within the span of about 10 minutes Pace referred to “tape” when discussing Floyd, while specifically referencing that while workouts are important, they factor into evaluations far, far less than what a player shows up doing in games, not drills.

Where former GM Phil Emery spoke constantly about measurables, Pace has brought the conversation back to what he, scouts and coaches saw on film – on more than one occasion.

Re. Floyd’s lack of big sack numbers at Georgia:

“You know when you watch the tape: They move him all over. He’s such a versatile athlete, so he playing inside linebacker one snap and the next snap he’s in nickel running down the field with a slot receiver. And then he’s rushing. You see him at all these different positions.”

Re. Floyd failing to bench press at his Pro Day:

“I think at his Pro Day he had a stomach virus. But I’m telling you: When you see this guy on tape… .”

Re. Floyd not finishing or doing every Combine test:

“For some guys, workouts are important and you can see their speed, change of directions, hips. But some guys, the athleticism is so evident on tape. The workouts matter but you’ve just got to be careful with it.”

Re. Floyd’s apparent lack of bulk and strength:

“You see it on tape: You don’t see guys getting into him. Guys that I think struggle against the run, they let offensive linemen get into their chest and get engulfed by blocks. He doesn’t do that. He plays with such great separation, he keeps that from happening.”

Indeed, the tape and not the measurable or even the stats has served the Bears very well. In the 2004 draft the Bears used the No. 14 pick to select Tommie Harris. The Oklahoma defensive tackle was the 2003 Lombardi Trophy winner as the nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker with a resume of four sacks (Floyd had 4.5 last season) and 34 tackles that season.

Harris became the Bears’ most dominant defensive lineman of the decade and three-time Pro Bowl selection before his career succumbed to knee issues.

Sounding suspiciously like Pace, ''if you watch film, you'll see that I'm disruptive,'' Harris told the Athens Banner-Herald, ''All people care about is statistics. I've never been about stats.''

Evidently, neither is Pace.

Jonathan Bullard Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

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Jonathan Bullard Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Jonathan Bullard (DL), Florida

6’3” | 285 lbs.

2015 stats:

63 tackles, 18 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 2 PD

Selection:

3rd Round, 72nd overall to Chicago Bears

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: Bullard tested like a great athlete, which was a bit surprising. I love his ability to win as a defensive end against the run and impact passing downs when lining up inside. Bullard can win with power immediately or can win with length to shed and make the tackle." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.