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July 19, 2017

Deep League Report

Week 16

by Mike Gianella


Welcome back to The Deep League Report, the article that profiles the backup catchers, fourth outfielders, and middle relievers the other websites don’t have the guts to discuss. Scooter Hotz is on vacation this week. I’ll be filling his rather big shoes with knowledge…but also with love. Wow. This got really weird really fast. (All statistics in this article are through Monday night’s games)

AL-only position players


Zach Granite—Twins
When the Twins promoted Granite on July 8, it appeared he would be nothing more than a fourth outfielder/defensive replacement, but Byron Buxton’s injury has pushed Granite into a starting role. Buxton injury does not seem significant, so Granite’s time as a starter will probably be short-lived, but he could stick with the squad as a fourth outfielder. Granite’s value rests almost entirely on his stolen-base potential. He had 15 steals in 59 games at Triple A this year after stealing 56 bases in 127 games at Double A in 2016. The power has developed a little bit, but this is not likely to translate to more than 8-10 home runs in a full season of at-bats, and even this guess might be generous. In AL-only, it is worth putting a $2-3 bid on Granite and seeing if he can push his way into a larger role down the stretch.

Drew Robinson—Rangers
Entering 2017, Robinson was viewed as organizational depth by some and a future utility player by others. He has mostly been the former this year, having spent a total of 11 days in the majors across three separate stints with the team prior to his most recent promotion on July 7. Robinson’s defensive utility comes in handy for the Rangers—in his past 1 ½ seasons at Round Rock, he has played every position but catcher and pitcher—but this may not translate to your fantasy league depending on your in-season eligibility rules. Robinson has been a steady performer in the minors. While his Triple-A numbers haven’t been spectacular, his 11 home runs and seven steals in 309 plate appearances make him worth monitoring should an injury open a spot on the Rangers. Robinson has received some time at third base and left field in the past few days, cycling into the lineup for Mike Napoli and Joey Gallo. Robinson’s three home runs in 25 plate appearances are a fun conversation starter, but he is just a $1 FAAB flier at this point. He has a little more value in OBP leagues.

Colin Moran – Astros
Very little has gone wrong for the Astros this season, but that changed when Carlos Correa tore a ligament in his thumb on Monday. The All-Star shortstop will be out for six to eight weeks. With Houston 16 and a half games up in the standings, it is highly unlikely they’ll make a trade for a top tier player to replace Correa. Enter Moran, who was called up by the ‘Stros to provide infield depth for the next two months. Moran was hitting .308/.373/.543 at Triple-A Fresno, with 18 home runs. Moran isn’t going to supplant Alex Bregman at third, but he could get some at bats at first base for Yuli Gurriel and even play left field in a pinch. The Astros have been very good about keeping their bench players in action this year, in part because they have frequently carried 13 pitchers and are doing so now. Moran is only worth a buck or two FAAB investment and is only worth grabbing if you have a true dead spot in your infield.

Other Options: Trevor Plouffe, Nori Aoki, Austin Romine

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BP Mets (07/19)
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