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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fantasy baseball: Pick Three

It's the second week of May and Jason Bay's lack of production can't be dismissed. The same goes for Russell Martin, Jason Kubel, Grady Sizemore, Lance Berkman and every other hitter I drafted in the office league.

But enough of my problems.

Between yelling at Mike Brown, imploring LeBron James to be more aggressive and wondering if it's too late for the Cavs to pursue Amare Stoudemire, take a look at this week's Pick Three. The hitters who follow are available in more than 70 percent of the leagues on and can be helpful in deeper mixed, AL- and NL-only leagues (all stats are through Monday).

Aaron Rowand, OF, Giants (owned in 28.1 percent of the ESPN leagues)

Since missing more than two weeks because of fractures in his left cheekbone and a mild concussion after getting hit by a pitch, Rowand has been on a tear. In seven games since returning from the DL, he is hitting .344 with a 1.101 OPS, six runs scored, three homers and 11 RBI. He had at least two RBI in five of the seven games.

Rowand has been mostly a bust since signing a big contract with the Giants prior to the 2008 season. In 2008 and '09, he had a combined 28 homers and 134 RBI in 1,048 at-bats. He racked up 251 strikeouts in that span and batted only .266 with 118 runs scored.

This season, Rowand is hitting .321 with four homers, 17 RBI and a .918 OPS in 78 at-bats. That kind of production likely won't continue, but the 32-year-old should be considered a decent third outfielder in bigger mixed leagues.

Troy Glaus, 1B, Braves (8.6 percent)

Glaus, like Rowand, is an aging slugger. With the former, however, you do at least know what you're going to get: If Glaus is healthy, he'll hit for power -- and that's about it.

From 2005-08, the 33-year-old averaged 31 homers and 91 RBI. He's a .255 career hitter who strikes out once every 3.9 at-bats, and he has as much of a chance of stealing a base as Shaquille O'Neal or Glen "Big Baby" Davis. When he's going well, however, he will give you a boost in homers, RBI and OPS.

In nine games this month, Glaus is batting .400 with 10 RBI and a .964 OPS. He should only be a starting option in deeper leagues, as long as you can afford to drop a couple points in batting average.

Nate Schierholtz, OF, Giants (6.3 percent)

Hey, we had to recommend someone under 30. Schierholtz, 26, is off to an impressive, although somewhat uneventful, start with San Francisco.

He is batting .351 with a .422 on-base percentage and .949 OPS in 28 games. However, he has only one homer and five RBI -- not exactly the numbers you're looking for in an outfielder. In 546 career at-bats in the big leagues, the 2003 second-round pick is a .293 hitter, but he has just seven homers and 49 RBI.

Schierholtz's minor-league sample -- 2,411 at-bats over seven seasons -- is large enough to get a pretty good idea of what he will provide if he proves to be an effective major-leaguer. He batted .307 with 84 homers, 400 RBI, 41 steals and an .870 OPS in the minors.

The power, we should assume, should come. Schierholtz should hit for average and be a threat to steal eight to 12 bases. Until the power follows, though, he's more suited to be an NL-only option.

For more fantasy baseball updates, follow me on Twitter. But please save your Mike Brown and Larry Dolan complaints for Bruce Drennan. Anything to encourage another performance like this.

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