Blogs > N-H Fantasy Sports

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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fantasy baseball rookie watch: Anthony Rizzo and Dee Gordon

As we wrote Monday, Eric Hosmer -- and now Mike Moustakas -- have made us rethink our hesitancy to play rookies in fantasy baseball.

(Imagine that: The Royals raising the bar.)

With that in mind, two more highly touted first-year players made their major-league debuts last week -- Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon.

How will they fare? Should they start? Let's break it down Jay Bilas style (we're talking big upside).

-- Rizzo: As of Wednesday night, he was available in half of the leagues on, which sounds about right for a 21-year-old who, prior to 2011, had never played above Double-A.

Rizzo, one of the key pieces in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with Boston, was tearing up Triple-A this season. In 200 at-bats, he hit .365 with 16 homers, 63 RBI, a .715 slugging percentage and 1.159 OPS.

The negative: He batted .263 in Class AA in 2010, and he's off to a 4-for-21 start with the Padres (.190). Rizzo has struck out nine times, but he's also shown good discipline (seven walks and a .414 on-base percentage).

If you are desperate for power, especially in an NL-only league, he should provide a decent amount. If you can afford to wait a year (and if you're in a 10- or 12-team mixed league, you should), Rizzo will be much more productive once he's had more than one season combined in Triple-A and the big leagues.

-- Gordon: With Rafael Furcal on the disabled list (surprise, surprise) with an oblique injury, Gordon has become an everyday starter for the Dodgers. Furcal isn't expected back until July, and with his track record, we should expect Gordon to play the majority of the last three-plus months.

Gordon was ranked as the 26th-best prospect by Baseball America prior to 2011 (Rizzo was No. 75), and he has the minor-league numbers to prove it. In 1,544 at-bats, he batted .299 with 261 runs scored and 166 steals. He was batting .315 in Triple-A this year before he received the call to L.A.

In his first nine games with the Dodgers, Gordon -- who is available in almost 88 percent of the leagues on -- has had five multi-hit performances and is batting .333 with six runs and three steals.

He isn't going to help you in the power department (he had seven homers and 119 RBI in the minors), but he can hit for average and he can fly.

Thanks in part to Hosmer and Moustakas, I wouldn't rule out starting Gordon in deeper mixed leagues. If you need steals, play him immediately.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home