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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, June 28, 2011

Fantasy baseball: Should you be starting Chisenhall?

Lonnie Chisenhall is available in more than 97 percent of the leagues.

In leagues in which the majority of the members live in or are from Northeast Ohio, I'd be willing to gamble "The Chiz Kid" has been scooped up on the waiver wire in about three-quarters of the formats.

If you're an Indians fan, you probably expect big things from the Tribe's first-round pick in the 2008 draft. If you're an Indians fan who plays fantasy baseball, your loyalty to the Tribe might be clouding your judgment of the roster of your fake team.

At Triple-A Columbus this season, Chisenhall batted .265 with seven home runs, 44 RBI, 44 runs and a .779 OPS in 253 at-bats. Were it not for a stretch in which he had two home runs and 14 RBI in his last five games, his numbers would barely be mediocre.

At Class AA Akron in 2010, he batted .278 with 81 runs, 17 home runs, 84 RBI and an .801 OPS in 460 at-bats.

Will Chisenhall be an All-Star in the future? Tribe fans can only hope. What we do know is his minor-league numbers, if you didn't know to whom they were attached, wouldn't make you look twice if you saw them on

In 1,470 at-bats overall, Chisenhall batted .271 with 235 runs, 51 homers, 265 RBI and a .795 OPS. That is a 600 at-bat average of 21 homers, 108 RBI and 96 runs.

Productive? Yes. Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer productive? No, especially when you consider most top prospects have inflated minor-league stats.

In his four minor-league seasons, Chisenhall has batted above .278 once in a season -- that year, at short-season Class A Mahoning Valley.

Again, he might end up being great. (The Indians are banking on it.)

But it's much too soon to consider Chisenhall a starter in deeper mixed leagues, even after a 2-for-4 debut Monday night.

He will play every day, but if he's not going to hit for average and/or a lot of power, you should be able to do much better at third base.

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