Stealing a Fantasy Baseball Championship: Five Under the Radar Players

Jun 23, 2011


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By Jordan Hall
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Its the end of August and its down to the nitty gritty. At this point there are only minor changes that can be made to your roster to determine whether you hoist a banner or suffer the agony of defeat. Every year there are a couple of guys that fly under the radar over the course of the season that can win you a title in September. This year is no different. Here are five guys that you need to keep an eye on and seize when the moment is right.
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Manny Banuelos, New York Yankees
So far this season, the New York Yankees have coaxed 27 starts, 157.1 innings, and 11 wins out of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. When Father Time sets in, as it inevitably will, on these two, the Yanks are going to need to look elsewhere for pitching. Banuelos is the top prospect in the Yankees farm system and currently is sporting a 3.49 ERA at Double-A Trenton and is striking out almost a batter an inning. If your staff is low on pitching, go ahead and drop Randy Wells or Vicente Padilla and let this guy put up some numbers for you.
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Jason Bourgeois, Houston Astros
No matter what the format, stolen bases are vital. They are one category that can essentially be won by one player. That man for you in September is Bourgeois. Right now, he is hitting .359 with 17 stolen bases in a part time role. As the season progresses and the Astros fall further and further towards Davy Jones’ Locker, Bourgeois is going to get more and more playing time. With that will come added help in steals and runs.
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Eric Hinske, Atlanta Braves
Power is power, no matter where it comes from. Hinske may look like Fat Joe but his bat has more punch than the rapper’s lines. He is not playing everyday, but when he is he is hitting the ball out of the ballpark at a surprising rate. With the fragility of Chipper Jones well documented and the young Freddie Freeman a candidate for frequent days off, Hinske could prove valuable to your home run statistics down the stretch.
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J.A. Happ, Houston Astros
Happ has already racked up 69 strikeouts in 82 innings. As the season progresses, those numbers should stay fairly constant and he has little competition for his spot in the rotation. Happ obviously has good stuff because he was the centerpiece of the Oswalt deal and I have a hunch that he starts to fulfill some of his potential down the stretch. If nothing else, he could be a cheap source of strikeouts for the final couple months of the year.
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Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
Its a matter of when, not if, Jennings gets his chance in Tampa. As the Red Sox and Yankees start to drift off into the playoff sunset, the Ray are going to start looking to the future; which undoubtably includes Jennings. He is a five tool prospect who is long on athleticism and talent but short on experience. He may struggle at first or he may have a spectacular entrance. It will most likely be somewhere in between, yet if he can provide a decent average and some steals, this may be a guy you should consider picking up after the All Star break and stashing away for when the time is right.
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You can follow Jordan on Twitter @ twitter.com/#!/lefthandsmoke23

Posted by | Categories: fantasy baseball, MLB | Tagged: fantasy baseball, MLB |
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