Two Third Basemen You Want Now
Many fantasy baseball leagues have supplemental drafts throughout the year or enable managers to pick up new players who make their debuts. If you are in need of a third baseman or a corner infielder, then this week is your lucky week if these guys are still available.
DAYAN VICIEDO, 3B, WHITE SOX —
DAYAN TO DEFECT: Viciedo left Cuba for the MLB.
On Thursday, Dayan Viciedo, 21, was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte. The 5′ 11″ Cuban, who signed a 4 year $10 million deal in 2008, was hitting .290 with 14 homers and 54 RBI in the minors in 62 games.
At first, the move left Sox fans wondering given that Viciedo has started all but ten games at first this year, but manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed that Viciedo’s role will be at the hot corner. Paul Konerko, the Chicago first baseman, has 17 homers already this year.
To make room for the phenom, Chicago sent Jason Nix to the minors. Guillen resisted the urge to put one of the White Sox top prospects against the top young pitcher in the game in the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg for Friday night’s contest at Nationals Park. Nice work, Ozzie.
But Guillen plans to split time at third base between DayanViciedo and Omar Vizquel, who is 22 years older than Viciedo, trusting in general manager Kenny Williams and Minor League director Buddy Bell in that Viciedo is ready to make a contribution.
“He’s going to get a lot of significant playing time simply because Omar was brought in here to spell the guys in the middle [infield], not to play every day,” said Williams of Viciedo. “He’s going to get his at-bats and certainly enough at-bats, whether or not he’s progressed to the level, where he can be a force.”
PEDRO ALVAREZ, 3B, PIRATES —
GREAT CATCH: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez
Pedro Alvarez, 23, got the call up on Thursday night and faced White Sox southpaw John Danks. Alvarez’s weakness was reported in preseason that he struggles against lefties and his debut did not buck that trend as the Pirates lost their tenth in a row.
But, Alvarez, who hits in the six hole for the Bucs will ultimately be Pittsburgh’s cleanup hitter. The New York City native, who attended Vanderbilt, is built like a cleanup man. At 6′ 3″ and 225 pounds, Alvarez is knicknamed “El Toro” which means The Bull.
Pedro Alvarez was a 14th round pick of the White Sox out of high school, but chose to join fellow Commodores David Price and Justin Smoak in Nashville. The move paid off when the Pirates took Alvarez with its first round pick in 2008.
Alvarez began 2010 in Triple-A Indianapolis, though from the beginning, everyone knew the visit wouldn’t last much beyond two months. Now, after hitting .277 with 15 doubles, 13 homers, 53 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 66 Triple-A games, his journey has hit its final destination.
The promotion of Alvarez is bad news for fantasy baseball owners of Andy LaRoche who will be relegated to pinch hitting duties. Laroche should be dropped by all fantasy baseball owners at this point. To make room for Alvarez, infielder Aki Iwamura was demoted.
Alvarez has the punch to hit 15 – 20 homers in the remainder of the season. He will never be a .300 hitter, but his power numbers will not disappoint in Pittsburgh. He’s a 30 homer and 90 RBI guy when he plays a full season in Pittsburgh.
“I can’t wait to show the city what I can bring to the table,” said Alvarez, who will wear No. 17. “All I ask is that the fans of Pittsburgh let me show them what I can do for them and show them how much I love this game and how hard I can play. I’m super, super excited to be here.”