Time for the weekly Trust or Bust and this week I'm going to start with a player that most local baseball fans will recognize. Let's get to analyzing.
Adam Jones, OF/Baltimore Orioles: I have long been a fan of Jones' athleticism, but have always wished he would show a better eye at the plate. After hitting a run of injury issues the past several years, Jones appears to be rising to superstar status.
While he does have a high flyball to home run ratio, I am a firm believer in Jones' power stroke and I believe he can make a run at 40 homers this season. Perhaps his name being tossed around on rumor mills all offseason has motivated Jones to take it up a notch.
Either way, there are very few outfielders not named Jose Bautista or Josh Hamilton that I would receive for Jones in a straight up trade. In fact, I am going to be bold - Jones will out homer Bautista this season. Verdict: TRUST.
Josh Reddick, OF/Oakland Athletics: While spending time in the Boston Red Sox organization, Reddick was never more than a fourth outfielder or injury replacement outfielder. Well now he is starting to show a power stroke and a bit of speed on the bases.
The lefty swinger has hit 18 homers three separate times in a minor league season and topped out at 23 for a career-high in the minors. The power is legit and with nine homers already, 25 is a legit possibility.
The speed - he already has four steals - could be a bit of a mirage because he only stole double-digits once in the minors so temper the expectations around 10. Runs and RBIs may be hard to come by unless Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington start getting on base, but Reddick is a solid No. 3 outfielder in mixed leagues. Verdict: TRUST.
Scott Diamond, SP/Minnesota Twins: After two starts this season, the lefty has recorded a pair of wins and has struck out 10 batters in 14 innings. Even more encouraging he has issued just one free pass. Now here is the hard part - figuring out if he is legit.
He never flashed great strikeout numbers in the minors, but showed good control like most Twins' pitching prospects. For now, I would view Diamond as a streaming option and have him make a few starts and see teams twice before throwing him out there every start or making him a permanent roster fixture. Verdict: BUST.
Kyle Seager, 3B/Seattle Mariners: With a solid minor-league pedigree, Seager appears to be close to sticking at the big league level after a nice April performance. He's versatile and shows a good eye with a good ability to make contact.
His power has never been a plus tool, but 20 homers over 550 at-bats is not out of the question. I like what Seager provides and think he is inching closer and closer to be mixed-league worthy. Obviously the Mariners' offense can keep counting stats low, Seager is a good investment. Verdict: TRUST.
Danny Espinosa, 2B/Washington Nationals: Flashing good power and decent speed during his rookie season, Espinosa has been trapped in a season-long slump that he finally seems to be emerging from.
An intriguing player because of middle-infield eligibility, Espinosa is actually I guy I completely trust to own on my fantasy teams. Sounds crazy right? But it's for a very simple reason. His streakiness is easily detectable so owners know when to bench him and when to play him. In a game that involves a good amount of guessing, who wouldn't love a guy that is dependable. Verdict: TRUST his hot and cold streaks.
Lance Lynn, SP/St. Louis Cardinals: Not surprisingly an under the radar pitcher for the Cardinals is making noise on the fantasy scene. Last year it was Kyle McClellan and this year it's Lynn. I think Lynn has more staying power and that is partly due to the fact that Tony LaRussa isn't around to change his role every six weeks.
With above-average strikeout numbers throughout his minor league career, Lynn can very well keep up his current pace. While wins fluctuate, Lynn could easily accumulate 15-17 victories with a solid Cardinals' offense backing him.
Wildness has been a problem for Lynn in the minors, but I'm confident he can give value throughout the entire season. However, if I owned him a single-season league, I would sell high for fear of fatigue catching up with him. Verdict: TRUST (dynasty leagues) and BUST (single-season leagues).
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