April 23, 2010

It's a long season; let us guide you through all of the potential names on the wire who can help your team.

Brennan Boesch, Detroit Tigers -- Boesch, 25, was recalled to platoon with Ryan Raburn in Carlos Guillen's absence. Boesch led the Eastern League with 28 home runs last season, but his K/BB ratio isn't great, so don't expect a high batting average. He is nothing special in the outfield either. He was batting .379 with three home runs at AAA Toledo. Grade C

Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays -- Cecil, 23, will join the rotation for the injured Brian Tallet and should be monitored. He is a sinker-slider pitcher with an improving changeup and is a decent prospect for this year, but a better pick for the future. He is coming off a pair of quality starts at AAA. The Jays are hoping Tallet will only miss two starts. He had seven wins and a 5.30 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) for the Jays last year. He was a first round pick in 2007. Grade C+

Ike Davis, New York Mets -- Davis, 24, is a decent first base prospect who could eventually hit for average and some power. He is also a fine defensive player but some scouts worry that his lefty swing is a little long. He was hitting .357 with two home runs in nine games for AAA Buffalo. GM Omar Minaya said that Davis will play every day, at least until Daniel Murphy returns; and maybe ahead of Murphy if he is producing. Grade B but beware low batting average.

Jeremy Hermida, Boston Red Sox -- With two outfielders disabled, the 26-year-old Hermida should play full time (or at least against right-handers) for the next few weeks. The former top prospect never fulfilled his potential in the NL because of injuries and strikeouts. He has struggled defensively and does not have ideal power for a left fielder either. He batted .259 with 13 homers for the Marlins last year. Grade B-

Wade LeBlanc, San Diego Padres -- LeBlanc, 25, is a decent finesse prospect and is worth considering at Petco. He went 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in nine starts last year. He will take a few starts for the injured Chris Young and then we'll see. Grade B- for now depending how long he stays up.

Fred Lewis, Toronto Blue Jays -- Lewis, 29, will play right field for now because of injuries but is nothing special offensively except for a little speed. He batted .258 with four homers and eight steals in 295 at-bats for the Giants last year. Grade C+

Justin Maxwell, Washington Nationals -- Maxwell, 26, will platoon in right field against left-handers for now, but if he gets hot, he could start full time. He is a power-speed package and has much more upside than his platoon mate Willie Harris. But he has struggled mightily at the major league level so far. Keep an eye on him. Grade C+

Mike Napoli, Los Angeles Angels -- Napoli will start behind the plate after losing his job to Jeff Mathis at the start of the season. And now with Mathis out for three months, Napoli will get the majority of the start. He has good power but probably wouldn't be available in most leagues. Mixed leaguers should check their free agent lists, however. Grab him if he's on it. Grade B

Gerardo Para, Arizona Diamondbacks -- Parra, 23, will play left field until Conor Jackson returns and is worth a pickup. He is a good defensive outfielder but needs to display more power and draw more walks. He batted .290 with five homers for the D'backs last year. Grade C+

Nate Schierholtz, San Francisco Giants -- After losing the right field job in spring training, Schierholtz, 26, has been getting some playing time of late and is batting .304. With John Bowker struggling, Schierholtz could remain in the lineup. He is easily the better defensive player of the two and has power potential but needs to draw more walks. He batted .267 with five homers in 285 at bats last year. Grade C+

Justin Smoak, Texas Rangers -- Smoak, 23, is a disciplined switch-hitter with power potential and will play first base in place of the demoted Chris Davis. A 2008 first-round draft pick, Smoak is also a fine defensive player. He began the AAA season 15-for-46 at Oklahoma City. Grade B+

Eugenio Velez, San Francisco Giants -- Velez, 27, will play center field with Aaron Rowand out for three weeks. Velez is batting .412 this year and posted .267-5-31-11 numbers in 285 at-bats last year. He is not a high average hitter but has fantasy value for his speed in 4x4 leagues and he also has 2B-OF eligibility. Grade B

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