Tyler Colvin (ESPN: 7.6 percent owned; Yahoo!: 10 percent owned)
When the Rockies sent Ian Stewart to the Cubs for Tyler Colvin in one of those “my broken toy for your cracked mirror” deals, it looked as though it would end like almost all change-of-scenery deals does, namely, the issues that lead the players to be traded for one another had little to do with the scenery. If one of the players in that deal was going to actually get things to click, I would have guessed it was Stewart, who looked like a man in need of a home without the expectations that had gained him the “bust” tag in Colorado. Instead, Stewart is likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing wrist surgery. While the Cubs surely would have liked a full season to see if the former top-10 pick could be refurbished, I can’t imagine there’s much dispute about what Stewart offers following 202 PAs that amounted to a .201/.292/.335 line and generally replacement level play.
On the other side of the deal, however, Colvin has been far more productive than the Rockies could have ever believed he would be…when he’s actually been on the field. Colvin’s line is excellent at .304/.333/.601 with 10 HR, but he can have little issue with being stuck behind Carlos Gonzalez (.338/.396/.598 with 17 HR) and Dexter Fowler (.287/.380/.539 with 10 HR). He has outperformed Michael Cuddyer (.260/.313/.480) by no small margin, but considering Cuddyer’s contract, it’s not exactly shocking that Colvin has been hard-pressed to squeeze into the Rockies’ lineup. Still, after starting just eight games in April and 11 in May, Colvin has found a little more joy this summer, starting 14 games in June and all four of the Rockies’ games so far in July. It’s not a full-time starting job, but it’s a step in the right direction.
This level of production from Colvin is certainly unexpected, but it’s not wholly unprecedented. The only time in his career he played over 100 games, he hit 20 home runs in just under 400 PAs for the 2010 Cubs, which gives me some hope that he’ll continue to be productive, even if he can’t keep his average over .300 the way he is now. His 20 percent line drive rate is good, but probably not good enough to support a .357 BABIP. Like many of the Rockies, he’s sporting a wicked home/road split, but he hasn’t been bad enough on the road to consider not starting him, especially since his playing time has been so hard to come by as it is.
He’s definitely worth owning in NL-only and daily mixed leagues, but weekly players may find his lack of a definite starting job more than a little frustrating.
Matt Dominguez (ESPN: 0.1 percent owned; Yahoo!: 0 percent owned)
Whenever a known prospect gets called up, there is a certain class of fantasy player that feels the need to snatch them up as quickly as possible in case they pan out right away. Sometimes, this isn’t all that bad a strategy — Bryce Harper, Addison Reed, Mike Trout, and Jarrod Parker would have all been nice call ups to grab early — but this is one of the times where indiscriminately grabbing every youngster who gets called up is a really bad idea. There may yet be a time and a place when Matt Dominguez is a fantasy relevant player, but it is not this day.
Part of me still believes in Dominguez. He’s just 23 and while that isn’t exceedingly young for Triple-A, it does mean he has a fair number of years left before he’s well and truly a lost cause. Reports on his glove range from truly exceptional to merely outstanding, but his bat lags far behind either of those standards, and since he’s been pushed out of the middle infield he’ll need both bat and glove to be anything resembling a good major leaguer. He tore up the Sally league at 18 with 18 home runs and an .853 OPS, but he’s never equalled either mark since. His full season at Double-A in 2010 showed some promise, but he couldn’t build on it across three levels in 2011 and regressed even further with a .234/.291/.357 line in 78 games so far this season.
Picking up on a theme from earlier, I wonder if the change in scenery (read: coaching staff) will help Dominguez find his way at the plate, but there’s no way I’m betting on him in redraft leagues of any stripe. Chris Johnson is handling third base just fine as it is, meaning there’s even another reason not to bother with Dominguez. Let someone else find out that just because a prospect’s name is well known, it doesn’t mean they’re actually good for fantasy.