Surprise, surprise, Josh Hamilton is hurt again. Yesterday, Eno Sarris outlined what the Rangers are likely to do in terms of divvying up playing time in Hamilton’s absence. David Murphy is a potential replacement for your fantasy team, but he is likely to already be owned in deep leagues. As a result, I have decided to ignore him and provide some other outfield options for those owners struggling to replace Hamilton’s production.
*I went into this post hoping to discuss three alternatives, but wow the pickings are slim at 10% or less owned on CBS! So here are two instead that actually have the potential to accumulate more than like two at-bats per week.
Michael Saunders | 3% Owned
Playing time is a concern, and will be even more so when Franklin Gutierrez returns, but what can you expect for a guy owned in only 3% of leagues?! Oh, and he cannot hit the outside pitch. So the positives? He has some power and some speed and is only a Milton Bradley injury or blowup away from seeing increased at-bats. He does strike out way too much for a hitter with his power, so he is not going to help your batting average. There are few guys, however, that possess as solid a power/speed combo as Saunders does that are floating around in a deep league’s free agent pool.
Corey Patterson | 1% Owned
That Corey Patterson? Yup. He always seems to find a way to pop up in random cities. With Rajai Davis having just been placed on the DL, Patterson will receive most of the starts in center field, while hitting, gulp, second in the lineup. For a hitter with a career .292 OBP, are managers really that ignorant about how a team scores runs? Okay, so I seem to always get off on a tangent about how bad I think most managers are at making on-field decisions. Time to revert back to the task at hand and try to mention some of the positives future C-Pat owners could benefit from. Patterson is not all that different than Saunders actually. He has some power and pretty good speed, but with a career 22.5% K% and .253 batting average, is unlikely to contribute in that category. The good news though is that low batting average is fueled by just a league average .297 BABIP, so there is room for some good fortune here that could lead to a favorable average for your fantasy team.
The bottom line is that in a deep league where you are unlikely to hold anyone worthwhile on your bench to fill in for Hamilton, it is going to be tough to find a player who will even garner regular playing time, let alone contribute positively in that playing time. It might be time to try working the phone lines and convincing the Shin-Soo Choo owner that he may actually hit below .200 all season.
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