Trying to find the Wright way

18 08 2009

Position versatility, always a critical component of fantasy baseball, seems to reach its highest levels of importance in the dog days of summer. Players’ energy levels begin dwindling, the daily guzzling of Red Bulls and endless energy supplements becoming the life support for players. 

David Wright was one of the more notable players to go down this weekend, although a season full of games was hardly to blame for his affliction. He just got popped in the head by a fastball. And with that my third base position imploded faster than Tom Cable’s fist into his assistant’s jaw. 

Fortunately, there were a couple decent third base options on my league’s free agent list. That’s the benefit of playing in a 12-team league. Good players typically linger at a longer rate than they should. 

Gordon Beckham (.306 AVG, 6 HR, 43 RBIs in 64 G) became my first pickup. His .316 batting mark in August — through the 16th — and his extra shortstop eligibility reeled me in. 

Then I looked at Garrett Atkins (.229 AVG, 8 HR, 38 RBIs in 95 G). Guys as accomplished as him don’t stay cold for an entire campaign. You have to search for the moments when they get hot. The end of the season always makes for a sneaky time as fans inevitably begin shifting their baseball focus to only the teams wrapped up in heated pennant races. Not that the Rockies are out of NL Wild Card contention, but they’re not a team that jumps out at you.

Atkins, being the forgotten man that he is in ’09, could become just the type of late-season pickup who helps boost a team in slumping times. I’m taking the chance since he’s hit safely in three of four games, including a homer, from Aug. 13-16. By the way, his career batting average in September is .329, which is by far his career-best figure for any month.

Now, if Brian Roberts needs a day off here or there (a likelihood that continues to increase for the 31-year-old), then I can shift Alexei Ramirez to second, Beckham to shortstop and put Atkins at third. 

If I need to play matchups, then I’m looking at Beckham during his road contests. He has a .372 batting average away from his home park vs. a paltry .241 mark in it.

Whether you’re playing matchups or simply trying to find a way to fill every position every day, accumulating players with multi-position eligibility goes a long way toward maximizing your roster. Especially if you ever face the day when one of your star players unexpectedly gets beaned in the head.




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