Fantasy Spotlight

With the first month of the season in the books, many fantasy owners are in the process of assessing their rosters and deciding what to do with those underachievers taking up valuable spots. This week in the Spotlight, we'll take a look at a few of those underachievers you may want to hold onto.

Arizona Diamondbacks Before the regular season began, Alex Cintron had a lot of fantasy owners excited. Coming off a .317/13/51 line in just 448 at bats in '03, the 25 year old had high expectations placed on him, and has yet to live up to that hype. However, those worried Cintron owners out there should take a deep breath and back off from those thoughts of dropping him for a hot Tony Womack, or whatever injury prone, over the hill, hot bat is available. Cintron may not have much speed, but his solid power for a middle infielder is what makes him a valuable commodity. The Diamondbacks have shown they haven't given up hope on Alex yet by keeping him in the second position of their lineup. If they're willing to wait this slump out, even if it is just for a little bit longer, fantasy owners should be able to as well. Now would be a good time to grab Cintron off waivers if his former owner jumped the gun and already cut the cord.

Chicago White Sox In the very first edition of the Fantasy Spotlight, Joe Crede was a guy that I endorsed as someone in store for a comeback season after his mediocre '03 (thanks to an illness that caused him to lose 30 lbs.). Thanks to a .230 batting average in April, many fantasy owners that jumped on his bandwagon quickly jumped back off, but I wasn't one of them, and you shouldn't be either. Despite the weak average, Crede has still managed to jack six homers, three of which have come in the last week. Like Cintron, Crede is a young guy who will go through his share of ups and downs throughout the season, but when all is said and done, he should produce enough to be a solid contributor to any fantasy squad. Also like Cintron, now would be a good time to grab Joe off waivers, or make a trade for him, since his current owner is probably overly concerned.

Boston Red Sox Coming off his best homerun and RBI season ever, Kevin Millar was yet another player that many fantasy owners pinned high hopes on to be a quality producer for a middle to late round draft pick. But, sticking with this week's theme, Kevin has been less than stellar thus far. Millar's problem has pretty much been the opposite of Crede's. The average isn't bad, but power just isn't there, which isn't good for a first baseman. As if you didn't see this one coming from a mile away, I'm going to say that Millar is someone who deserves more time before getting tossed out with the trash. Looking at his splits from the last three seasons, you'll notice that, although his current home run total is well bellow his norm, he usually doesn't hit his stride in the power department until the weather heats up in June, July, and August. So, if the lack of long balls is what's fueling your desire to drop Kevin, I will once again suggest that you hold off.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Breaking from our train of underachievers for a moment, I offer Julio Lugo for your consideration. The only shortstop with more RBI at the moment is Texas' Michael Young, which is very sad for A-Rod owners. Getting back to Lugo though, his .296 average, three homers and four steals, along with those 15 RBI, has been a pleasant surprise out of Tampa. Lugo has consistently been a double digit homerun and stolen base guy throughout his career, producing numbers similar to the likes of Placido Polanco (when he is actually producing anything that is). Those in need of some help in the middle infield, or maybe someone to plug in there while Cintron gets his act together, Lugo is a very attractive option.

That'll do it for this week. If you have any fantasy baseball questions for me, whether it's trade advice or a second opinion on a waiver pickup, feel free to drop me a line at qwaz21@aol.com. Just be sure that you put "Fantasy Spotlight" in the subject line. Until next time, I'm out like Tim Floyd.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories