Free Agent Frenzy: Gomes, Maybin top this week's list
Your window is rapidly closing -- if it hasn't closed already -- on Carlos Correa, as he's owned in 60.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. Sorry, folks.
With that out of the way ... here's this season's ninth edition of Free Agent Frenzy. Please note that, as in past seasons, no player will be mentioned in this space more than once in a four-week span, because we don't want to beat you over the head all year long about the same players. Also, we'll limit our discussions to players owned in fewer than 50 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. Let's get going!
Catcher: Yan Gomes, Indians (owned in 48.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Gomes hit a couple of home runs on Tuesday, finally flashing some power after coming off the DL on May 24. He hit 21 homers last season, and should be owned in all formats. He's a top-six fantasy backstop.
Digging deeper: Thanks to Jason Castro's knee issues, Hank Conger (0.1 percent owned) has started four games in the last 10 days, and has a respectable three homers in 64 at bats this season. AL-only owners needing to fill a hole should check Conger's availability.
First base: Ryan Howard, Phillies (owned in 12.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
How much power do you need? Howard is batting .240, doesn't walk, and should NEVER play against lefties. But, he has 11 homers, and plays home games in a hitter-friendly park.
Digging deeper: Journeyman Clint Robinson (0.1 percent owned) hit his first big-league homer on Thursday, and stands to see more playing time for the Nationals with Ryan Zimmerman on the DL.
Second base: Scooter Gennett, Brewers (owned in 16.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Gennett is back from the minors after an experiment during which the Brewers decided to demote a good, slumping hitter and replace him with a few really bad hitters. Gennett and his .287 career BA should be ready to give you solid, if unspectacular, keystone production.
Digging deeper: Speedy Dilson Herrera (0.0 percent owned) figures to spend at least the weekend at second base for the Mets with Ruben Tejada on the paternity list. Beyond that, the Mets will have a crowd between 2B/SS/3B, but with the team needing as much offense as possible, they won't turn away Herrera if he swings a hot bat.
Third base: Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks (owned in 7.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Jake Lamb's glove gets a lot of love, but his bat -- at least in the minors -- has been pretty good as well. Listen to the podcast below for more on Lamb, and buy now.
Digging deeper: Zach Walters (0.1 percent owned) has some pop -- he hit 27 homers between the minors and majors last season -- and will platoon at third base for the Indians.
Shortstop: Mike Aviles, Indians (owned in 1.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Speaking of the Indians, with Jose Ramirez banished to Triple A, Aviles has become the everyday shortstop. Aviles is miscast in a regular role, but you might get some decent power and speed out of him until the Tribe decides to call up Francisco Lindor.
Digging deeper: Eugenio Suarez (0.1 percent owned) is the replacement for Zack Cozart in Cincinnati, and you should grab him in NL-only leagues. Suarez had a dozen homers and a dozen steals between the minors and majors last season. He's not a top prospect by any means, but should be OK in a deep league.
Outfield: Cameron Maybin, Braves (owned in 27.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Maybin's .298 BA figures to drop, but he's getting on base plenty, and his power and speed (five homers, 10 steals) are what we always hoped he'd give us. Maybin is walking at a good clip as well, and batting second in the Braves' order.
Digging deeper: Skip Schumaker (0.1 percent owned) has been playing quite a bit for the Reds since Marlon Byrd got hurt. Maybe he's just a warm body for your NL-only squad, but sometimes you need those.
Starting pitcher: Taijuan Walker, Mariners (owned in 16.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
Maybe the light bulb is on now? Walker has allowed four runs in 22 innings over his last three starts, while striking out 21 batters and walking three. The talent has always been there, and if you can get Walker for free, he comes with significant upside.
Digging deeper: Kevin Gausman (3.8 percent owned) could return to the Orioles' rotation as soon as next week. He didn't pitch particularly well in his Thursday rehab start, but did hit 98 mph on the radar gun. It's possible that one of your fellow AL-only owners cut bait early on, and those of you in deeper mixed leagues might want to take a shot at Gausman, too. He had a 3.57 ERA in 20 starts last season.
Relief pitcher: Carson Smith, Mariners (owned in 7.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)
We're breaking the four-week rule here, as Smith appeared in the May 29 edition of Free Agent Frenzy. However, he was in the "digging deeper" section then, and how he's a full-fledged closer, at least for the time being. Smith has 29 strikeouts against five walks in 26 innings, and there's no reason why he can't hold the job.
Digging deeper: Normally we use defined relievers here, but this week we'll try one who might become a starter. Vidal Nuno (0.1 percent owned) arrived recently from the D-backs in the Mark Trumbo trade, and he's an interesting target for AL-only owners. Nuno has a 3.00 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and 65 strikeouts against 13 walks in 69 innings between the minors and majors this season. If he overtakes Mike Montgomery for a rotation slot, he'll pitch home games in a very friendly park. Grab him now, and beat the rush.