Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fantasy Spin: Felipe Lopez To The Brewers

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Brewers and Diamondbacks reached a deal today. The Brewers acquired second baseman Felipe Lopez from Arizona for minor-leaguers Cole Gillespie and Roque Mercedes.

Felipe will most likely bat lead off for the Brewers. So far this season he has .355 batting average and four home runs from the lead off spot. He is sporting a .372 OBP from the lead off position and a .364 OBP overall. This should allow him to score tons of runs with Hardy, Braun, and Fielder hitting behind him.

So far this season Felipe is hitting .412 with one home run at Miller Park.The entire Brewers offense should see an improvement now that they have a true lead off man getting them started.

On the other side of the trade the Diamonbacks received two solid minor leaguers. Mercedes is just twenty-two years old and has a 1-1 record with a minuscule 1.08 ERA in twenty-nine relief appearances.

Gillespie is hitting .242 with seven home runs and twenty-seven runs batted in for the Brewers Triple-A team. While his numbers are a little lower than expected, he is ranked as the Brewers ninth best prospect.

While these two will be irrelevant for the Diamondbacks, this trade does boost Ryan Roberts and Augie Ojeda's fantasy relevance. The D-Backs official site reports that they are expected to call up Roberts.

The playing time at second will be split between Roberts and Ojeda, but it's unclear right now who will see the majority of the playing time. Neither one of them has great numbers, Roberts is hitting .257 with zero home runs and Ojeda is hitting .221 with one home run.

With consistent playing time those numbers could increase drastically giving either one of them fantasy relevance

As a second basemen Roberts is hitting .318, but has only twenty-two at-bats. His competitor, Ojeda, is hitting .250 while playing second base in just twenty-eight at-bats.

While Roberts has the second most at-bats from the lead off position on the team, it's unlikely he'll have a shot at that job since he's hitting just .212 from there. Augie is also not a strong option with a .243 average when leading off.

The most likely candidate to take over the lead off duties would be Stephen Drew. He's hitting .283 with one home run when leading off. If he does take over the job, expect him to continue to produce as a very solid fantasy contributor. A second candidate could be Chris Young.

While Young's hitting a very unimpressive .199 overall, he's hitting a very respectable .327 with three home runs when he leads off. This could be the resurgence of Chris Young that we have all been waiting for.

The third and final candidate to bat lead off would be twenty-two year old Gerardo Parra. He's hitting .292 with two home runs when leading off this season. Giving a twenty-two year old lead off duties in the MLB could do one of three things.

1. It could cause him to decline if he can't handle the pressure

2. It could lead to a huge increase by boosting his confidence or

3. It could not effect him at all, and he could continue to be a solid fantasy fill-in

The most likely to take the job is Stephen Drew since he is already contributing at the top of the lineup .

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