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Fantasy Baseball: Do the Infield Shuffle

Omar Infante (ATL-2B,3B,SS,OF): 12 percent owned- This shouldn’t be a hard one to defend, right? If Charlie Manuel thinks he’s good enough to be an All Star, he’s good enough to be on my fantasy squad. The super duper utility man can plug any position and it turns out the man can flat-out hit, channeling his inner Martin Prado. Infante has posted a succulent July, batting .455 in 44 at-bats for the month with a homer and seven runs driven in. If Chipper Jones continues to have trouble staying on the field, Infante could see more time batting third as he had for the Braves in Jones’ absence. Hitting third on a contending ball club with multiple position eligibility is worth a flier at the very least. The man can hit.

Best of the Rest under 25 percent owned:

Skip Schumaker (STL-2B,OF): 19 percent owned- 3/12 3 R, 3 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, .250 AVG


Jason Donald (CLE- 2B,SS): 1 percent owned- 5/17 3 R, 5 H, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, .294 AVG


Cliff Pennington (OAK-SS): 20 percent owned- The A’s shortstop has been one of the hottest players in the league over the last two months, hitting and stealing bases at a rate that forced him into the top 15 SS category. Pennington hit .338 in June with five stolen bases and carried this play into July, hitting a sizzling .367 with four stolen bases. Pennington has been efficient on the base paths, swiping 15 bags while only being caught twice on the season. He’s proven to be a reliable source of speed and runs and if the hot hitting can continue, it’s feasible that a top 10 SS ending could be in Cliff’s future. Pennington is a steal at 20 percent owned, outperforming the likes of Jose Reyes, Ben Zobrist and Derek Jeter for the month of July.

Felipe López (STL-2B,SS,3B): 26 percent owned- David Freese, the Cards regular third baseman, extended his time on the disabled list by breaking his big left toe after dropping a weight on it. Freese had been on the DL from a bone bruise on his ankle and injured himself further, opening up even more playing time for Felipe López. Not only does López come with multiple position eligibility, he’s been stellar filling in for the injured Freese. Over the last month, López has filled it up, hitting for average (.313), power (2 HR), scoring runs (18) and squeezed a stolen base during the stretch, making the most of Freese’s DL antics. Look for the trend to continue and use López’s eligibility to fill any hole you may have in the infield.

Best of the Rest under 25 percent owned:

Starlin Castro (CHC-SS): 18 percent owned- 12/24 5 R, 12 H, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB, .500 AVG

Reid Brignac (TB-2B,SS): 3 percent owned- 5/12 3 R, 5 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, .417 AVG,


Jhonny Peralta (CLE-3B,SS): 27 percent owned- Peralta’s season has been a major disappointment this year but hey, what’s new these days in Cleveland? Despite poor play to begin the season, Peralta has picked it up of late, hitting two homers over the last week, one managed to get over the wall while the other was a memorable inside-the-parker against the Tigers. He’s riding a current five-game hitting streak and is widely available on the wire. Peralta is a nice power buy at a pretty cheap price at this point of the season and could find himself switching addresses come the trading deadline.

Pedro Alvarez (PIT-3B): 10 percent- It was only a matter of time before Alvarez starting to make an adjustment at the plate and it’s starting to show in a torrid July for the ultra prospect. After Alvarez stumbled out of the gate, hitting an unsightly .152 in June while whiffing 22 times in 46 AB, Alvarez has turned the corner in July, cutting down on his strikeouts (18 in 57 AB) while smashing his way to a .316 AVG with five bombs and 12 runs batted in. Alvarez stung the ball in the last four games, compiling three multi-hit games over the span with two homers coming against the Brewers in a 5 RBI performance on Tuesday. Pick him up now and reap the benefits of a severely under owned prospect.

Best of the Rest under 25 percent owned:

Kevin Kouzmanoff (OAK-3B): 18 percent owned- 6/17 3 R, 6 H, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, .353 AVG

Chris Johnson (HOU-3B): 2 percent owned- 8/19 5 R, 8 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB, .421 AVG

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