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Fernando Cortez

Mark Grudzalaniek is back on the D.L. with an knee injury that caused him to miss Spring Training.  Assuming he is out for a while, Esteban German becomes the regular secondbaseman.  This is a fantasy plus as German has more speed and better hitting skills.  He also has multi-position eligibility.

Someone to watch, if only out of the corner of your eye, is the recently-recalled Fernando Cortez.  Some may remember him from the first half of 2005 when he hit .333 for AA Montgomery in the Tampa Bay organization.  He was promoted to AAA Durham and hit a mere .227.  However, he did steal 12 bases in that half-season of AAA and 25 overall.

2006 brought little more as he hit .222 in the first half of the AAA season and was dealt to the Royals along with Joey Gathright for J.P. Howell and hit a paltry .244 at AAA Omaha.  He had some speed with 13 SBs but was caught nine times.  An 85.5% contact rate offered some hope.  He just couldn't do much more than put the bat on the ball.  Proof?  Check out these slash stats - 234/274/278

In 2007, he was hitting a much more respectable 299/355/402 with nine SBs in ten attempts with an 85.3% contact rate.  If he continues to put the bat on the ball in the majors, he may be able to provide some value in deep Al-only leagues with some AVG and a handful or so of SBs.