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Periphery Players: Denorfia, Pacheco, Moore and Cowgill

A look at players living on the edge of fantasy value and what they could potentially provide your team

Chris Denorfia is an oft overlooked but fairly safe option in deeper mixed or NL-Only Leagues
Chris Denorfia is an oft overlooked but fairly safe option in deeper mixed or NL-Only Leagues
Kent Horner
This is an article along the lines of Tuesday's where I focused on some hitting prospects that didn't make our positional prospect lists, but with playing time, could be worth a look during the upcoming season. As with Tuesday's article, I'm not sure how useful this is for people so please provide some feedback if you like or dislike the concept. I wouldn't say I have an obsession with guys like this, but playing in deep leagues, I have always found it useful to know who I can grab in a pinch to provide adequate stats for a brief period.

Chris Denorfia - OF - SDP

One of my favorite "band-aid" players (as I call them) in recent memory, Denorfia has gotten me through some tough times in the league I focus on most. In this league we use LF/CF/RF instead of the generic OF, and that can make life difficult. Denorfia often has multi-position eligibility, if not all three, and has provided OPS+ of 114, 104, 122 in the last three years. I know there are very few leagues that use OPS+ but I like it as a quick and dirty indicator of if a player is legitimate or not. Denorfia's slash line in 2012 was a robust .293/.345/.451 in a healthy 348 at-bats and all while calling the Padres' spacious PETCO Park home. He also provided 8 homers and 13 stolen bases in that time. None of these numbers should blow you away, but he's a solid guy who can fill a spot without hurting you in any one category. Those guys are extremely helpful if you're in a deep enough league.

Jordan Pacheco - 3B/C - COL

Frankly, I'm not sure that Pacheco should qualify for such a list. He received almost enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title last year, so it's not like people haven't seen him or don't know about him. That said, I rarely hear mention of him despite a .309/.341/.421 slash line in 2012. I know that SLG% isn't anything to get excited about, especially from a 3B in Coors, but he also started 5 games at catcher, which will gain him eligibility in Yahoo leagues. If you're in a two catcher league or play in a deeper mixed format, a catcher who can hit .300 isn't anything to sneeze at. MLBDepthCharts has Chris Nelson manning the hot corner for the Rockies with Pacheco on the bench, which is why I threw him on this list in the first place. If Pacheco can earn the playing time - and I'm guessing he can while Walt Weiss tries to find something that works - he could be a useful stash at two positions that lack quality depth.

Tyler Moore - 1B/OF - WAS

Moore's roster status has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this winter. It looked like he'd be a solid backup 1B/OF in DC before the Nationals went and brought Adam LaRoche back. With no room for Mike Morse in the starting lineup, Moore would be superfluous as a bench bat, but that concern was alleviated in the three-team trade that sent Morse to Seattle (who has a first base logjam of their own to deal with). That means a spot on the bench seems likely for Moore, who impressed first during an emergency stint and then later as a bench bat. Moore's greatest attribute in his 156 at-bat debut was his power, as he slugged his way to a .263/.327/.513 slash line and an 840 OPS. The Nationals everyday lineup won't require many tweaks, but between Jayson Werth and Adam Laroche, there's a chance Moore could see injury-related time in the lineup. If he does get extended at-bats, he will be in a run producing lineup and has shown the ability to put up solid power numbers.

Collin Cowgill - OF - NYM

Also affected by a trade involving the Oakland A's is our final subject of the day, Collin Cowgill. Cowgill had a rough 2012 after arriving in the Oakland organization, recording a measly .254/.312/.373 in Triple-A Sacremento. That's not a pretty line even before considering the offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League, and is downright putrid after. At this point, you're waiting for the "that said" and those are good instincts because that said, prior to 2012 Cowgill had posted a 984 OPS in the same PCL along with 30 stolen bases in 33 chances. Before that he went for an 825 OPS in the less offensively charged Southern League. If we accept 2012 as the outlier and recognize that the Mets outfield is something less than "loaded with talent" we have the opportunity for a player who is entering his physical prime (turns 27 in May) and who has produced in the minor leagues to see a meaningful number of at-bats. There is obviously the chance that Cowgill's 2012 was the tip of an iceberg and his struggles continue, but he's someone to monitor in Spring Training and the minor leagues in the event he does crack the 25-man roster. The so called talent in front him isn't a huge obstacle and he could produce low end numbers as a starter or operate as an injury replacement in deeper formats.

Source Material
Baseball Reference
MLB Depth Charts