Last week, he was owned in just 8.9% of fantasy baseball leagues, according to ESPN. This week, he is owned in 89.6% of leagues.
Ryan Roberts is on a tear.
The Arizona Diamondbacks utility man took over at third base for Melvin Mora earlier this month and Mora has had a tough time finding the field again.
Drafted in the 18th round of the 2003 MLB June Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Roberts has been on three teams in his six-year Major League career and has been mostly a utility player. From 2006 through 2008, he had a total of 27 at bats in Toronto and Texas. In fact, in 2008, he had one at bat for the Rangers and promptly struck out. That’s about the same amount of tattoos that Roberts has on both of his arms.
Roberts joined the Diamondbacks for the 2009 season and played in 110 games. He hit .279 with 7 homers, 25 RBI, and 7 stolen bases. Last year, Roberts played in 36 games and hit .197 with 2 homers. Not exactly the kind of stats that you’d expect a big year out of in 2011.
But, for 2011, Roberts is hitting .311 with 5 homers, 15 RBI, and 3 stolen bases in 20 games.
Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Ryan Roberts — The amazing thing about Ryan Roberts in 2011 is that he wouldn’t have even made the Diamondbacks opening day roster if Geoff Blum hadn’t banged up his knee. Melvin Mora is back from an injury that had kept him out of the starting lineup since April 16; Mora went 2 for 4 in his debut against the Phillies. Mora is 39-years-old so you have to think his best days are well behind him.
We would expect that Roberts will calm down over time, but he was a good hitter in the minors so his performance is not totally unexpected. As an added plus, he’s played 3B, 2B, SS, and OF already this year. At this point, we would expect Roberts to continue since he’s the hot hand and he has the ability to play all of the infield positions and the outfield. Gerardo Parra isn’t incredibly strong in left field so even if Mora gets the job at third, Roberts can play left, as he did this week against the Phils. Ryan Roberts is worth picking up in NL-only Leagues and projects to a potential .280 hitter with 15 homers if he picks up 400 at bats this year.