Chris Heisey, after doing something worthy of high-fivery (USAT Images)
Yeah, I know: Heisey is not the name most of you wanted to hear. You're anxious for the Billy Hamilton era to begin in Cincinnati. I get it. Hamilton is the buzzy prospect with 100-steal speed, slated to open the season at Triple-A. He figures to be a high-impact fantasy asset the day he reaches the the bigs.
But it ain't happenin' just yet, in all likelihood.
For now, we need to deal with the short-term fallout from Ryan Ludwick's shoulder injury. In case you missed the news on Monday (and ignored the headline above), Ludwick suffered a dislocated shoulder on a head-first slide in the Reds' opener, so he's headed for an MRI. He's looking at a visit to the disabled list for an as-yet-unknown period of time. (Update: It's bad. Three months. Brutal news).
Ludwick's replacement on opening day was Chris Heisey, who some of you no doubt owned in fantasy back in 2011. That year, Heisey hit 18 homers in just 279 at-bats for Cincinnati (possibly overstating his true power potential), plus he added six steals in seven attempts. Last season, the home run total dipped to seven in 347 at-bats, but he still delivered 16 doubles and five triples along with six more stolen bases.
In a nutshell: The 28-year-old Heisey offers respectable power/speed potential (probably with a lousy average), and he's likely to receive plenty of playing time for however long Ludwick is sidelined. He'll do his hitting in a solid lineup, too. I added Heisey in a pair of mixed leagues on Monday. If you're playing in a fantasy format with 4-5 starting outfield spots, he's clearly on the radar, only owned in 1 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
We should note that Heisey didn't exactly cover himself in glory on opening day, as he went 0-for-3 with two Ks* in relief of Ludwick. But there are better lines ahead. If you're already looking for category juice on the wire, give Heisey a test drive.
*One of the strikeouts followed a highly questionable managerial flourish by Dusty Baker. With runners at first and second and no one out in the eighth inning of a 1-1 game, Dusty directed to Brandon Phillips to bunt, advancing the base-runners in exchange for an out. The decision effectively meant that neither Phillips or Joey Votto had the opportunity to hit, as Votto was intentionally walked. And then both Heisey and Jay Bruce K'd. The Reds lost in 13.
If you're still hung up on Hamilton, please try to be patient. He's a freakish talent, but he also went 5-for-26 this spring with nine Ks, and he's only 22. A couple months (or more) at Louisville might not be the worst thing for the kid.
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