After showing us his mature bat in 2008, (SS - ) was ranked highly by many fantasy experts heading into the 2009 season.
Aviles' 10 home runs, 8 steals, and .325 AVG in 102 games during 2008 gave the fantasy world hope that a Royals middle-infielder might be rosterable.
After a slow start in 2009 (.183 AVG in 36 games), Aviles underwent Tommy John Surgery to fix his ailing arm. He missed the rest of the 2009 season and lost his starting spot in Kansas City.
This Spring, after rehabbing his elbow, Aviles is, once again, showing the potent bat fantasy pundits quickly warmed to in 2009. His Spring batting average of .571 in 29 at-bats is the highest in Kansas City for players with at least 8 at-bats. The power hasn't arrived yet but his speed is still there, with two triples and a stolen base.
Aviles still must build arm-strength as he is unable to make controlled throws from the SS and 3B positions. Once he does though, his bat will make him a top infield option for the Royals.
With shelved for the first few weeks of the fantasy season, Aviles could find some time in the infield, with the possibility of securing a spot. , , and are his main competitors. should have a secure spot after an impressive 2009 campaign.
Keep an eye on Aviles as the season progresses as he could bring some solid numbers to teams need infield help.