Sadly my Fantasy Baseball Draft season is over, and after poring over my rosters, I found 5 hitters I couldn’t avoid drafting in 2014. There were actually more than five in many instances, but for the sake of this, I will pick out the five players who made most of my Fantasy Baseball squads this season.
When enacting the draft strategy I used this season, it shouldn’t be surprising to be targeting the same positions in most rounds, which, of course, would lead to often drafting the same players in several different leagues. However, after entering all my post-draft lineups into my personal favorite tool, the good ol’ spreadsheet, I noticed some surprising names and themes.
There were a few guys I didn’t have on my radar at all who ended up on many of my teams this year. This is surprising not because I don’t like them, but I typically try to map out my drafts round-by-round and ending up with unplanned players can only mean a few things, good or bad.
1. My draft Strategy unraveled
2. Other owners over-valued or under-valued some of my targets.
If you have played in leagues with me before, or read my articles, you likely know I tend to be a “Mover and a Shaker.” This means my lineup at the end of this season could very well be completely different than it is right now. I have no problems dropping established starters for a streaky waiver-wire commodity, or pulling off a blockbuster trade.
All of this considered, though, I will likely hold these five players close to my heart in 2014, as they are either knowingly, or sub-consciously some of my favorite players this season.
So with that, good luck to all of you in Week 1, and the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season. Stay tuned to davidgonos.com for all your Fantasy Baseball needs the rest of the way.
5 Hitters I couldn’t Avoid Drafting in 2014
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B, Boston
This was one of my surprises. I knew his stock was rising this season, and based on his ADP, I didn’t plan on utilizing one of the picks I often use on pitching for him. Yet, after seeing him available well after his projected draft slots, I couldn’t resist. At the least, I had a potential starting shortstop/third baseman, or a very nice trade chip.
At 21, he is so young that a “Breakout” season in 2014 is doubtful, but if his performance late in 2013 and the World Series are a glimpse of his future, I am ecstatic to have him on my team! Be sure to read my brief profile on him in the 2014 Shortstop Rankings
Due to my draft strategy of drafting infield early, I have the luxury in the leagues I own Bogaerts in to have him primarily as a utility, or middle infielder.
4. Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis
The Cardinals’ massive slugger ended up on eight of my teams this season. The only teams he didn’t make it on were teams I had a first baseman named Chris Davis. The Cardinals have a way of making very good hitters prosper in the majors, and I fully expect Adams to do the same in 2014. He has enormous power, but can also hit for average and knock in plenty of RBI.
I know the main concern with him is eventually platooning, or losing the starting job at first. I really don’t think it will happen. They will find ways to play everyone, and injuries are never ideal, but they simply happen. I would be a little concerned if he was my primary first baseman, but he is that in only a few of my leagues this year. That makes him a perfect for for my utility position in 2014.
3. Leonys Martin, OF, Texas
Oh, what a pleasant surprise Martin was for me last season. This year, he will have even more of an impact. His speed is potent, and sneakily cheap as well. I wasn’t expecting him to be available in every draft, but there he sat. I had to take him as Martin is one of my guys, not a clear cut target, but someone who fills categories. Some more than others, of course, but a solid player and OF4 or OF5.
Am I higher on him than most? Probabaly, or I should say obviously, as I currently own him in 9 of 11 leagues. He has some risk, hitting ninth in the Rangers’ lineup, and you never know how the Rangers will tweak their lineup, but for value and potential, I really like Martin in 2014. I also like taking risks.
2. Brad Miller, SS, Seattle
To me Miller is my sneakiest value player. He does many things well and also has the addition of position flexibility in most leagues. A player who can hit for close to .300, hit 10-15 Home Runs, play multiple positions and score runs is a player I always want on my squad.
Another player I always liked in the past who didn’t manage to make any of my teams this season is Allen Craig. Like Craig, in 2014, Miller is getting overlooked because of a lack of experience, not being flashy, or the alleged “playing time” risk. I don’t buy into either player losing many at-bats this season, and you will be rewarded if you can snag Miller late.
1. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego
Oh, how I love Jedd Gyorko — let me count thy ways.
1. He has power, and lots of it. If he stays healthy all season long, he should hit at least 25 home runs.
2. He plays second base, a relatively scarce position.
3. He can hit for solid enough average to make up for his K-rate. (However, it should be noted that his K-rate will improve, as his minor-league track record dictates).
4. If his teammates can stay healthy, he will have more support than last season. Better lineups mean more opportunities, which means more counting statistics.
5. He has a killer last name.
6. Did I mention the power!?!
I wanted Gyorko on all my teams and nearly made that goal. In my final draft of the year, I got sniped two picks before I could take him. I can’t complain, knowing how many leagues I actually do have him in. I did the same thing, and had the same feeling about another player last season. If the same comes true for Gyorko as it did for my 2013 No. 1 hitter, Chris Davis, I will be doing cartwheels — or at least attempt to do cartwheels.
Until Next Time
Well, that is my top five owned hitters for my 2014 Fantasy Season. Hope you enjoyed it, feel free to leave some of yours below, or on Twitter. Stay tuned for my Top 5 Pitchers I Couldn’t Avoid Drafting in 2014 coming very soon
(Disclaimer: Jarrod Parker should be on there, he was one of my most drafted pitchers and my breakout pitcher of 2014. We all know how that ended up.)
[table id=42 /]