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2014 Fantasy Baseball Position Battles -- Rockies & Astros

A look at all the position battles fantasy baseball owners will see during 2014 spring training

Slide 1 of 2 2014 Fantasy Baseball Position Battles -- Rockies  | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

Colorado Rockies 2B

Last spring, everyone and their grandmother rode the Josh Rutledge bandwagon.  Midway through the 2012 season he got called up straight from Double-A and went on to hit .274 with eight home runs, 37 RBI and seven stolen bases over 291 plate appearances. His strikeouts weren’t awful – just an 18.6-percent rate – and his lack of patience at the plate (3.1 BB%) was simply dismissed as him just being an over-eager youngster. But the .195 ISO was big for a second baseman and the fact that he was posting it as a member of the Rockies made him all the more enticing.

But Rutledge failed to deliver the goods in 2013 and found himself back in the minors by the end of May. He worked his way into a mid-June call-up, but even then, he spent more time out of the lineup than in. That re-opened the door for utility-man DJ LeMahieu who floated in and out of the lineup in 2012 before Rutledge came up.

LeMahieu  batted .280 last season and while he only had two home runs and a .311 on-base percentage, he did manage to swipe 18 bases. But LeMahieu isn’t there for his bat or his base-running, much to the chagrin of fantasy owners. He’s there for his defense. With second base being a recurring problem for the Rockies, they’re obviously willing to sacrifice some offense for cleaner defense up the middle. Again, that doesn’t work in the fantasy world, but the Rockies don’t seem to be complaining too much.

The two will fight it out this spring and if Rutledge can improve his defensive work and maintain a steady bat, he could, very easily, walk away with the job. But be wary – should Rutledge win the gig, LeMahieu will likely stay on the 25-man roster as a utility infielder. If the Rockies are up by a run or two late in the game, there’s a good chance that Rutledge will be yanked in favor of a LeMahieu’s glove which will ultimately hinder his at-bat count. Best case scenario has Rutledge looking slick in the field and like a beast at the plate.

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Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

Slide 2 of 2 2014 Fantasy Baseball Position Battles -- Rockies  | Slide - 2 FantasyAlarm.com

Houston Astros 1B

With Brett Wallace thankfully out of the picture and it looking more and more like Chris Carter will be the full-time DH, the Astros first base job is wide open right now. Based on the team’s current depth chart and roster we’re looking at a choice between Jesus Guzman and…wait for it…Jon Singleton!!

::holds for raucous applause from the prospect hounds::

Nothing would make those who cherish the rookies and the upside happiest than seeing Singleton win the job coming out of spring training. Though it’s difficult to see just by looking at his minor league numbers, he is touted for his massive power potential. He ascended through the minors fairly quickly and while the strikeouts have been a little high, his walk rate at every level was out of this world and his batting eye is good enough that there is more than just hope that he’ll drop the whiffs.

But just like with outfield uber-prospect, George Springer, the Astros have to decide whether or not it’s worth starting the arbitration clock and/or foregoing an extra year of control over Singleton. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if they did give it up, but they now have to make that decision with both of them and it’s highly unlikely they do it with both; and that’s where Guzman fits in.

Guzman can play both first base and left field (Springer’s potential home) and will likely find himself in one of the two spots, at least to open the season. He showed some nice power in the minors, but in these last two seasons with the Padres, his ISO has dropped each year. Obviously Petco Park plays a hand in that, but just how much will likely be determined this year when he moves to hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park. He’s a dead-pull hitter and while you can’t call it a short-porch down the line in left, it is considerably shallower than it is in San Diego.

Of course, none of this is etched in stone and Guzman could find himself out of luck if both Singleton and Springer hit well this spring. The Astros could simply determine that they really have nothing to lose by letting both players open the year in the majors. It hardly seems likely, but one never knows. In fact, the Astros could start both in the minors. Gun to my head, I say that Guzman starts the year at first base with Springer earning the nod to open the year. But it won’t be long before Singleton gets called up to make his presence felt.

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Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.


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