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Who should you avoid in your fantasy baseball drafts in 2014? Which players are sleepers that you might consider targeting given their below market draft day cost? In this series we'll take a look at each position and give you some names to avoid and some to target.
* ADP's taken from the NFBC.
Chris Davis (8 ADP): The 2014 Fantasy Draft Guide has an article on Davis that is four pages of information telling you why Davis is being overvalued in 2014 despite his stupendous 2013. You can find a little teaser in Last Year Bias: Why Does 2013 Matter So Much?
Albert Pujols (42): For a decade Pujols was the best hitter in baseball. He's going to the Hall of Fame. I get it. But let's face facts. He last hit .300 in 2010. He was limited to only 99 games last year because of foot issues. He's 34 years old (we think). And then there is this. Pujols' batting average has gone down 5-straight seasons. Pujols' OBP has gone down 5-straight seasons. Pujols' SLG has gone down 4-straight seasons. Don't know how you ignore that.
Jose Abreu (92): Everyone, as I always say, loves the shiny new toy. That's what Abreu is. He comes with massive promise and insane minor league numbers in Cuba, but that doesn't mean he will be a top-100 player in 2014. For more on Abreu see his Player Profile.
Justin Morneau (206): He's not going to go .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs as he did in 2006. That's just not who he is anymore. The positive news is that after two seasons crushed by a concussion he's been able to rack up 505 and 572 at-bats the past two seasons. He moves to Colorado which should play well to his style. Not jacking the ball into the seats mind you, but blasting liners all over the field. Morneau is a threat to reach 20 homers, something he hasn't done since 2009, but he should be looked at as a solid play to improve upon the 77 runs batted in he's had the last two seasons while a batting average above his career mark of .277 is possible.
Nick Swisher (211): He's boring. He's also very reliable, and when you're into the 200's at the draft, stability isn't a bad thing to be looking at. Swisher has hit at least 21 homers every season he's had more than 60 at-bats, and that leaves him with a stretch of 9-straight 21 home run efforts. The only other men who can match that streak are Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz. That's pretty solid company for Swisher who has also scored at least 74 runs with 63 RBIs in each of the past eight seasons. Oh yeah, he also qualifies in the outfield after appearing there 27 times in 2013.
Adam LaRoche (271): For the 8th straight full season LaRoche hit 20 homers in 2013 (he only had 43 games played and 151 at-bats in 2011). He's also recorded at least 70 runs in each of his last four full seasons. LaRoche did struggle last season, he hit a mere .237 and drove in only 62 runs after 7-straight full seasons of at least 78 RBIs. On the plus side he's super cheap, he's coming off the best walk rate of his career (12.2 percent), and his batted ball rates last season (22% line drive, 37% ground ball and 41 percent fly ball) are nearly identical to his career marks (21/38/41). He's a reserve round selection who could return plenty of value in 2014.
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.