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.
Ian Kinsler (67 ADP): Tough call here. I still like Kinsler a lot, but he's just not the player he was and it wouldn't break my heart if someone were to pass on Kinsler at this spot in a draft. He was caught 11 times while stealing only 15 bases last season, and though he says he wants to run more he has been caught 20 times the last two years so maybe the Tigers won't want him to run more. After going deep 32 times in 2011 he's hit a total of 32 homers the past two seasons. There's also the fact that his batting batting average (.262) and OBP (.341) the last three years really haven't been very good. As long as he stays healthy he will be productive, but there is no real upside and dreams of a 20/20 season are likely to be unmet.
Jose Altuve (90): He's stolen 30 bases the last two years which is great, and he's also hit .290 and .283. But what else has he done? The last two seasons he's averaged six homers, 45 RBIs and 72 runs scored. The steals are nice and the average is solid, but you're paying a very high price for those steals with a fella who isn't even replacement level in the other three categories.
Howie Kendrick (172): I write about this guy every year. I draft this guy every year. People overlook him ever year. A consistent 10/10 threat who is a career .292 hitter, Kendrick is boring but stable and never a terrible option on draft day given his cost.
Neil Walker (223): Walker was down last year batting a poor .251. Still he had a .339 OBP that was better than Daniel Murphy (.319). He also had 16 homers which was more than Jed Lowrie. He drove in 53 runs which was one more than Altuve. He scored 62 times which was the same total as Jedd Gyorko. Walker should see a significant boost in his poor .274 BABIP from last season, his career mark is .312 and he had a line drive rate of 23 percent last season, meaning a return to his career .273 batting level seems likely.
Omar Infante (273): Old and boring. You may not even know he's on the Royals. But, Omar is a career .279 batter who went off for a .318 mark last season and hasn't hit below .271 since 2005. There's nothing to see here, but if you want wait until your last selection to take a second sacker there are certainly worse options to turn to.
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.
Thoughts on Brad Miller? He's having a great spring with minor league numbers to back it up.
Mike Davis - That's simplifying things too much. He only had 16 at-bats against the Tigers last year.
I think Ian Kinsler is something of a question mark. But I'm also thinking that while he has historically been ineffective in the Detroit ball park - he will no longer have to face Verlander, Scherzer, and Sanchez. And that should create a bit of an uptick.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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