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.
Adrian Beltre (18 ADP): More of a gut call than anything else here. Beltre will be 35 in April and he's appeared in nearly 2,300 career games. Sooner or later your body wears down. There's been no real give in his game, I'll give him that, but Beltre has stolen a total of five bases the past four seasons and despite hitting 30 homers each of the last three seasons he's only hit 30 homers four times in a 16 season career. Really comes down to the fact that I'm just not comfortable taking a 35 year old with no speed in the second round.
Josh Donaldson (69): The Athletics' third sacker was great last year as he socked 24 homers, drove in 93 runs and scored 89 times while batting a robust .301. The numbers themselves say elite. Why the concern? Can he repeat his .333 BABIP? After posting a 0.20 BB/K ratio over his first 89 big league games can we trust the 0.69 mark he posted last season? Oakland is a tough park to hit in so it raises the question of whether or not Donaldson will be able to repeat the 14.3 percent HR/F ratio he posted last season after racking up an 11.2 percent mark his first two seasons. Donaldson had a great 2013 but, frankly, his effort was so impressive that it raises serious questions about the efficacy of a repeat.
Brett Lawrie (156): Lawrie is certainly a disappointment given his injury filled background, but that obscures the fact that Lawrie has been a very effective performer since he joined the big leagues. As I pointed out in Lawrie's Player Profile, here are the numbers he has posted, per 162 games, for his career: 18 homers and 17 steals. How many third sackers are 15/15 threats?
Todd Frazier (215): There are rumors that the Reds are going to allow Frazier to run a bit more this year than they have, and the numbers 15-20 have been tossed about. Before you think that is nutso, here are his steals totals from 2010 (Double-A) and 2011 (Triple-A): 14 steals and 17 steals. He stole those 31 bags in a total of just 220 games. Given that he has posted an average of 19 homers and 70 RBIs the past two seasons with the Reds, how good would his effort be if he also stole 15 bases? I'll ask it again – how many third sackers are 15/15 threats?
Matt Dominguez (262): He will never be a batting average booster. Just not going to happen. He's the owner of a .248 career batting average and he's also in possession of a 0.30 BB/K rate and 18.7 percent line drive mark. However, he's got a good glove that will keep him in the lineup, and he's got legit power that can be seen in the 21 homer, 77 RBI effort of 2013. Another 20 homers seems very doable and there is enough talent here to get 25 homers, and that would be a solid get in the last round of your draft would it not?
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.
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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.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo will start Thursday
- Zaza Pachulia will start at center Thursday
- DeMarcus Cousins will start Thursday
- Dwight Howard will play Thursday
- Taj Gibson will not play Thursday
- Tyreke Evans will not play Thursday
- Kendall Wright is active
- Amar'e Stoudemire will start Thursday
- Carmelo Anthony will not play Thursday
- Derrick Rose will not play Thursday