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.
Adam Jones (10 ADP): He's just not a top-10 player. He's never hit .290 in a season. He's had only one year of 85 RBIs. He's only had two seasons of 85 runs scored. He's never stolen 17 bases in a season. He's never had a .336 OBP. He's only had one season with a .500 SLG. Really good and extremely stable? Sure. Elite? Nope.
Jacoby Ellsbury (12): A tremendous talent. He's only averaged 96 games played the last four years. If he plays 150 games you will be ecstatic with his production. Problem is, it's a huge risk to take him in the top-15 overall given the injuries that have been such an issue of late.
Yasiel Puig (22): He's extremely talented, but boy, is taking him in the top-25 really buying in. You know I'm not doing that. Here are my thoughts, in all their glory, in my Puig Player Profile. Hopefully you will read the piece and get why I'm not a fan of taken Puig this early. Makes all the sense in the world to me.
Carlos Gomez (23): You can read about Gomez in his Player Profile. Some highlights as to why a top-25 call for Gomez is too much. “He hit .265 over his last 58 games and .248 over his last 72 games” Last season was the first time he hit .265 in a season... he also posted a career best 16.4 percent HR/F mark in 2013 which is light years beyond his 10.0 percent career mark... Gomez has never driven in 75 runs or scored 81 times in a season.” See what I'm saying?
Will Venable (200): Apparently 20/20 seasons aren't as impressive as they once were. With Cameron Maybin out with injury, Venable is likely to play pretty much every day at the start of the year. Yes there are holes in his game – he's never hit .270 in a season or had 485 at-bats – but he's still stolen at least 20 bases in 4-straight seasons. He may not be a 20 homer threat even though he hit 22 last season (he hit a mere 18 the previous two year), but he's still a solid guy to target when the rounds start to add up.
Ben Revere (208): He will hit leadoff for the Phillies. He's a career .285 batter. He's hit at least .294 the past two seasons. He's stolen an average of 37 bases per 500 at-bats in his career. A .300 hitter with 40 steal upside should be going earlier than this, no?
B.J. Upton (214): Two things to say. First, he's only 29 years old. Second, he's one year removed from a near 30/30 season (he was two homers short). He's well worth the risk at this point of a draft.
Michael Morse (306): In 2011 he hit .303 with 31 bombs. He hit .291 with 18 homers in just 406 at-bats in 2012. He was injured and limited to 88 games last season, but the Giants plan to play him every day and for his career, per 450 at-bats, he's hit .281 with 20 homers and 66 RBIs... and that's only per 450 ABs. Of course, he's not a good bet to stay healthy long enough to play that many games, so it would be wise not to go crazy and draft him at fifty percent of his current ADP.
Daniel Nava (353): He just doesn't get the respect he is do, something I reported on in his Player Profile. Were you aware that Nava had the 8th best average in the AL last season (.303)? Did you know he was 5th in the AL in OBP (.385)? Did you know he had an .831 OPS that was better than Adam Jones (.811)? Nava is going off the board far too late.
Justin Ruggiano (369): In 2012 he went 13/14 in 288 at-bats. In 2013 he went 18/15 in 424 at-bats. It remains to be seen if he picks up 500 at-bats for the Cubs this season but if he does he's going to have a very valuable fantasy seasons. Per 500 ABs for his career Ruggiano has averaged 20 homers and 18 steals. He's not even being drafted in most mixed leagues.
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.